Many people think that top-notch user flows and polished, captivating visuals are the only things that UX design really entails. While each of those items has merit, UX designers go well beyond that, and that is where UX writing becomes relevant.
When creating an app or resolving a client’s UX issue, UX writing is a crucial talent. UX writing is the process of creating UI text to interact with a user of a product or service. Instructions, buttons, menus, just-in-time warnings, and other useful information are all parts of user experience writing.
UX Writing Principles
1. Be Concise
Space constraints present the toughest problem for UX writers, especially if you’re developing a mobile application. For this reason, conciseness is at the top of the list of essential UX principles.
But what does concision really mean?
It means providing the most straightforward and concise explanations or writing of information or instructions.
Basically, concision is precision. That’s it.
Being concise doesn’t necessarily mean that something gets shorter, though it usually does. Instead, it implies that every word has a purpose and that you have eliminated any unnecessary words.
2. Avoid Jargon
The vast majority of people are not developers. And their understanding of computers is minimal at best. This is why it’s crucial that there be no technical jargon in your UX writing. In fact, even subject matter specialists prefer to read about a subject in everyday language.
That does not preclude you from offering further technical details. However, you shouldn’t use it as your main approach; it should only be an option used more sparingly.
As a general rule, write your UX at an 8th-grade reading level.
3. Be Positive
When a user engages with your digital product for the first time, you want them to feel good. Therefore, your writing must be positive for the target audience to feel good about your brand.
Of course, you are not required to abide by this guideline at all times. For example, you can emphasize a point by using the word “don’t.” However, try to stay away from using negative language when describing your goods or service.
4. Be Useful
Adding value for the user is one of your key responsibilities as a UX writer. At each stage of their journey, you must assist them as best you can. One of the fundamental concepts of UX writing is usefulness.
Always try to find strategies to lead the user in their desired direction. Making a strong CTA is one effective method to achieve that.
Consider what to write inside the CTA once you’ve taken care of its design, placement, size, and all the other crucial elements that contribute to its effectiveness. This is called microcopy, essentially copy that uses less space.
Here is how to present a clear picture of where you are taking your users:
If you want to be helpful, you shouldn’t be ambiguous with your users. Your job is to simplify things for them, not promote anything.
Writing in the passive voice is never a good idea, and this rule also applies to UX writing. You want the user to keep using the app and enjoy themselves. Language like “There are available cars around you” is not what you are looking for. Instead, simply use, “Get a ride.”
Provide Relevant Information
The user is curious as to what will occur when they click something. Keep in mind what is on the next page as you are writing, and give them a clear hint.
You should constantly try to be helpful to the user even if there isn’t a CTA. For example, let’s imagine you created a room reservation app, and the user attempted to book a room on a day when it wasn’t available. You could include more information than just “The room is not available,” such as “You can try these dates instead,” and then direct the user to available dates.
5. Be Consistent
Sticking to the guidelines you or your client established at the start of the UX project is crucial for consistency. Always adhere to the style and tone you have chosen for your UX text.
Try to focus on the little things. For instance, you can write 3,000 follows, 3.000 follows, or 3000 follows when referring to numbers. Whichever you decide on doesn’t matter as long as you stick with it the entire project.
You might find that UX writing is a more challenging task than you once thought but trust us, it is worth it. Every word on your website or app is a part of a conversation between you and your users. And as a designer, it’s your job to design this conversation to be effective.