You most likely have heard of copywriting, technical writing, and content writing — but what’s UX writing? As a UX Writer at a startup for a little over a year now, I‘m happy to share what makes this role unique.
So, what’s a UX Writer?
UX (user experience) Writers write the text found throughout user experiences. This writing guides users and can be found in the sign-up, onboarding, and customer service processes.
Some examples of UX writing you may be familiar with include the copy on sign-in forms or the navigation buttons at the top of a webpage.
What are some must-have skills for an aspiring UX Writer?
In addition to excellent writing skills, UX Writers need:
- Strong communication skills
A UX Writer needs to advocate for their users (the people using the experience) while also understanding their internal team member’s constraints and workloads.
Often a UX Writer will have to pitch creative solutions to their teammates, keeping in mind the fast pace of Agile environments.
At times this can mean suggesting changing particular words on a button, or in some cases, they will need to advocate for larger changes like restructuring an FAQ page.
Is copywriting the same as UX writing?
Although you will often see copywriting roles masquerading as UX writing roles when browsing job boards, they’re not the same.
Copywriters will typically work with the marketing team and focus on creating copy to sell products or services. UX Writers will collaborate with designers, developers, and marketers in order to create copy that guides users through experiences.
Other titles you will often see used to describe UX Writers include: Technical Writer, Content Designer, Content Strategist, and Conversation Designer.
How can I become a UX Writer?
If the thought of becoming a UX Writer excites you, I recommend starting by understanding the process for creating user-centered copy.
Start building your foundational knowledge by reading books on the topic. I highly recommend the following books to start:
- Strategic Writing for UX by Torrey Podmajersky — Clearly defines the copy you will need to write for different scenarios like titles, CTAs, empty states, notifications, and more. Also provides examples and best practices.
- Content Design by Sarah Richards — Provides easy methods you can put into practice right away for user research, job stories, and more. Also includes a section on how you can best maintain the content, something crucial that teams often neglect.
- Think Like a User Researcher by David Travis & Philip Hodgson — This is essentially my user research guidebook. When I first became a UX Writer, I found it difficult to find information online on how to effectively conduct user research. This book features robust sections on how to plan, conduct, and analyze user research. There’s even a section on how you can build a career in the UX space.
I also recommend bookmarking the following websites for additional reference:
After learning more about UX writing, I recommend learning more about yourself. Why do you want to become a UX writer?
Understanding your reasons for pursuing this role will help you navigate additional steps — like building a portfolio or creating your website.