Many people believe that UX design is all about creating slick, engaging images and top-notch user flows. While those things have their merits, UX designers do much more than that.
UX writing is an essential skill in developing an app or solving a UX problem for a client. UX writing is when we craft UI text to communicate with a product/service user. UX writing includes valuable text like instructions, buttons, menus, just-in-time warnings, etc.
This article will analyze what you need to look out for even before you start writing. After that, we will explore ten crucial tips for UX writing that every UX designer should know.
Practical Tips and Tricks to Improve Your UX Writing
As with UX design in general, UX writing is about achieving a goal. Think of a wireframe you have created: The first thing you do when designing is to identify the real problem and set out to find the right solution. The same goes for UX writing.
Accordingly, before you start writing, make sure that you:
- Have identified the UX problem;
- Understand the goals of the client’s digital product;
- Are familiar with the target audience;
- Know the style and tone of voice you should use.
Once you are familiar with all of the above, you are ready to start writing. Let us explore all the tips and tricks you can follow to improve your UX writing.
1. Be Concise
This is one of the most important tips concerning UX writing. UX designers should always seek the shortest path from point A to point B. This is not only true for UX writing.
So conciseness is all about shortening your sentences and writing only what is necessary. This way, you’ll achieve a better user experience. Remember that most people tend to quickly scan instead of actually reading.
2. Be Clear and Helpful
If you are concise, the text you write will be clear and valuable. Since our goal is a compelling user experience, you should avoid being wordy. Our text needs to be helpful to the reader. What does a user need to know about the product or service?
All you need to do is anticipate what users need and what they are concerned about. Then, by analyzing your target audience, you can easily remove unnecessary text and make your UX text clear and useful.
3. Be Positive
You want the user to have a positive feeling when they first engage with your digital product. Well, for the target audience to be positive, your writing needs to be positive as well. To achieve that, you should avoid negative statements.
Of course, this is not a rule that you must always follow. For example, using “don’t” is not always bad because you can use it for emphasis. Nevertheless, try to avoid such words when describing your product or service.
4. Be Consistent
Consistency has everything to do with sticking to the guidelines you (or a client) set at the beginning of the UX project. Your UX text must always match the style and tone you have chosen.
Try to pay attention to details. For example, when it comes to numbers, you can write 2,000 follows, 2.000 follows, and 2000 follows. It does not matter which you choose, as long as you remain consistent throughout the project.
5. Use Active Voice
Although it is not always wrong to write in the passive voice, the active voice is generally more helpful for UX writing. Your text will be more precise, tailored to your audience, and more potent with the active voice. And when your written text is clear and powerful, it is also more engaging.
6. Don’t Get Wordy
In most cases, when you are done writing, you believe that your text is clear and valuable. And that’s reasonable. However, it is wise to reread your text and delete all the filler words.
Adjectives and adverbs are usually unnecessary, and you can remove them from your UX text.
7. Choose Strong Verbs
But if you have no adjectives and adverbs, how can you emphasize and strengthen your text? All you need to do is use the correct persuasive verb. Strong verbs help you formulate compelling CTAs without being wordy.
8. Use “You” Words
Now that we have mentioned CTAs, there is nothing more convincing than the word “you.” Words and phrases like “you,” “you will,” “you are,” “you have,” “your,” “yours,” etc., are the best way to connect with your target audience and let them be the leading character on your UX Journey Map.
9. Avoid Articles and Exclamation Points
Although it may sound bizarre, the use of articles is not necessary for people to understand what you are saying. The same goes for exclamation points. Of course, you can use exclamation points for emphasis, but not always. Save them for the most exciting aspects of your project.
10. Don’t Use UX Writing to Point Out UI
This is a widespread mistake made by us UX designers. If you have to point out an interface element of your design with text, there is probably something wrong with the design.
Remember, UX text is not about explaining your user interface; it’s about providing valuable and transparent information about your digital product.
You should keep in mind that the above tips are only guidelines and not strict rules. For example, there are occasions when the passive voice or an exclamation point should be used in UX writing. In any case, you will be one step closer to your goal if you make sure that your UX text is concise, clear, valuable, and consistent.