How to Implement Excellent UX Writing in Web Design

How to Implement Excellent UX Writing in Web Design

If you haven’t heard of it, this is a tool that you’d do well to implement into your web design and development. And in the last two years, the community that revolves around web development has been buzzing about this trend that we call, UX writing in web design.

When the term first cropped up, a lot of designers confused it for another term that referred to the basics and the formulas that involved content writing. Others thought it was UX design’s new moniker. And some saw it as copywriting for UX elements. But what does UX writing in web design actually meeting?

What is User Experience or UX writing means?

But let’s not rush into things and take a moment to actually ask a bunch of questions before we completely define UX writing.

Who should be writing the copy, the content, or  the text of the platforms that you will design. It is your responsibility or a client’s task, or is it for your developers, or your SEO expert task? Or is this the responsibility of all of them?

When it comes to working with words within the interfaces that we used, we always think of the visual elements like typography, alignment, spacing or deal with the aesthetic properties that can be seen by the users.

As web designers considering the copy that comprises the majority of our interfaces, we are more concerned with whatever’s going on with the visuals. We look at visual properties. Our eyes are trained to look at the line spacing, the text alignments, the typography, etc and how they relate with other aesthetic components that are appearing onscreen.

But recently, the world of UX has focused its keen eye on a timeless phenomenon (something that’s always been around) to coin an all-new term: UX writing. People are taking a close gander at its significance, its overall meaning, the context, and the connotation behind the words use in our website design.

It’s not shocking to note that when it comes to UX writing in web design is steadily increasing in popularity nowadays. Because of the rise of personal digital voice assistants like Bixby and Siri, UX designers are now after crafting websites that speak to the site visitors. And these sites need to do it realistically and conversationally. It needs to be as close to being as human as possible.

These specific goals can be accomplished in the art of writing. That fact alone means the practice requires the specific skill set of a, well, writer. But we have a catch. The writer must understand the web designing process. At the very least, they must have an idea about the basics and in their simplest forms.

This is the primary reason why a lot more agencies are appreciative of web designers who are capable of writing. In fact, enterprise-level companies have opened up an entire position that’s solely valued in writing for UX coupled with designing for UI.

The whole practice is all about crafting copy that serves as the user’s guide when they navigate through a product page or your website — in general. And what’s the end goal to it all? It’s done with the intention of establishing a clear communication line between your website and the users on the other side of the screen.

UX writing in web design is all about formulating content that’s known as micro-copy. These are small snippets of text that drop hints for your site visitors. Specifically speaking, things like the menu description, security notes, the buttons, the instructions for product use, and yes, even error messages are considered as micro-copies.

UX Writing Value in Web Design

For as long as many of us can remember, we’ve seen micro-copies across dozens of websites before. So, why are people making such a big deal out of this all of a sudden? Why is it suddenly given a new and flashy name like UX writing?

Over the course of the year, the attention on numbers has shifted considerably towards the quality of content that site owners produce. The trend of using copy in working with user interfaces has heralded the UX writing importance in web design. And it’s easy to see that both marketers and web designers would heartily agree that web copy has a direct influence on both the interface and experience of users.

A horrible copy is more than capable of destroying the reputation of really good UI. So, in writing micro-copies, conducting user tests is just as important as doing it for major content like ebooks, whitepapers, and other blog content. Plus, in doing tests, you can see how your micro-copies affect a real user’s experience.

Who should be in charge when it comes to UX writing in web design?

So after determining and nailing down the UX writing core, we still have another question to ask. Whose responsibility is it?

This is gradually yet steadily climbing the ranks of job urgency priority among many companies and business owners. Largely different from the usual brand of copywriters, these types of writers are special. They focus mainly on crafting compelling microcopy. And the main goal of the latter is to promote positive user experience while interacting with the site and simultaneously improving the navigation system.

Despite the demands for such writers, the primary UX writing still falls under most copywriters’ list of responsibilities. This is largely because they are already considered as pros in the field, and their proficiency is needed for creating concise but punchy web copies. After all, they’ve been in this writing game long before UX writing entered into the web development scene.

So the question remains. Should this be a task just for UX writers or should content writers take the bulk of it?

The answer is up for debate. But the sole responsibility shouldn’t fall completely on either.

As a designer who knows the ins and outs of both user experience and user interface, you shouldn’t just develop a website, slather it with ‘lorem ipsum,’ and completely hand it over to the copywriter. Believe it or not, your input is still essentially needed to complete the UX writing process.


That’s because writing for UX entails aspects and functions that a blogger or copywriter would fail to discuss thoroughly — not like you, someone who knows the process well, can.

And that fact doesn’t only refer to complicated content strategies of a specific platform, but it applies to other micro pieces of text as well. By that, we mean notification alerts and even CTAs. And on that note, be sure to involve any third-party organizations who are in on the project too. Otherwise, you might wind up having a poor user experience.

Of course, whether you choose to assign the UX writing to the copywriters or the UX web designers is entirely up to you. They can work on it individually too. But to produce results that you would find desirable, it’s a far better idea to work together.

What does UX writing efficiency entails?

Perhaps it’s really simple to presume that when comes UX writing won’t consume much of your time because of the micro-copies that are needed of it from the web page. But contrary to what most people say and believe, crafting a phrase that’s powerful enough to compel your readers actually takes a lot of research and plenty of time.

Micro-copies vary in length. They can come in as short as one word and even stretch to form a short sentence. And for some things that are expected to be short and small, a huge responsibility rides on their figurative shoulders. It’s crafting one sentence and expecting returns tenfold in terms of customer responses and actions.

Is it far-fetched to say that each word matters when it comes to UX writing?

No, it’s not… UX writing should be efficient in that even one word or a short and simple sentence would be enough to urge a response out of your target audience. The copy should be able to orient new visitors and also can convince them to stay and keep looking around to find more information they would find interesting. Each micro-copy that you construct must have the goal of your business backing it.

So, constantly ask yourself what kind of outcome you would want out of your UX writing.

Your copy of your UX must be consistent and upfront. Don’t give users a puzzle as they try to understand exactly what you truly mean. Again, we’re writing to sell. Not entertain or boggle the mind with fascinating philosophies.

UX writing can be deemed efficient when the micro-copy is easily understood by users while interacting with it intelligently. In addition, if your users cannot notice the fact that you’re guiding them through the whole navigation process, then you can pat yourself on the back. You did a great job with your UX writing. For this reason, these types of copy must deal with the context together with the target market — not guesswork.

And when you think about it, your copy has a big part of web design. The UX writing effectiveness also depends highly on the way the particular website presents the visuals. So as UX writer, it is your responsibility to keep track of it and make sure it’s visually pleasing and fits overall composition of your design. And this scenario creates a constraint for writers regarding your copy amount that should be written.

The Best Practices for UX Writing in Web Design

Experts on both design and UX writing continue to work for a significant improvement in setting breakthrough in the techniques or strategies which is excellent and effective when it comes to UX writing. If you’re a budding UX writer or expert in micro-copy, there are still a couple of practical tips and best practices that can help you in ensuring the quality of UX copy that you can provide.

UX writing in web design is fairly new in the game. So, both experts in design and UX writing are still in the process of working out and developing a path that would allow for the best methods and techniques of excellent UX writing to grow and develop. But if you’re one of the many budding UX writers out to change the world with micro-copy, you’re going to need a couple of these best practices to ensure the high-quality of your UX copies.

Include UX Writing into your research

Each UX designer knows the true value of in-depth and thorough research. But in the midst of this, only a couple actually acknowledge the quality of the copy, the ideal writing, and designated platform for distribution. In addition, they also consider the kind of style, the type of voice, the specific vocabulary that prospective clientele use, and the tone that they’d need to use in order to resonate the most with your target market.

These types of considerations give a considerable impact on user experience, and you must understand them before you hunker down, put fingers to keys, and start writing.

Every UX writer doesn’t rely on guesswork. They consider data for the sake of appealing most effectively to their target market. Personal tone and preferred writing styles are cast aside in favor of the more efficient ones — one that users would unmistakably understand.

Put yourself in the users’ shoes

In the process of creating a powerful copy that users can appreciate to the fullest, you must fully understand which areas your users needed help. For this reason, audience research begins to play another big part. Check your analytics, your audience feedback, along with other real-time customer data.

Go for being concise

Simplicity in a UX writer should be an automatic response, and it doesn’t matter which document or platform they’re using as a tool. Your flair for the dramatic in terms of words, or a certain turn to a sentence, or your use of words that go over most people’s vocabulary should be reserved for your own blog — if you have one.

The number one rule when it comes to UX writing talks about being simple and concise. Easy words and common phrases create copy that’s bite-sized, consumable, and readable. It all results in a more seamless experience.

But if you find yourself falling prey to your literary creativity senses at the expense of the user’s experience, find some tools to keep yourself in check — aside from your UX editor. You can use something like Hemingway — a free online word processor that doubles as a barometer for simplicity and coherence.

Segment your copies

Long-form content is popular and it’s very good, but for UX writing, it’s called micro-copy for a reason. So in segmenting your copies, what must you do, you ask?

Aim for writing short and work for slicing  into half of that copy cleanly

UX copies are short, yet they need to pack enough punches to deliver meaning. It must be subtle so as not to draw unwanted attention but must be catchy enough to be noticed so it will serve its purpose to guide your visitors from one element to another in the site. You want to avoid coming off as too overly promotional.

Copy Testing

You can become an all-knowing expert on all things about UX designing and writing, but even then, A/B testing never hurt anybody. Either you produce two variants, or if you can’t find anyone who matches your current target audience, test your copy out on co-workers, and if it’s still not that viable enough, test it out on your friends.

Ask for feedback. Ask questions that revolve around how they felt about it; what their first impressions were. Don’t shy away from the brutal comments because that will give you the room to tweak what you need to.

Add some multimedia content

You should really believe in this. Images and GIFs, when chosen well, break tensions and even serve to entertain people at a micro level. This helps add a positive atmosphere — similar to how polite jokes work on relieving aggravation caused by error messages.

Broadcast the brand voice

It goes well beyond user experience too. Because even if you prioritize your audience, you’re writing for your brand too. Remember to note once again that your website is your 24/7 salesperson. It won’t do to neglect that fact.

So before starting to write a copy, you must truly fully understand everything even the smallest details about your product or service.

The Endnote

UX writing implies where the green is. It’s chock full of so much potential. For this reason, you should consider this as not just another practice to discover. Look at it as an essential tool to boost your user engagement and improve the satisfaction your target audiences get from your website.

In the end, improving your UX writing entails adding yet another weapon to your web design arsenal, and an important one at that.

Do you implement writing for user experience in your web design? Let us know.

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