A user experience (UX) writer creates content, including copies and interface texts for web experiences and products aimed at helping users navigate the product. In a narrower sense, a UX writer focuses on specific elements, such as menus, labels, error messages, or chatbots. They also create instructions and guides for first-time users, which consists of smaller pieces of writing that come together as a microcopy. When crafting content, a UX writer creates a balance between the brand’s voice and writing that is easy to comprehend for users from different backgrounds, ages, and abilities so that it enhances their experience with the product.
UX Writer Salary and Job Growth
In the United States, a UX Writer may earn around $120,000 per annum on average. This accounts for an estimated $60 per hour. UX Writers at entry-level positions can expect about $89,000 per year. With experience, UX Writers can make up to $150,000 per year.
User experience writing is considered one of the areas in content writing that are witnessing a boom. Every brand strives to enhance user experience with its products, which benefits its brand image and sales. UX writing is at the core of efforts toward enhancing user experience, much like UX design.
UX Writer Versus Other Jobs
While the job role of a UX writer may overlap with other writing professionals, such as copywriters, technical writers, and content strategists, a UX writer is more specifically involved in the design process. There are some notable differences between UX writing and other jobs related to writing.
A content strategist comes up with content plans based on the needs of the organization. UX writers generally follow the guidelines that a content strategist creates. A technical writer crafts content specific to a niche or area to make it easy to understand for the readers. While technical writers and UX writers are both expected to write easy-to-understand content, technical writers create long-form content while UX writers create content pertaining to a certain aspect of a website or a product that readers engage with directly. Another specialty in content writing is copywriting. Copywriters are a part of the marketing team, focusing specifically on writing marketing slogans, social media posts, and ad content.
How to Become a UX Writer?
Some aspects worth focusing on, when you plan to become a UX writer, are as follows-
Consider the Skills You’ll Need
One of the prerequisites is to have a good understanding of grammar, readability, sentence structures, and the tone of writing. You can pursue courses that cater to individuals who intend to practice UX writing.
Research plays an important role in coming up with precise content specific to the website or product. Therefore, you should spend a good amount of time understanding the product and the intent before writing.
Since UX writers work closely with UX designers, being familiar with some standard visual design tools will help you gain a competitive edge.
Create a Portfolio
A UX writer’s portfolio should have a collection of pieces of content specific to UX writing, including samples and past work. When applying for UX writing positions, your portfolio allows recruiters to gauge your writing skills and experience. You can look for online resources that help you build an appealing portfolio.
Past experience is taken very seriously by recruiters and is often highlighted in job descriptions. However, you can also start with other similar roles, such as copywriting and technical writing that provide you with some opportunity to practice UX writing. You can also pursue courses in UX writing.
Understand How People Read Online
There is a significant difference in how readers receive online content versus print content. To begin with, while print is author-driven, web-based content is reader-driven. Users treat the web as an active medium and interact with content to get things done. This necessitates online content to be actionable.
One of the most crucial aspects for UX writers to consider is the pattern of eye-tracking that readers generally follow when reading online. Users follow an F-shaped reading pattern both on their mobile phones and larger screens, which means the content should be designed such that it displays much of the information at the top and left side.
Further, people are likely to read only a little when they read on the web. Skimming through content and scanning is common. Therefore, online content should be a lot more precise and concise. This also means online content should cut right to the chase and offer readers what they are looking for, which ensures that your content does not exhaust too much of the reader’s time.
Improving Your Writing, Formatting, and Structuring
The most basic aspect worth taking into consideration when writing a copy is to determine the target audience and what the content intends to achieve. This will give you a clear idea about what to incorporate into your content and what you avoid. Once you know your audience and the objective of the content, here are some factors to keep in mind to improve your writing.
Plain language, commonly known as readability, helps ensure your target audience, despite being diverse, easily understands your content. Using common words and avoiding the use of complex sentences can help you in achieving high readability.
Tone of Voice
The meaning of your content is clearer when you use a tone of voice that best suits to address your audience. UX content may be targeted at professionals or laymen. If you use certain technical terms when writing for laymen, it may create a lot of confusion. Therefore, knowing your audience to use the right tone of voice is crucial. Further, you may also decide to use a formal, semi-formal, or informal writing style based on your brand’s image and objective.
Jargon and Writing for Experts
Jargons are words that professionals from the field understand. While jargon may be easy to understand for people who are familiar with the specifics of a certain topic or area, it might not be easy for outsiders or laymen to understand. When using jargon, you should make sure that your target audience comprises experts.
Formatting and Structuring Content
Your content should be structured or formatted in a way that makes it easy for the audience to consume your content. For instance, you can divide your content into various sub-headings, add bullet points, and not have more than 4 to 5 sentences in a single paragraph so that the content does not look wordy.
Best Practices for Short Copy: Heading, Command Labels, and Links
When writing a short copy, three main aspects worth paying attention to are the heading, command labels, and links. Headings help specify what the content is exactly about, thus making it clear for users as to what they’re reading. Command labels communicate what succeeds a particular action taken by the user. Further, link texts are a combination of words that specify where the readers will be taken upon clicking on the link. When you focus on these aspects, you are more likely to craft crisp and actionable content that appeals to your audience.
Content Strategy and Ongoing Evaluation
Content strategy is a continuous process that involves maintenance, monitoring, and improvement of information over time. As companies or organizations grow and have more employees or experts on board, the content strategy requires amends.
Likewise, when companies come up with changes in how they address their users— both in a big or small way— the content strategy requires modifications accordingly. Therefore, content strategy essentially involves assessing existing content and finding ways in which better content can be created and how to improve or maintain the existing content.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do you need to study UX to become a UX writer?
No, individuals who aspire to become UX writers do not need to study UX. However, it is important to note that having a good understanding of UX design gives you better insights into creating content that enhances user experience. For this, you can focus on the UX design process, which also helps you collaborate better with your teammates and other teams and professionals so that you can add more value to your content.
2. What do you include in a UX writer portfolio?
Some of the basic information to include in a UX writer portfolio is your content info, key information about you, and brief descriptions of problems along with the solutions devised by you. A UX writer portfolio gives recruiters a chance to look at your actual abilities. Therefore, one of the easiest ways to create a portfolio that leaves a good impression is to add the best of your past work to your portfolio. When you apply for a UX writer position, your portfolio should also have design solutions as a part of your content.
3. Why do UX writers matter?
UX writers are like a bridge between the product and users, ensuring users get to interact seamlessly with the product through copies and microcopies.
Hope this article was able to give you a clear understanding on what a UX writer actually does and how to become a UX writer. If you are looking to enhance your skills further, we would recommend you check Simplilearn’s UI/UX Design Expert Masters Program. This course can help you gain the relevant skills and knowledge and make you job-ready in just four months.
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