What is UX Writing?
Besides being a current buzzword, UX writing is simply the copy used on interfaces to guide a user through a product or service.
How is UX Writing different from copywriting?
Despite what you might hear in the industry, there’s really not much difference. UX writing is a specific form of copywriting, but ultimately they both have the same principles, which are:
Understand where the user is in their journey
Establish a consistent voice and adjust copy for tone
Maximize impact with as few words as possible
The one key difference? Good UX writing shouldn’t distract, only inform and help the user (where as standard ad copywriting is meant to seize attention)
Let’s see some examples….
Mobile App UX writing
OfferUp Payment UX
Problem: Create UI text and visuals to introduce a new payment system by OfferUp (in select markets)
Insight: According to Statista research, trust and convenience are the biggest factors for users to consider when using a mobile payment system.
Approach: Create a series of screens to introduce customers to the product, while re-assuring them that security and privacy are our utmost concern.
Solution: Use a casual, exciting tone to introduce the service, followed by a simple UI with visual graphics to show how it works. Create engaging microcopy and a content ecosystem to help users find what they need. Finally, show why mobile payments through OfferUp make sense, and create an easy order screen to save and submit card details.
Email design and UX writing
This was a real email by Cody, a fitness app directed and coached by health experts.
Problem: Increase engagement by improving the look and copy of the current email message.
Insight and Approach: Current design looks outdated and too copy-reliant. Use a more dynamic visual approach to capture reader interest and make it “skimmable”.
strategy: Simplify, connect with emotion.
Visual imagery are an important tool for any effective UX writer. These days I need to wear many hats, so creating images that capture attention is part of my work.
Change: Created a more interesting graphic to lead the email, adding a branded logo for the exercise (Also, I wish I could do this headstand).
Let the headlines guide the reader
Let’s face it, most audiences are skimmers. According to the Nielsen Norman Group, not only do users skim content in an F-pattern, but they typically only read the first few lines of text before moving on.
Bullets, lists, and headlines are all things users know and love. I created a series of bullet points to summarize information rather than conveying the same information through wordy paragraphs.
I use headlines to grab attention, and entice readers to keep reading.
In short, I make it easy for readers to get the information they want quickly.
CALL your audience into action
Effective CTA’s can separate a bad UX writer from a good one. Here’s an example of what I would consider a poor CTA:
But research has shown these types of CTA’s are ineffectual. Rather than trying to “bait” your reader, give them an idea of what happens if they click on your link, while creating interest in as few words as possible.
Notice i said “See how it works” not “learn how it works” or “ learn more”. This gives the reader the idea that if they click, they will see something that will visually show them how it works, not to simply read more text.
Digital Banner Ads
No one really likes banner ads to be honest. But every once in a while, you might see one that entices you to click.
This was an ad in a series of banner ads I created for Nintex, as part of my job at Fjuri.
Problem: Create some compelling copy around the word “workflow automation”, a complex, sometimes nebular term to describe a form of automated commands to connect your apps and make work easier. Sound complicated? It is.
Approach: Answer the question that most users might have in their head.
Note that rather than use a general term such as “download” or “learn more”, I used “Request Demo”. This is a bit more of a specific call to action, and gives the user an idea what happens when they click on the link.
The revised copy resulted in a 5-10% bump in click through rate.
Do you have other questions about email copy? Would you like to see more examples? Ask me here.