Although my background is in advertising, for the whole four years, I’ve been working in Saatchi & Saatchi’s Creative Execution Team. We focused on building digital solutions: not only banners and social media stuff but websites and apps too.
The team I was a part of consisted of copywriters, graphic designers, front-end developers, project managers, and UX designers. Pretty soon, I started to learn some HTML, CSS, and Python, as well as obtained basic knowledge of tools outside the copywriting expertise, including UXPin, Marvel, and Adobe Photoshop.
After years in advertisement agencies, I yearned to work on something actually useful. I firmly believe that creating a copy that enables users to understand the product they want to use is a great way to use my talents and do that.
Working on some more UX-focused projects, I discovered that some of my copywriting skills come in handy. Here are my five tips on using your existing content creation skills to start with UX Writing.
Know the client
Write copy that derives from your clients’ style guides. If there is no guide, focus on making the content consistent with previous publications. Use a voice that the end-users expect and understand.
Understand the user
Think about the function of the piece of copy you’re designing. Always try to match your copy level with the target audience. For example, if writing onboarding microcopy for an international mobile app for teenagers, use lower grade level copy. That way, more people, including non-native speakers and younger audiences, will understand your onboarding easily. Write the most straightforward copy possible, eliminate unnecessary synonyms and other inconsistencies.
Focus on quality
Don’t be shy about using apps (such as Grammarly or Hemingway), dictionaries, and other resources. Everybody does it, and for a good reason. Your job is not to know all the words or to always remember about the coma. As a UX Writer, you need to be able to find the most proper words and a way to shape them into a concise, unambiguous message. Use everything you know improves the overall quality of your writing.
Learn the software
Be on top with all new features of the soft you use. Try all of it, just to see if something helps you achieve your goals faster or easier. Understand how text formatting works and how to build content in a way that maximizes its readability. Use headlines, paragraphs, lists, and quotes.
Embrace the restrictions
The main thing about UX Writing, in my opinion, is to continually remember yourself about the purpose and placement of the message you’re creating. Recognize the restrictions – the maximum number of characters, current conventions, searchability, and SEO-friendliness.
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