UX content writers create the copy seen on websites, apps, and other digital products. This style of writing is unlike any other. It is direct and to the point, calling out actions for users and portraying the voice of a brand. This writing can be hard to master, but there are multiple best practices content writers follow. 

Clear and Concise

Good writers tend to have large vocabularies from extensive study of language. While this is incredible for long-form writing, most UX writing needs to be quite short. Typically digital products do not have a lot of space for lengthy explanations. For this reason, content writers must use language that can be easily understood by all users.  

When beginning the writing process, it can be helpful to understand who the target audience is. This can give the writer insight into the reading level of potential users. For all UX/UI writing, it is best to write with simple language that a 5th grader would be familiar with. This ensures all users can move smoothly through the content without further questions.

person writing in a journal holding a mug

Make it Useful

A lot of UX writing is about directing users to a final destination. This might mean writing a call to action on a website or anticipating users’ questions before they have them. The user benefits from very clear directions, even if they might seem unnecessary. For instance, creating a button that is fitted with a description of where it will take the user rather than simply saying ‘click here’. 

It could also mean FAQs are provided and easily accessible when a user becomes confused. There are often simple solutions to users’ questions, so providing immediate answers is more beneficial than forcing them to wait to speak with someone. Being able to guess what information a user needs next helps drive conversions. This can be done with a user journey map which outlines potential pathways for users and can predict where problems or questions might arise.

Positivity for the Win

When writing for UX it is important to focus on the positive—there are two ways to do this. First, you can start by rewording sentences that are negative into positive ones. For example, instead of writing ‘users dislike small fonts’ you could try ‘users like large fonts.’ Both of those sentences have the same message about users, but one carries a negative connotation while the other is positive. It might seem like a small adjustment, but it makes a huge impact on the overall user experience. 

Another way to make content positive is to provide solutions. Say your product is a medicinal product for a cold, you could discuss how being sick is negative, but your product is the solution. While the writing may still contain negative connotations, it ends on a positive note due to it being solution oriented. Solution-oriented writing makes users think more positively about the brand and more likely to begin or continue using the product or service.

person typing on a black keyboard

Collaboration and Conversation

UX copywriting is not a lone sport. There is a very creative element to the writing. Copy is written to fit into certain design elements on a digital product. Designers need to work with copywriters to ensure the copy makes sense for the space. They can also share the ideas behind their designs so the writers have a better understanding of the overall goal of the digital product. 

UX writing speaks directly to the user. For this reason, conversational writing works better than formal writing. Users like to know that a company cares for them and this feeling can be created through a conversational tonality. Some companies choose to be witty and write jokes into their copy. Others strive for elegance, using more formal word choice, but still speaking to the user directly. Whatever tone a brand evokes, it should resonate with the audience to insist that a brand is at the service of their users.

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The F Shape

When people begin reading, they usually read at the top of a page and begin to skim as they move toward the bottom, searching for whatever information they need. This can be considered reading in an ‘F’ shape. Users start reading full sentences, skim a bit, read a few more sentences, and then skim to the bottom. This means that writers need to pack the most important information in the first few sentences. In other terms, avoid burying the lead. You want to grab the attention of the reader immediately so they are able to 

Following these small practices can make positive changes in UX writing. With a focus on the user, writing can be tailored to solve problems before they arise and meet all their needs. By providing clear and concise information and putting details up front, users can move smoothly through a digital product.