Digital content is only as good as the user interface (UI) it features. Even the best articles on the web are incomprehensible without a proper UI that follows it. To that end, developers, designers, and content creators came up with a new methodology of UI design – UX. User experience (UX) represents the literal “experience” that a reader, user or visitor has while using your content. UX goes far beyond writing a few sentences and calling it a day.
James Daily, a professional content creator, and founder of Brainished blog states: “I always point out the added value of UX writing to my clients. This has led to a great many successful websites which would otherwise fail to stand out.” It’s important to take these words into account when deciding what to do about your own content. Let’s take a look at what makes UX so important in today’s digital design trends and how you can implement them in your own content strategy.
UX writing basics
User experience writing stems from copywriting and content creation as baseline professions. This means that there are no “UX writers” specifically – any copywriter or content creator can work on UX projects. However, what makes UX writing different is the added context of understanding the audience. User interfaces for websites, applications, and blogs often need to cater to specific crowds.
In essence, writers create phrases, requests, messages, and prompts for UI, which then lead into UX. User experience is more of a product of writing rather than a process itself. To that end, UI writers are often paralleled to designers since their job descriptions cover psychology and web design principles.
Outsourcing UX writing
The field of UX and UI writing is still in its infancy. This means that writers are often free to pioneer new methods of solving problems. There is no right or wrong way to conduct UX writing – everything is up to specific projects, their audiences, and goals. This often leads to companies and teams outsourcing their UX writing needs through freelance platforms and other online services.
When it comes to editing existing content, there are several venues which you can explore. It can be a good idea to conduct some A/B testing before you outsource your writing without knowing what is wrong. Once you do that, you can turn to platforms such as Upwork, Canada-Writers, and Fiverr. These platforms allow you to outsource your UI content’s editing process to a professional. All you have to do is create a detailed brief and wait for someone to apply for your position.
Lastly, UX writing often leads to translation and localization into different languages. It is highly important that you hire a professional translator that understands the target language rather than attempt to translate by yourself.
Image source: Pixabay
UX before UI
“A common mistake that occurs in web and app design is the order in which things get done. Most teams design the UI and visual elements of their project without thinking about UX until much later,” shares Amanda Sparks, digital marketer and author of Top Down Writer blog. Swapping these two processes can lead to truly groundbreaking design solutions for one simple reason:
- UI design asks “How does this look?”
- UX writing asks “How does this feel?”
There is a vast difference in functionality and the experience of using a specific application or a service. Even mediocre content can still create leads and convert visitors into subscribers with proper UX planning. Make sure to ask yourself why you are creating a website or an application before you start the design process. It will paint a much clearer picture of your project going forward and motivate the entire team across the board.
One of the biggest hurdles in UI and UX design is compressing the information that needs to be communicated. UX writers often have a very limited spacing (counted in pixels) that serves as a canvas for their writing. This is why so many writers reluctantly accept UI and UX projects – they limit and challenge their creativity.
Eve Kline, a content author at Top Australia Writers shares her experience with UX writing: “I love taking on UI and UX projects. They really help me see how much I’ve learned over the years I’ve been working as a professional writer.” Anyone who is willing to step out of their comfort zone and work as a UX writer will find plenty of professional development opportunities.
Lastly, UX writing professionals get a rare chance to collaborate with everyone involved in the development of a new product. They are not isolated content creators whose sole purpose is to fill in the blanks. Their work needs to reflect whatever the design team came up with in visual branding. They are also very close with the project manager and site or app administrator in their work.
As Willem Wilson, a product manager at Best Writers Canada emphasizes, “UX writing is the connecting element between ideas and design solutions of the entire project team. Individuals who want to work as UX writers will have an opportunity to learn a lot about the entire development process of said products and services if they choose to do so.”
Show, don’t tell (Conclusion)
UX writing is a subtle skill, often invisible to the casual eye. The truth is that good UX writing goes unseen even by professionals. The secret to writing for UI is to learn as much as possible about the intended audience. Understand what makes them tick and see if you can anticipate their thought process in regards to products and services they like. Only then will you be able to provide adequate UI content for high-quality user experience.