Tools for UX Writers: What’s out there and what’s missing
There are a couple of tools that I have found to be useful, but I would love to hear what else is out there…
Find & Replace plugin for Sketch
Ok, it’s not very high-tech, but it’s oh-so-useful! Like when you realise you need to change American spelling to British throughout the whole file.
Now, maybe I am using it wrong, but not all the text that should be replaced always is. I am sure there is a reason, but I am yet to find out.
What’s missing 1: a general search function for Sketch
You know when you’re working on your 400th screen and you vaguely remember that somewhere you used this one particular term, but you don’t have the faintest idea where. Yeah, that happens to me a lot. What I would love then to solve this is a simple text search function.
What’s missing 2: a glossary for Sketch
I don’t mean a glossary of Sketch terms, but rather the ability to add terms (specific to your product) to a glossary. I would also like to be able to add unauthorised synonyms, so that when someone types, a suggestion with the correct term would pop up. Something like Shopify’s Rorybot would be fantastic.
I know that a feature like this requires some thought, as it could quickly get annoying if the suggestions were to pop up left, right and centre. Would it be possible to associate terms with components? For example, a search bar could be associated with list A, but the top navigation with list B.
Spell Check plugin for Sketch
This is such an obvious one that I almost did not mention it. However, since I spent at least 6 months at my first job as a UX Writer without it, I thought I’d better.
This is also a good tool, especially, when you need some help figuring out which of two or more competing terms to use. It won’t, of course, give a definitive answer, but, at least, you can start the conversation with some data (especially if a good amount of money has been invested in marketing a term that doesn’t seem to be flying off the shelves).
This was recommended by Fares Farhan . We are yet to try it, but looks promising.
In an ideal world, the visual design starts only once the wireframes and the content have been finalised. Alas, we don’t live in an ideal world, which means we often need to change copy directly in the VD files. Try as I might, my clumsy, elephant-like ways always seem to leave marks all over the VD.
Notebook is supposed to put a stop to that. I can leave comments easily, instead of changing the content and messing up the file.
On the other hand, I could just make the changes and leave red dots next to each element. Time will tell what works best.
Once you’ve read something a thousand times, or if you are simply tired and stressed, you might start to think that your ability to speak English has abandoned you. You no longer have any idea whether something sounds good or bad, right or wrong, English or Chamicuro (apparently eight people in the world speak Chamicuro). Hearing your content read aloud by someone else can really help. It distances you from the text and let’s you hear what you’ve written as if for the first time.
As I was about to publish this, my awesome colleague Yan Ling Tan sent me this:
4 reasons we love Figma at Deliveroo
Content-first design, telepathy and more thoughts from a Product Designer/Content Designer duo
Could this be the tool to solve all our problems?
Have tips, trick or tools up your sleeve? Don’t be selfish, share them with the rest of us! ☺