Here’s a blast from the past. The subject of UX and UI copywriting is an interesting one. Unlike ‘normal’ copywriting, it requires a different skill set that not many copywriters are able to produce. The following article outlines what they involve and why they are so important in today’s digital world. I hope you find it useful.
It’s tough keeping up with all the new terminology that keeps springing up. In my industry, the latest is UX/UI Copywriting. Its primary use is within the technology and software sectors, and this article will help you understand what it is, why it’s needed, and how it’s done.
What is UX and UI copywriting?
To kick things off, I want to explain that although I’ve made it look the same, UX and UI copywriting are different.
UX copywriting is all about the user experience. You see it in every app or software program you use. The copy creates a logical structure for you, the user, to follow and successfully navigate to where you want to go.
UI copywriting, in contrast, is the user interface copy. That means it’s the words used on the buttons, tabs, error messages, etc., that create the look and feel of your user experience.
Why are they needed?
As mentioned before, the copy creates and enhances your user experience within an app or piece of software.
After all, you can have the slickest-looking app that solves the world’s problems (wouldn’t that be nice?), but without the right words that give the design meaning and purpose, it’s about as much use as a chocolate teapot.
Of course, that ‘coin’ has another side; if the copy within the app contains relevant and interesting data but is poorly presented, again, it won’t work.
For a successful union of design and copy, the designer and copywriter must work closely together.
How do you create effective UX and UI copywriting?
From what you’ve read, you probably think that a UX/UI designer is also a UX/UI copywriter.
No. That’s not the case. Similarly, you wouldn’t expect a copywriter to have the innate ability to be a UX/UI designer.
Plus, only some copywriters can produce UX/UI copy.
In simple terms, ‘normal’ copywriting is about selling, building a brand or telling a story. UX/UI copywriting is about helping users get to where they want to be. It has to:
- Enable interaction
- Enhance navigation
- Engage emotions
- Create tone and voice
That’s why every word counts in ‘normal’ copywriting, but in UX/UI copywriting, every letter counts.
I mentioned earlier the importance of collaboration between the UX designer and the UX/UI copywriter. This is because identifying the right words is the same as creating the right design.
The copywriter also has to understand the user persona – who are they, what do they like, what keeps them awake at night, what type of job do they do? Only then can they settle on an appropriate tone and voice to create a clear, concise, and consistent copy.
Balancing economic word usage with impact is challenging, so working with a professional UX/UI copywriter is essential. Not every freelance writer would have had experience in the UX/UI world, so it’s vital that you ask for their specific expertise in this area.
It felt strange writing that the last sentence because I’m a great advocate of copywriters not needing experience to write for an industry. I stand by that. However, writing long copy that sells is a different discipline from writing content that will effortlessly transport users through their app journey and enhance their experience.
Sally Ormond, a professional copywriter with the skills to create effective UX and UI Copywriting