Change is good: how team transition can benefit UX writers

Viktoria Kosiak
Apr 17, 2020 · 4 min read

Change is good. I bet that’s not what we usually think when changes catch us off guard.

And yet, change is movement. And the movement is key to innovation in any product company. And a growing product company is where changes are most likely to catch you off guard. For your own good, as it appears.

How UX writers work and experience change at Preply

At Preply, we are building an innovative learning space that connects tutors and students worldwide. UX writers here make part of cross-functional product teams (while being a functional team in itself). Each cross-functional team aims at improving a certain step of the user journey and certain North Star business metrics. Each copywriter contributes to that ultimate goal with friendly, intuitive and engaging writing.

When you write for a product team for some time, you naturally develop team synergy, deep-dive into a specific part of the product and, almost always, get attached to processes and people.

Since the latter often means a certain kind of a ‘comfort zone’, at some point our copy team lead at Preply spiced up my and my fellow UX writer’s routines by introducing us to a pretty big change — it was time to change product teams we were writing for.

How change felt at first

There’s an idea that we are all made of words. At the time, the prospect of change made us feel like we were a mix of excitement, opportunity, confusion, freshness, intimidation, sadness, challenge, change.

The change was pretty shocking to product managers and designers, too. Like with most changes in our lives, they feel pretty uncomfortable at first. Change means facing the unknown, be it a new product area or new people. But we all realized the company is growing and so should we, as professionals and individuals at work.

How I embraced the change

When I happened to pop in for the Wine Friday (a cute little ‘Friday 6 pm’ tradition of my then-new product team) on the 1st day of working with them, I knew we’ll get along. Not a bad start at all, right? Jokes aside, we really did get along because working with any team at Preply means growing together with hard-working visionaries, unstoppable on their path of experimentation towards better user experience.

Besides, team transition was easier for me when I took a more sensible, almost a philosophical view on the benefits it offered:

1.Perceive change as a chance to grow professionally

The change of my working routines and environment made me think of a UX writer as an integral puzzle piece to product teams. The more puzzles you can complete, the more value you bring to customers and the company. Team transition fosters a new skill set in a writer, exposing one to a different area where different writing and engagement techniques come into play (as when writing for acquisition VS for retention, for example).

2. Rejoice at an opportunity to work with new people

Embracing new team dynamics makes you a better team player, able to collaborate with various types of personalities at work. Soft skills will hardly lose their importance, regardless of all technological menaces.

3. Boost your adaptability skills, for FREE

Darwin once said “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change”. He was a hell of a sage, so I would rather listen. Rapid change is going to happen to you, and often. The more flexible you are, the higher is your chance for success in swiftly changing environments.

The power of change

In hindsight, as a UX writer, I benefited a lot from the team transition by exploring a fresh dynamic space that encouraged me to generate ideas, influence decisions and move the needle with meaningful copy tests. I am learning more about the product and customers, and how to help make the two into a perfect match with impactful words.

Indeed, we are all (especially UX writers!) made of words and now I feel like I associate with learning, vision, depth, continuity, solution, participation.

The job of a UX writer is to make words powerful and actionable in various contexts and use cases, not just one. Changes and challenges that yield opportunities to develop that skill often lie much closer than we think.

So seek and welcome change within your company and your team.

Change is good.

Thanks to Kate M. and Noah F.B.

Writing at Preply

How we cope with copy at Preply