Words hold an undeniably tremendous power, which is a fundamental component of digital landscape. How these words are utilized spans various disciplines and fields, and among them, the prominent ones are UX writing and copywriting. Due to similarities between UX writing and copywriting, they may be lumped together, but make no mistake, as these two are entirely distinct fields that serve unique areas of online businesses.UX writing serves as a navigational guide. User experience is everything when it comes to apps and websites. It's no longer enough to simply have an attractive design, as users demand a seamless and enjoyable experience from start to finish. This is where the discipline of UX writing comes in. Despite being a relatively new field, it has quickly risen in trends thanks to it being proven to greatly enhance user engagement and satisfaction.On the other hand, copywriting serves as an appeal catalyst. You need to drive appeal and consequent conversion to your product first before you can provide an excellent user experience.With that said, we will delve into drawing comparisons between UX writers vs copywriters, aiming to understand the specific differences between these two roles, as well as exploring how they join forces to benefit businesses. In addition, we'll go over the key UX writing guidelines to keep in mind to conduct UX writing that's effective in aligning with your goals.
UX Writing vs Copywriting: The 6 Differences Between UX Writers and Copywriters
A UX content writer creates microcopies, which are concise words relayed through the user interface (UI) to provide a positive experience and help them navigate digital products seamlessly. Their role is essentially a reliable navigational guide for users.
A copywriter focuses on creating content that motivates users to take specific actions through compelling words. Essentially, they act as catalysts for prospects' interest in a product or service.
UX writing is product-oriented writing that aims to improve the user experience by making it easier for users to explore a digital product. It involves incorporating clear, concise, and user-friendly language into the product to help users understand its functionality and features better.The goal of UX writing is to ensure that users can navigate a digital product smoothly and seamlessly. By using the right words and phrases, UX writers can guide users through the product and help them accomplish their goals without confusion or frustration.
Copywriting is a type of writing that is sales-oriented. It involves creating compelling content that engages the audience's interest and persuades them to take a specific action. The primary goal of copywriting is to convert prospects into customers by appealing to their desires and emotions through persuasive language.Copywriting is not just about writing fancy words and phrases; it's about understanding the audience's needs and preferences. A good copywriter will conduct extensive research on their target audience to determine what motivates them and what they're looking for in a product or service.
UX writers write microcopies that are incorporated directly into a digital product. Microcopies are short snippets of text found throughout a product that aim to guide users and help make their flow seamless. These may include onboarding flows, error messages, button and menu labels, notifications, form fields, and so forth.
Copywriters write copies for engaging marketing content used across different mediums that compel and engage the audience. These copies are generally more descriptive and larger than the microcopies created by UX writers and are found across a versatile range of mediums, including advertisement copies, landing pages, blog articles, product descriptions, email marketing copies, social media posts, and more.
Possessing robust technical writing skillset is an important factor for UX writing skills. UX writers should be well-versed in explaining the nitty-gritty tech in a digestible and simplified way to users. This is important because users often don't have the same level of technical expertise as the designers and developers who build the product.Beyond technical writing skills, UX writers need to understand UX design principles and fundamentals. They should know how to create microcopy that fits seamlessly into the overall design, and they need to be aware of product content strategy. This means they should understand how their writing fits into the larger picture of the product and how it can best support the user's journey.Of course, understanding the user is at the heart of UX writing. UX writers need to be able to empathize with users, understand their pain points, and anticipate their needs. This requires the ability to conduct user research and use that information to craft effective and engaging content.
Copywriters should be the wordsmiths of creative writing that compel the audience. They should have the skills to choose words that can reach and connect with prospects, build their trust and loyalty, and motivate them to take the desired action.To write content in pursuit of that goal, copywriters need to have a robust understanding of their target audience. They should know their demographics, interests, and preferences, and be able to cater their copies to meet the audience's needs. This requires a keen sense of empathy and the ability to put themselves in the shoes of their audience.In order to create effective copies, copywriters need to have a solid understanding of the brand message, marketing principles, and how they can use these to craft messages that align with the goals of the business. They should understand the fundamentals of marketing across different channels and know how to track performance to constantly improve the copywriting strategies that drive results.
UX writing aims to reach an audience that has already been converted. Its goal is to provide them with an excellent experience so that they are satisfied and believe their decision was worth it, reducing the churn rates.
Copywriting aims to reach an audience that hasn’t yet been converted. It aims to persuade them to convert, driving sales.
The collaborative environment of UX writers tends to have a versatile scope due to the nature of their work. They work in the product team, collaborating and communicating with a wide range of teams to ensure that the content and design of a product or service are aligned to create a cohesive user experience.UX writers work closely with the UX design team, and they may also collaborate with other teams, including product management, development, research, legal, and marketing, to create a seamless user experience that is cohesive, effective, compliant, and backed by an understanding of the goals and needs of users.
Copywriters typically work closely with the marketing team, and their collaboration scope is often smaller, especially in comparison with the highly collaborative environment of UX writers.However, copywriters may also work with the sales team to ensure that their content is optimized to drive sales.
Importance of UX Writing
To sum it up, UX writers have the difficult task of connecting directly with the audience using only simple, intuitive words. They must anticipate how users will want to interact with the product. One slight error might affect the entire user journey, and great UX copy connects different parts of a product by telling a cohesive story that is human, relatable, honest, and informative.A single change in the copy for the UI can drastically improve or reduce engagement. This could translate into a loss or gain of millions of sales!At Bonanza Design, we recognize the importance of UX copywriting and consider UX writing skills to be mandatory for all of our UX designers. We believe that the quality of the words is just as vital as the quality of the visual design and that it is the responsibility of the designer to ensure an effective user interface.
3 Key Guidelines for Good UX Writing
UX writers need to be dedicated to creating optimal microcopies that provide the best user experience possible. In order to achieve that goal, they need to be mindful of the following 3 key UX writing guidelines.
Being clear is one of the most important aspects of good UX writing. It means that the content should be easily understandable and intuitive for users. The main goal of UX writers is to guide users in the simplest way possible so that they can find the information they need without any confusion and distraction. Use simple and familiar language, avoid jargon, and break down complex concepts into smaller, easily digestible chunks.
Less is more. Delivering information with minimal words without sacrificing clarity or meaning is a crucial component of good UX writing. In this fast-paced digital world, users want information quickly without unnecessary distractions, and one solid line is better than 10 lines for them. Remember, in UX copywriting, small things are the big things.
Consistency is key to a great user experience. UX writers should use the same terms throughout the interface to avoid confusing the user. Using consistent terminology and brand voice creates a fluid and seamless experience for users. This means that if you are referring to your users as "you" in one section of the interface, use it for the entire content.Consistency also applies to the style, tone, and language used in the interface. UX writing is partly responsible for the fluidity of the interface as it should effectively combine context and brand voice.
While both UX writing and copywriting are disciplines that utilize the power of words to elevate businesses, the differences between the roles of UX writers vs copywriters are distinct. They serve different purposes, scope, and audience, and as such require different skills and collaborative environments. UX writing aims to provide users with a seamless and enjoyable experience by guiding them through digital products, while copywriting focuses on compelling prospects to take specific actions through persuasive language.UX writing is an essential component of a good UX design process. The UX writing skills include strong technical writing knowledge, understanding of UX design principles, and utilizing essential UX writing guidelines like keeping their microcopies clear, concise and consistent.Through the endeavors and expertise of UX writers and copywriters, businesses can drive conversions and provide satisfactory user experience that retains the converted users.