With smartphones, computers and conversational interfaces like Siri and Alexa are dominating our daily lives even more than before there is a constant demand for UX Design being simpler, easier and invisible. UX design is no more just limited to content hierarchy, ease of navigation and good experience. It’s about making the machines more human and intuitive to use. Enter UX writing!
So what exactly is UX writing?
Even though a lot has been already said about what is a UX writing and how is it different from normal content already; I would like to sum it up as; a copywriter for user-facing touch points rather than for marketing purpose.
At Instinct Design Studio, we believe Good UX is the one that doesn’t make you think or take a pause and one of the most important factors that contribute to this invisible and ridiculously simple user experience is a simple explanation of things that need to be done.
Like I mentioned earlier; today we have machines who take our orders over the phone, make our grocery bills for us, help us in booking air tickets. Such kind of machines who respond in a form of conversation necessitate a new skill set: user experience professionals with deep understanding of narrative design and conversational design.
How is UX writing different from regular content writing?
Non-Creative | Basic | Minimal
Are the three words that sum up the best of UX writing. Content is such a tool that brings out the best and the worst of the user experience. I find myself in a situation a lot of times where I keep explaining my clients about how half of their UX issues are because the ambiguous language and that a well expressed and direct message to your audience can elevate user experience up to 20%.
Like user experience designer, UX writers also need to defend every sentence or the word choice they make and may have to back it up with enough data and research if necessary. At this point, their preference has to take a backseat.
From my experience of UX writing at instinct design studio, One does not have to have a marvellous language skills to be a good UX writer, in fact, the opposite. If you have the clear idea of what you want to communicate and about your ultimate goal, you can be a good UX writer. Here are 4 basic points one need to keep in mind while doing the UX writing.
Language is for communication and not to show off your vocabulary skills!
When it comes to delivering good user experience your primary focus should be on the purpose of the action that you want users to take. Hence communicating what needs to be done for achieving that result is most important.
Remember, your design will be used by a person and not a bot!
Use of unnecessary heavy jargons and technical language is only going to scare your users. Always study the cultural and educational background of your target, this will help you understand their behaviour and develop empathy towards them which in turn will help you write a copy that is friendly, understandable and convincing.
Don’t confuse, convey!
Too many call-to-actions, options to make decisions and too many choices on a single screen will end up making users confused, awkward and overwhelmed. Rather tell your audience about the exact action that needs to be taken and the result of that action so that they can take an informed decision. Over information about each and every step is also not a good choice, keep is short and concise.
Lastly, Keep it simple silly!
Passive voices, long sentences, double negatives, too many questions etc. are only going to increase the cognitive load on your users; rather talk to them in an active voice, present these and simple concise yet communicative language that also leads towards the conclusion. Try to make conversation instead of statements.