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We all know how frustrating it gets when in the middle of important work the site displays a 404 error message. But when came across Pixar’s 404 error message, chances are it will excite and make you admire the illustration and the text beside it.
Every page of the site is important in UX, which includes features, design, and text. All these elements help in interacting and communicating with the users. The words have to be chosen carefully, where it helps the user and does not confuse them.
The text here plays an important role because no matter how much we disagree, important information is often read than viewed.
In simple words, UX writing is which user sees or hear when interacting with the software. It is the craft of writing simple, concise, and easy to understand the language in which users interact on a website or an app.
“As a User Experience writer, you are an advocate for Google design, working to shape product experiences by creating useful, meaningful text that helps users complete the task at hand. You help set the vision for content and drive cohesive product narratives across multiple platforms and touchpoints. As a stellar writer, you have a portfolio of work that demonstrates content that simplifies and beautifies the overall user experience.”
Inside Design writes, the design teams are now realizing how the words embody in wireframe are as equally important as pictures or any other design elements. And with such an emphasis on visual design—and fewer words—choosing the right words becomes even more important.
Like pictures and videos, words also play a vital role in websites and applications. The user’s decision-making is highly dependent on what the text is trying to say. Google’s UX director Maggie Stanphill shows in the following example how changing ‘Book a room’ to ‘Check availability helped increase engagement by 17%.
There is no one formula for UX writing. However, keeping these three practices in mind will help UX writers to achieve fulfilling results. Before starting to write and conceptualize content for the web, ask the following questions
The instructions, error messages, CTA button text should be clear enough to make users understand. Clear doesn’t mean precise and should be jargon-free. Here the writer should give main attention to the verb because action helps the user understand that here they can act. The image below shows two versions of the same screen the right side is clear and doesn’t use any technical terms. It sends a clear message saying the password is incorrect.
Designers should work parallel with writers to make sure every word has a distinct job. It is the job of the UX team to make sure visuals are working in service with text. What the visuals are trying to convey and to keep the important content first. Both the images have only one difference, the length of the sub-text. This length ensures that the user is communicated of the urgency this offer holds, and it’s time for the user to act on it.
Like all the other elements on the page, the text should be useful for the user. It should guide the user and help achieve what are they looking for on the site. Apply UX writing best practices in CTA text, which guides people to the next step. Directs next session. The job of CTA is to encourage users to take action, in the picture below the right side, is encouraging and ensuring users that if they go ahead with this action there will be no bad consequences.
UX writing is not about finding one perfect formula. Rather, it’s a balance between being clear and concise communication while providing the user useful context and goals in order to better connect with us on what they need from us.