5 reasons why you need a UX writer on your team

A picture is worth a thousand words - but for the average user, the picture gains clarity only with a few well-chosen words.

Reading Time8 minutes

Grammarly, QuillBot, ChatGPT…tell me again: exactly why does my company need a dedicated UX writer?

Let me tell you why.

Copywriter vs. UX writer vs. Technical writer 

- “What do you do at work?” a friend once asked me.

- “I write…stuff for my company.”

This definition is acceptable for people unfamiliar with your business branch who won’t understand the difference.

But in the digital marketplace, these differences matter.

Copywriters are often in the marketing team — they focus on promoting the product or service the company or its clients offer. Their writing needs to grab the audience’s attention and “provoke” some kind of a response, i.e., interaction with the brand.

UX writers are similar to tour guides — their writing leads the end-users through a software product or a website. Their goal is to aid the end-user in completing their journey as smoothly as possible and leave them with a positive experience.

Technical writers’ job is similar to architects’ - they aim to explain how things work or what they are in detail. 

  • Copywriters’ focal points are promotional materials like ads, newsletters, brochures, etc. 
  • UX writers’ focal points are interfaces of digital products.
  • Technical writers’ focal points are user manuals, technical documentation, knowledge base, etc.

Each role has its own place in the grand scheme of things: copywriters attract the users/customers on board, then UX writers take over and guide them, while technical writers ensure the quality of the product itself and the quality of product usage.

Why 6 when you can use 2?

The essence of UX writing is not in the text sounding “pretty” but in making the message crystal clear to every single user who reads the message, regardless of their digital competence. 

If you were to explain to someone how to complete an action (e.g., find a product on a website), you probably wouldn’t think about how much you speak. You would take as much time and words to explain the steps properly. UX writers rarely have that luxury, so their writing (a.k.a. microcopy) needs to be concise. If they can explain something in two words instead of six, they will. 

A good UX writer is expected to know certain things without being explicitly told - the functionalities of certain design elements and how to create microcopy that will reinforce their meaning. 

An excellent UX writer will work seamlessly within their digital product design team and anticipate the products and the team’s needs even before they articulate them.

Ensuring the “human touch”

The previous point brings us to perhaps the biggest challenge in the attempt to make the message clear and short: not sounding cold. So this is when you need some UX writing magic: a UX writer can take the dullest of instructions and breathe life into them. 

Using as few words as possible to explain something complex and for those words to be captivating is an art form in itself.

In the era of personalization and tailored content, a company with a digital product or a service needs a person who takes care not only of the message’s technical and grammatical correctness but also how the users experience the product/service while interacting with it.

Know thy brand

UX writers know their target audience and will use different means to prompt the user to perform a particular action - sometimes, they will instigate nostalgia, while at other times, they will sound bold and futuristic.

But a good UX writer will never disregard the brand guidelines. If they write a microcopy for a banking app, the error message won’t be “Aw, snap, something went wrong. You better check your connection.” Naturally, if a finance management app targets the younger population and they explicitly want to go with that approach, then this wording would be in order. 

If the brand’s personality isn’t cute and fuzzy, the wording will never sound like that, no matter how convenient a particular expression might seem - the wording reflects and complements the brand’s personality. 

Microcopy’s makeup artist

One of the main questions for the entire team is, “When and how does the conversation happen?” To find a response to this question and ensure that the client’s requirements are honored, a team can create a set of sub-questions. 

  • Should the microcopy be purely informative? 
  • Should it guide the end-user, e.g., on changing a password?
  • Should it entice the end-user to make a purchase?
  • Should it encourage the end-user to subscribe to a newsletter?

These are some of the questions UX writers would ponder over and, in responding to these questions, finetune all microcopy.

“Let’s stay in touch!” has a much different ring than “Subscribe to our mailing list.”

“Password must be at least 8 characters.” is much more helpful than “Password too short."

This is exactly the type of finetuning UX writers are looking to achieve.

Take no risks with your reputation

So far, these are our UX writer postulates:

  • Be precise and grammatically correct
  • Be frugal with words but sound human
  • Stay true to the brand’s identity but find the means to ensure conversion
  • Never lose the client’s requirements out of sight. 

Creating information architecture and/or drawing the elements across 100+ screens WHILE juggling all of the above-mentioned is exceptionally difficult. Staying consistent and error-free in these situations is virtually impossible.  

This is why onboarding a UX writer to your digital product design team will save the other team members precious time and even more precious nerves, ultimately helping the company maintain its reputation and generate revenue.

Key takeaways

The members of your product design team know the product and the target audience. They can probably write explanations, definitions, and text to place in the CTA buttons. They can google examples and use ChatGPT or other AI-based writing tools.

However, these practices don’t guarantee quality - and in this rush mentality world, quality is passionately sought after.

Without a UX writer, the team will dabble in terms of the text, lose time, get upset, and still, you may not get a text that complements the beautiful design your team created. 

To deliver the finest possible products to clients, you need someone dedicated to the written word

Strategic word selection doesn't just communicate effectively; it places your brand into the spotlight, ensuring it gets the exposure and esteem it deserves.

Hey, you! What do you think?

They say knowledge has power only if you pass it on - we hope our blog post gave you valuable insight.

If you need a UX writer to enhance the overall user experience of your digital product, or you want to share your opinion on this topic, feel free to contact us

We'd love to hear what you have to say!