Understanding UX Writing
Imagine going to a place for the first time without any directions to help you get there. Tough right? Downright frustrating.
This is exactly what happens when you try to navigate a website or a mobile application that does not have words to direct your actions.
This is where UX writing comes into play.
In the world of product design, UX writing is as important as the design of the product. This is because it is also what makes up the product.
Writing content with careful consideration of people’s settings, needs, and behaviours is known as “user experience” (UX) writing.
UX writing, just like UI design, guides the user on what to do and determines the tone of the experience; instead of pixels, it guides with words.
Joshua Porter coined the name for this type of writing, “a microcopy.” This is the text or expressions in the user interface that are specifically related to the activities a user performs: before they act, the instructions that accompany an action, and, of course, the feedback a user receives after acting.
See the image below
A microcopy is essential because it directs every action a user takes on the interfaces. The quality of the copy can make or break a product.
A UX writer plans and writes the microcopy in apps, websites, and other digital products users need to navigate a product.
I’m sure you are wondering how this differs from every other writing form. Don’t sweat it. Read on, and I hope you’ve got your jotting pads with you.
Characteristics of a Microcopy
- It speaks the users’ language:
Think of it this way: you are commissioned to come up with a microcopy for a mobile or website application that sees to the needs of business owners.
Business owners are interested in making sales; your copy should speak their language, meaning, it should let them know why taking an action would help their business.
2. It guides the user on actions to take:
When you check the landing page of a website, there are mostly two actions to take. The primary action and the secondary action Your copy will direct users to the appropriate action. In most cases, we want them to carry out the primary action.
3. It is simple to understand:
This is not the time to show that you have a strong command of grammar. Remember, UX is about making the experience seamless for users. There should be no jargon except for industrial lingo that your audience is attuned to.
4. It uses the right tonality:
Every organisation has its tonality, and your copy should reflect this. Tonality ranges from cooperative to friendly, among other things.
5. It is well structured:
Your copy has to be well structured, making it easy to scan the content. Paying attention to the way the information is presented is important. The usage of interactive elements such as anchor links and accordions is also important as it helps users find whatever information they need quickly.
Functions of a Microcopy.
- Creates a satisfying experience for users:
One thing a microcopy does is make users feel at ease while navigating the sites. It adds depth to the interface. Communication isn’t complete without words, and users respond better to words that don’t sound robotic.
As a UX writer or designer, your goal is to ensure that your users can take action where necessary because of the phrases you use to communicate with them. Users are engaged by words, which might make them smile or assuage their concerns.
Again, your microcopy is important.
Remember one of the characteristics of microcopy? reflecting the right tonality. Here it is. This is another key function of a microcopy. It differentiates one brand from another. Cowryrise, PiggyVest, and Rise might offer almost the same services, but their brand tones differ. This is evident in their copies.
Before you start writing that microcopy, ensure you’ve researched and understood the brand you’re writing for. A deep understanding of the brand will reflect in your copy and distinguish it from competitors.
It will promote your brand’s vision and values, pinpoint essential messages for your target audience, and offer a genuine and cohesive experience.
When talking about a good user experience, usability is one of the core characteristics. Usability refers to the product’s ease of use. In this instance, it means your copy makes it easy to navigate the interfaces.
Consider browsing a website or mobile app with no words to guide you through the steps to take. Yeah, I turned my nose up at it too. I don’t even want to imagine such a thing.
How about going to a website where the copy and the interface are just confusing? As a user, you’ll abandon the website and probably not use it again.
Therefore, your copy should be right where it should be. It shouldn’t confuse users or contradict the design. Remember, you want their experience to be as simple and easy as possible.
So there you have it, the uniqueness of UX writing. UX writing is an important aspect of UI/UX design and web development that should not be overlooked. It plays a major role in ensuring the users have a good experience.
Do you think you have what it takes to be a good UX writer? Let me know, and I’ll see if I can help you with an article on that.
Hey, hit the clap icon and give yourself 50 claps for reading to the end. You just increased your knowledge.