The last decade has seen the rise of new terms and positions in the writing industry. While content strategy and design are among them, the UX content writer has found a home in many business positions. It’s often confused with UI designers, but there’s a clear difference between them.

In this article, we’ll look at what functions a UX content writer performs, why they’re vital to a business’s success, and the top 10 skills they need to add value in any industry.

What Is A UX Content Writer?

What Is UX Content Writing?

Back in the day, one of the main focal points of products was the user interface. It enables users to interact with the program or system, giving them access to specific functions. It consisted of buttons, windows, pages, shortcuts, and menus. 

However, users weren’t always satisfied with navigation through clunky websites or pages. Finding items could be challenging, or the overall theme was terrible to look at, leading to complaints. These issues gave rise to the user experience, also known as UX.

Don Norman first used the term ‘user experience’ in 1990 while working at Apple. While the notion has been around for thirty years, it’s only in the last decade that companies started focusing on improving the users’ experience by employing UX content writers. Four main elements were established as a basis:

  • How users discover the product
  • The actions they take while interacting with the interface
  • Which feeling and thoughts surface while performing tasks
  • The overall impression when done

So what is a UX content writer? They’re responsible for providing the text you see when you interact with a product. If you’re on a website that directs to a bad page, you’ll notice a 404 error explaining what happened. The UX content writer is responsible for delivering that content in a friendly and helpful way. 

What Is A UX Content Writer?

The Difference Between UX Writing And UI Designing

The UI designer creates the interface that users will click on and use to navigate the product. The UX content writer delivers the explanations and guides on how to use the interface and what to do when things go wrong. In the end, the UX writer’s primary purpose is to improve the user’s experience, while the UI designer makes it possible to use the product correctly.

The main point is that you don’t need a complex UI to deliver a fantastic UX. Even the simplest of designs can provide an excellent experience. Ultimately, it comes down to whether the UI meets your expectations.

For a bit of fun, we’ve collected some practical examples from UX experts to further show the difference between the UX and UI.

How it looks and functions.
Restaurant analogy: Chairs, plates, utensils.
How it solves a problem.
Restaurant analogy: Food, lighting, music.
Tangible elements.
Skills: Information, brand, and motion design.
Conceptual aspects.
Skills: Strategy, research, interaction.
The Components.
Cake analogy: Icing, flavor, presentation.
The reason you want it.
Cake analogy: Your craving and if it satisfies your appetite.
Focus On The Product.
The bridge that takes you to where you want to be.
Focus On The User.
How you feel when you get there.
Product Interaction.
Online order analogy: Colour, themes, buttons, menus.
Product Experience.
Online order analogy: Placing, receiving, and satisfaction with the order.

The Significance of UX Content Writers

There was a time when coding was seen as a rare skill. Finding coders was challenging since it was a new concept. These days, there are so many programmers in the industry that you can quite comfortably find one online.

After UI designers created new designs and functions through coding, businesses realized that they needed UX content writers to improve the experience. UX is a vital part of your content strategy. It wasn’t merely about providing text for menus and buttons. There was a dire need for using as little text as possible, but also the correct words. 

One aspect that sets UX content writers apart from other writing disciplines is that they can’t work in isolation from other team members. The UX writer and UI designer usually work hand-in-hand together, crafting the perfect marriage between the user’s interaction and experience. Without the UX writer, you’ll end up with an empty product that may frustrate clients.

The UX Writer’s Role In Production Teams

Leading from our previous point on teamwork, there are specific responsibilities for the UX content writer. There’s a misconception that the UX writer merely receives the design and then creates the content. This notion is far from the truth.

Here are the top responsibilities of a UX content writer:

  • Crafting style guides and guidelines, which include the right perspective and tone
  • Looking at the long-term strategy, instead of immediate goals (evergreen content)
  • Focusing on the narrative, design, and flow to improve user experience
  • Integrating data and statistics into the content
  • Aligning the content with stakeholder and business goals
  • Linking metrics and indices with your content

As you can see from the above, it isn’t all about the user. Sure, that’s the ultimate objective. However, the UX content writer needs to first look at the business objectives and transform them into an outstanding user experience.

Let’s use another practical example here to highlight our point. Your employer wants to have the best website for plumbing and maintenance in the city. 

The UX writer will attempt to assist with this goal, creating interface content that will give the user a lasting experience, bringing them back for more. What’s more, they may even invite friends and family to use the same service. 

It’s the difference between a 404 error coming up blank and a page that apologizes for the problem and redirecting them to a page that works.

What Is A UX Content Writer?

Top 10 UX Content Writer Skills

Now that you understand what a UX content writer is, you may be wondering if you have what it takes to be one. On the other hand, you may be a company interested to know what qualities a UX content writer should have. 

Here’s our list of the top 10 skills of UX content writer.

  1. Designer Mindset
  2. Excellent Listening
  3. Development Of Relationships
  4. Willingness To Learn
  5. Writing Experience With UX Elements
  6. Crafting UX With Multiple Platforms
  7. Connecting Design To Strategy
  8. Data Experience
  9. Research And Networking
  10. Health-checks And Analysis

1. Designer Mindset

Although the UX content writer doesn’t focus on the themes and colors, there should still be some thought on the overall design. How the user uses the product and travels through the site is significant to understanding how it can improve. It’s for this reason that they must work so closely with the UI designer.

Many times, changing the design and user functions stems from complaints or bad reviews. You’ll have a better reputation if you can prevent any issues from the start. Take a look at competition products that have high ratings and see how you can implement similar content.

2. Excellent Listening

A UX writer will receive feedback from several quarters. Sometimes it’s hard to see bad reviews or when there’s criticism from the team. The best strategy you can use is to ignore the clutter and focus on the constructive feedback that benefits you.

There are three primary sources of information you’ll have to pay attention to. The first is the management team, who will ask you to align the content to the business goals. The production team will also share their thoughts, explaining how your work integrates with theirs. Most importantly, clients will provide feedback on the user experience. 

3. Development Of Relationships

The skill above leads into the next one. It’s mainly about building and maintaining vital relationships. We aren’t only referring to management and team members, but also talking about stakeholders, partners, and other parties.

Sometimes the stakeholders will end up being the end-user. If your company is creating a specific product for a single client, your key focus will be that party’s experience. You can hold meetings with them or even get them involved in the development stages with samples and drafts.

4. Willingness To Learn

Have you ever heard the expression that you can’t fill a cup that’s already full? UX content writing is still a relatively new industry. Therefore, don’t fool yourself that there’s nothing left to learn.

Set yourself up with continuous education and development. You can join social media groups that discuss progress and new innovations. In that way, you can ensure that you’ll always be ahead in the game.

5. Writing Experience With UX Elements

Have you ever heard the expression that you can’t fill a cup that’s already full? UX content writing is still a relatively new industry. Therefore, don’t fool yourself that there’s nothing left to learn.

Set yourself up with continuous education and development. You can join social media groups that discuss progress and new innovations. In that way, you can ensure that you’ll always be ahead in the game.

6. Crafting UX With Multiple Platforms

We’ve mentioned before that UX content writers need to deliver short sentences with a powerful impact. This feature is known as a microcopy. In 95% of cases, you’ll be expected to produce in this format.

However, there are cases where you may have to write in long-form. It could consist of pages giving detailed information on how to order different products or which payment methods work best. Either way, you’ll need to be able to deliver both microcopy and long-form content.

7. Connecting Design To Strategy

If you take anything away from this article, let it be this point that we’ve made several times. The top skill you’ll need as a UX content writer is the ability to connect design to strategy. You can think of it as translating the company’s business plan into the user’s experience.

It’s for this reason that companies value UX content writers. They’re activating both of the brain’s hemispheres. It involves logical, critical, and analytical thinking for the goals and strategies, and converting them into creative and friendly content. 

8. Data Experience

Many occasions call for UX content writers to deal with data and statistics. While they may not code any functions for creating the data, they may need to present them so that users will understand. The UX writer will discuss with the UI designer how to show the information in a user-friendly way.

There may be other content involved too. For instance, the writer may need to explain what the data or stats mean, or how the reader should interpret it. It’s significant that the UX writer grasps what the numbers mean. Otherwise, they won’t be able to interpret it for the user.

9. Research And Networking

How will you know what the user wants or who the target audience is? Research. You need to go the extra mile to find out what will make the experience better. You can’t sit back, hoping that your best work is enough.

Client surveys usually assist with seeing whether you’ve met their needs. You can also network with others in your industry to see what they’re doing and what issues they are encountering.  Learn from their past mistakes to ensure that you don’t repeat them.

10. Health-checks And Analysis

One of the tasks that will keep you busy on a daily basis is checking on the health of your content. Besides making sure you’re reaching business goals, you may want to look if your metrics and stats are up-to-date. It may be tough to grind through it at first, but you’ll get used to it after a few weeks.

In the end, it all comes down to the user experience. The demand changes over time. While your content may keep clients happy now, they may want something new in the future. Keep an eye out for recent complaints or requests so you can stay on top of the competition.

Final Thoughts

The significant role of a UX content writer will rise in the coming years as user expectations grow. While some believe the UI design should form part of their tasks, we feel it’s integral that design and writing functions remain separate. We look forward to seeing how their roles in numerous industries increase in the next few years.

If you’re a UX content writer, feel free to share your experience with us and your part in the design process.