Let’s get a little digital. Meet my UX writing playbook.
Being a UX writer is being a storyteller. It’s crafting experiences that excite people—making them feel like the hero in their own narrative. And the most human, adaptable, and simple (+cost-effective) way of doing that is using great content. When building a product, my role is to collaborate with amazing folks, from product owners to researchers. I put my empathy cape on then write copy that informs, delights, and gets out of the way. Because when I’ve done my job well, users don’t realize I’ve done it at all.
“Research proves again and again that we respond to computers and digital interfaces as if they were human.” —Kinneret Yifrah, Microcopy: The Complete Guide
People want software to act the same way humans do—to guide, coach, explain, and respond in kind (despite the digital-ness of it all). That means every company has to establish a personality, a voice and tone that’s consistent and appropriate and meaningful. I’ve worked on a lot of wonderful products for some truly lovely companies. But the voice I call my own is made up of three attributes: Always be clear, honest, and kind.
UX writing isn’t just about double checking errors and buttons (though word nerds are good at that). There’s also a bit of magic. And no, I don’t mean consult an oracle, grab an MLA textbook, and go. Each stage of a product life-cycle craves different types of content work—from storyboarding to conversational prototyping to editing. This is my map of ways content can design an experience for your users—ehem… correction, heroes.
A few guides
This type of work takes, well, a lot of work. It’s hard to train a fleet of writers to write like they’re the same person (we haven’t achieved psychic capabilities just yet, despite ongoing training). Here are a few guides I’ve authored and contributed to: