Content 101: UX Writing by Patrick Stafford
I decided to follow Patrick Staffords blogs as he is a senior digital copywriter and I feel that my copywriting skills could be improved. His post Content 101: UX Writing highlights the importance of UX writing as a part of UX Design and the user’s experience as a whole. Staffords highlights points made by those such as Jody Allard from Microsoft who describes UX writing as acting as customer advocates and considering everything from their perspective. Stafford also describes the foundation of the role to be understanding the why and how of each task that the user is being guided through in order to make it as simple as possible.
Stafford gives guidance on how to do this effectively through a number of steps: 1. Setting clear and concise expectations, 2. by analysing what the competition is offering and using that to reinforce the USP, 3. answering questions and guiding users through tasks, 4. understanding how the product works and the best way to teach users how to use it, 5. through research on how the products works and improves the life of the user.
It is also suggested that UX writers be a part of defining the problem, ideation (problem-solving), prototyping, research, iteration (feedback) and deployment. Finally, Stafford provides some examples of products that have really effectively included UX writing, these include Slack, Tinder, Mailchimp, GoogleMaps. What’s really interesting about these examples is that they are encouraging engagement from users in different ways e.g. Tinder wants to boost engagement with the app itself and to encourage users to send messages while Google Maps wants to provide users with instructions in the clearest and simplest way possible in order to effectively direct them to where they want to go therefore both require very different writing styles.
I believe having examples such as these to refer to is a great asset and may be very helpful particularly when I’m working independently on projects with limited resources meaning I have to tackle UX writing on my own and I believe UX writing is a vital part of UX design. It is also interesting to note the importance of research and testing different forms of UX writing in order to gain an understanding of what style and structure of writing is most effective for any given product.
My Complete Guide: How to ensure user experience is a priority for your company
This was a really interesting article highlighting some of the challenges that UX Designer may face when working in a company that doesn’t focus on developing or have a user-centric culture. Some of the points highlighted by Boag in how to raise the profile of users included; 1. running open usability test sessions, 2. displaying customer journey maps and empathy maps throughout the company, 3. sending a regular company-wide newsletter with customer insight, 4. sharing highlight videos of usability test sessions and 5. put on talks on user experience.
While I am still a student and therefore not yet faced with the challenge of boosting user-centric thinking in the workplace I am at the advantage of being able to test out the above approaches in my own projects and prototypes. This will help me to develop a stronger foundation in these areas and leave me more prepared for tackling the challenge of encouraging a focus on the user experience if it arises.
The article also provides good advice around presenting new ideas to managers and encouraging colleagues to get involved, this is really helpful as it could be applied to virtually any challenge you are tackling and trying to overcome however it does layout specific tips on how to “bring people with you’ using user experience focused exercises such as running a customer journey mapping workshop.
Overall I found this article to be very interesting and I look forward to further researching how to properly execute all of the above-listed exercises and discover which ones I can implement into my own work.
What have I learnt?
- UX writing is an important part of UX Design.
- It’s important to simplify the user’s journey and not include unnecessary tasks this can be reviewed by considering the why and how of each task that the user is being guided through and simplifying on that basis.
- Before attempting UX writing I must first be clear on what the problem is, how the problem is being solved by a given product, it is also helpful to consider the outcomes of prototypes, research, feedback.
How can I apply this to my work in future?
- When writing content in future I should consider myself to be acting as a customer advocate and considering everything from their perspective.
- I can refer to companies that are considered to have really effecting UX content writing: Slack, Tinder, Mailchimp, GoogleMaps when trying to generate my own UX content.
- As a UX designer it is important for me to have a good knowledge of how to do the following: run open usability test sessions, create customer journey maps and empathy maps, run and identify highlights of usability test sessions and put on/ get involved in talks on user experience. In order to gain a better understanding of these areas, I should try to tackle them in my own project work and by complete research into each item by online reading or attending webinars and talks.