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/UI copywriting?

To kick things off, I want to explain that although I’ve made it look as though it is the same thing, UX and UI copywriting are different.

UX copywriting is all about the user experience. You see it every app or software program you use. It’s the copy that creates a logical structure for you, the user, to follow and therefore, 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.

Make sense?

Why is UX/UI copywriting needed?

As mentioned before, it is the copy that 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 problems of the world (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.

That’s why, for a successful union of design and copy, designer and copywriter must work closely together.

How do you create effective UX/UI copywriting?

From what you’ve read so far, you probably think that a UX/UI designer is also a UX/UI copywriter.

No. That’s not the case. Just in the same way you wouldn’t expect a copywriter to have the innate ability to be a UX/UI designer.

Plus, not every copywriter can produce UX/UI copy.

Why?

In simple terms, because ‘normal’ copywriting is all about selling, building a brand or telling a story. UX/UI copywriting is all about helping a user get to where they want to be. It has to:

  • Inform
  • Communicate
  • Enable interaction
  • Enhance navigation
  • Engage emotions
  • Create tone and voice

That’s why in ‘normal’ copywriting every word counts, but in UX/UI copywriting, every letter counts.

I mentioned earlier the importance of collaboration between UX designer and the UX/UI copywriter. This is because the process to identify 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 clear, concise, and consistent copy.

Balancing economic word usage with impact is a tough job, which is why working with a professional UX/UI copywriter is essential. Not every freelance writer would have had the experience of the UX/UI world, so it’s essential 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 to writing the content that will effortlessly transport a user through their app journey and enhance their experience.

Author: Sally Ormond – experienced UX/UI copywriter of e-learning packages and apps.