User experience (UX) copywriting involves writing copy with the purpose of guiding users through the steps needed to accomplish a goal. It’s one of the more valuable B2B copywriting tools, as technical writers with these skills are in demand. Some even call it a “unicorn skill” in the design world, as skilled coders are not always skilled writers.
Menu button options, call to action buttons, headlines and subheaders, notifications, and tooltips are all types of UX writing you may be familiar with. These examples highlight the major difference between UX writing vs copywriting—UX copywriting is more technical and product-oriented to help existing customers, while copywriting is usually more sales-oriented to attract prospects.
Thinking about breaking into UX copywriting? Then keep reading—we’ll show you what a day in the life of a UX writer looks like and how you can become one.
What Does a UX Copywriter Do?
UX copywriters work with an entire team to create copy for a digital experience that prioritizes the user. On a day-to-day basis, here’s what a UX copywriter might do:
- Envision, write, and edit copy for apps, web pages, and backend experiences
- Distill complex ideas down into approachable language that assists first-time and experienced users
- Meet with designers, marketers, product managers, and others stakeholders to review and edit copy for current design work
- Brainstorm solutions for complex experience challenges where copy is involved
- Review UX copy across large features to ensure continuity and flow
- Prepare microcopy for elements like tooltips, CTAs, success messaging, errors, menu buttons, etc.
- Research what end users need, then use those insights to improve current copy
- Stay informed about or implement a company’s copy style guidelines
- Maintain a repository of shared resources, workflows, and standards
- Test user interfaces to ensure copy functions as intended
How Do I Learn UX Copywriting?
Many UX writers start out in technical or copywriting positions, which require similar skills needed in UX writing. Learning how to write UX copy will be a bit easier for those with writing backgrounds. Wherever you might be in your writing career, here are four tips to help you break into the field of UX copywriting:
1. Pay Attention to UX Copy
Some of the best UX copy will guide you through an experience without ever calling attention to itself. With that in mind, you’ll need to make a concerted effort to read and study the UX copy you interact with on a regular basis. What do your favorite apps write in their notifications? How is the menu laid out on a platform you visit frequently? Take note of what works and what doesn’t, and use that knowledge to fuel your own writing.
2. Take a UX Copywriting Course
If you’re newer to the UX copywriting space, consider taking a course to learn the basics. Start with a free UX writing course or two to see if this is the right career for you. You can also invest in some of the paid options out there, like the UX writing course by Google. These courses can get you up to speed on UX copywriting best practices, foundational concepts, and UX portfolio creation.
3. Get Familiar with UX Design
The great thing about UX design is that you’re likely already familiar with it from your own interactions with digital interfaces. However, thinking like a UX designer is a bit different than going through the experience yourself. You have to be able to deftly navigate the application or website you’re working on—only then can you help users to find their way around. Note the design choices your favorite websites make, and consider creating a practice website for a little hands-on experience.
4. Choose Your Tools Wisely
As a UX writer, you’ll wear many hats that require writing and research skills. The tools you use should be able to support both. For example, you can use different apps to check your grammar and readability. The Hemingway App is a popular choice, as it can detect passive voice and hard-to-read phrases, which is especially important for clear and concise UX copy.
Slice is another excellent tool for professional writers. While other writing applications, like Google Docs or Microsoft Word, support general word processing, they lack project management and research organization capabilities. With Slice, you get all of the above! Here’s a small peek at what you can accomplish with our platform:
- Divide your writing projects into smaller ideas
- Organize your saved webpages and other research resources for easy access
- Delegate tasks to various team members, specify due dates, and monitor status
- Collaborate with others simultaneously to review and edit copy
- Clip and save webpages with the handy Slice web clipper browser extension
- Read through saved articles without the distractions of website sidebars, ads, comment sections, and other details that can easily pull you off course
- Customize the layout for your unique needs
If you’d like to see these features in action, sign up for Slice today!