UX Writing-Providing voice to your designs.

UX Writing-Providing voice to your designs.

Rashika Ahuja
May 19, 2020
A customer-centric approach, user-oriented interface are the words which we hear the most when talking about design or any other sphere of it. But can you achieve it if it doesn’t carry an apt content to which a user can connect with? The answer for me is an obvious no. There is a great saying, a piece of content can make or break your design. The language we use to create better designs matter; content matters. UX writing matters. But what is UX Writing?UX Writing is the process of designing a conversation between an interface and the user. We come across UX Writing every time we interact with a product or a service online. It is like all other elements for the interface. Like, the colors we use requires consistency, clarity, invoking correct emotions. Words break the barrier between man and machine. It creates a relationship that guides and aids them throughout their product journey. Come’ on nobody wants to hear’ Authentication failure.’

UX Writing at its best (Some insights)

So yes there are rules, there are rules to everything you do or exists. There are some guidelines and rules for UX writing as well. Before we dive into them, I would want to share some insights from a really famous talk conducted by the UX writers st Google. There were a few necessary takeaways from them.
  • People talk about being concise, but concise doesn’t mean cutting it short, it actually means economical.
  • Readers don’t read everything written on the screens. To bring to their attention the significant words, put them towards the beginning, and then edit mercilessly.
  • Keep it as simple and clear so it gets easy for the user to understand what is happening with the system and provide him with suitable feedback.
  • Let's take the example of Google. They rolled out how changing the words from Book a room to Check availability increased customer engagement by 17%. It’s just before actually booking, we as a user tend to window shop and look around for options. Just by looking at Book a room, adds a mental pressure or image of taking to the entire process of booking a room.
UX writing is the copy we write for our interfaces. The words that are directly related to the users’ actions or direct them to a particular action.

UX Writing as a practice

UX Writing is different from regular content writing. It focuses more on the words that help the user navigate across a product, whereas content writing is any communication that comes in and goes out in regards to the product. Like, emailers, blog writing, etc. Come on, give some space to Lorem Ipsum. I would recommend not to design your interfaces with Lorem Ipsum being the only content on the screen. A UX Writer should be included as part of the UX Research phases, where he/she can have access to recordings from User Interviews. It helps them in understanding the user's point of view. The tone to be used, should there be humor? Or how educated the target user is. Everything has to be considered while speaking in the language of the user. Above all, it provides meaning to your design from a very early stage. UX Writing should be inculcated as a practice in a design process. It should never be the end task to be completed before the final product release. It is specifically catered towards writing for online platforms and products, so it can be considered as a specialized form of writing. I think even the designers get a gist of it after designing so many interfaces where ever action is incomplete without the content.

UX Writing with meaningful words

Let's gear up this part of the blog with some of the examples from the web, where UX Writing is used at specific product states.
  • Here we have an example of a 404 error page.  It gets difficult for the user to understand when they encounter a copy like- '404-Page Not Found.' They might end up wondering where the heck did the page go. It is always essential to pull users from situations like these and guide them to the correct path with the UX Copy.
  • A simple example of the usefulness of UX Writing in buttons. In the scenario below, you might end up thinking both the copies look correct. But, what if a user doesn't read the text 'Save Document' and just wants to go for the final action? In such scenarios, the button itself explains that it will save the document for them.
  • Then there are confirmation messages, once we sign up or any stage before confirming the action taken. Those messages, when written in the first person, helps the user to relate, acknowledge, and make them feel in charge of the action they are taking.
  • The words you write on the interface should also help in enhancing the experience of the users.
UX Writing is as essential as any other component of UX Design. Engage your users and help your products speak effectively.

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