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UX writing – clear messages for a next-level user experience

Successful UX writing is (also) a question of empathy.
Image: © ronstik / Adobe Stock

What is UX writing?

UX stands for “user experience” and UX writing (also referred to as UX copy) is the art of creating user-friendly texts for digital products. The aim is to intuitively lead end users to where they want to go. That in turn is intended to give users a straightforward and enjoyable experience that motivates them to come back.

With that in mind, good UX writing – in contrast to traditional ad copy creation – requires an in-depth understanding of the product in question, for example an app or online course. In many cases, a successful UX text also demands a sound grasp of psychology, since the better that content creators are in touch with how end users think, the better they can optimally direct and guide them from the first to last click through a few powerfully written text passages.

UX: text and design are inseparable

UX writing and content design go hand in hand, so if you want to write a successful text for digital products, it’s essential to consider how the content will be displayed on mobile devices or a desktop and how users will interact with the content.

A key aspect of this is microcopy, which consists of all the text snippets that make it easier for people to use a design, such as button texts, navigation labels, and CTAs. For these content elements to have a positive impact on the user experience, it’s again down to the copywriters to communicate the core message in a few words or characters, while always keeping the subsequent content design in mind.

To ensure that even the smallest bits of microcopy are received well by the target group, it’s also important to write not only succinctly and clearly, but in a way that reflects the target group’s language as well.

A detailed target group analysis and corresponding corporate language guide serve as a basis for this.

UX writing: opportunities and challenges

When users enjoy interacting with a text, the company behind it can benefit in a number of ways:

  • Good usability of digital products boosts their appeal and increases customer satisfaction and loyalty on a long-lasting basis.
  • Digital products can act as brand ambassadors and thus offer meaningful added value because users can be addressed more actively in an app, for example, than would be the case with traditional advertising methods. This extra added value can provide a competitive advantage over rivals.
  • When UX writing is implemented in a targeted manner, it can also help maximize the company’s sales. Even just a skillfully designed and placed CTA button can make the difference in terms of whether or not a purchase is made.

5 valuable tips for successful UX writing

Although the advantages offered by UX copy are enormous, creating user-friendly texts is no easy task. That’s because every little word matters in UX writing and directly influences the user experience. We have put together five useful tips to help you master the challenges of UX writing:

  1. Be clear and not wordy: Keep instructions and microcopy short and to the point. Easy-to-understand and error-free content is the first step to increasing user-friendliness.
  2. Active over passive: Active wording captures the attention of readers much better than lots of passive sentences strung together. If you want to optimally navigate users through a digital product, e.g. an app, you should therefore avoid the passive voice.
  3. The question-answer technique: Good UX copy always contains an exchange of questions and answers. To ensure that readers easily get their bearings, you should therefore answer any potential questions while writing your texts – especially before they even occur to the end users themselves.
  4. Teamwork: UX writing is usually highly effective when the text and visual design harmonize as a well-oiled team. For that reason, it’s crucial that the content and design teams work together closely.
  5. Readability: A successful UX text is one that can be understood immediately. So use short paragraphs, subheadings, lists, CTAs, etc. to give users a clear structure from the very start.

Good UX writing takes practice

UX writing gives readers exactly what they need – user-friendly digital products that are fun to interact with. If you want to take your user experience to the next level, you should make UX writing a part of your DNA.

By making your content clear and to the point, users will be effectively called to action and given the right information at the right time in an impactful way.

In turn, you will be rewarded with satisfied and loyal customers in the long term.

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