UX writing must be approached as a thriller, let the audience keep asking for more. We’ve all read stories that make our hearts skip a beat, and we can audibly hear the rhythm of our hearts along with the tales. That’s precisely what UX writing should do to users. YOU should be able to employ the literary cliffhangers of Charles Dicken in your openings while ending with the mastery of Edgar Allan Poe.
An excellent UX writer knows that their words can make or break the performance of a design. Can you remember all those websites and apps that you hurriedly clicked “back” or “close tab” buttons? A common typo can be the deal-breaker.
Your ability to employ the right words, language, tone, phrases, and sentences throughout a design makes you an excellent UX writer. Anything short of this, you should be playing in the lower leagues.
It does not matter if you are not there yet as a UX writer, the question is, what are you doing to improve your UX writing skills? Since we are also tired of being pissed off by UX writings, let’s breed a crop of excellent UX writers who are worthy of the big leagues.
Here’s how to be better;
1. Keep It Simple, Concise and Simple Again
A study by Microsoft pegged the attention span of humans at 8 seconds. It was 12 seconds in 2000, and it’ll still go lower. Which is why humans are now even said to have a shorter attention span than a goldfish at 5 seconds.
The best UX writing is one that users force out decisions at a glance.
Writing ambiguously is a recipe for failure. No one has the luxury of time and attention to be thinking about what you are trying to communicate.
2. Delete Redundant Words
This is not poetry where your words have to be flowery. There will be redundant words, look for them, and remove it. Remember the first tip, any word than cannot be processed within 5 seconds is not meant to be in your microcopy.
As a UX writer, the golden rule for redundant words will be one-third of your microcopy. For every 9 words written, 3 will be unnecessary.
You cannot see it, but an editor will.
3. Always Create Connections With Personal Pronouns.
You are not writing an academic article, make your microcopy speak to your audience and not about them.
UX writing should be built around I, We, Us, Them, You, Him/Her, He/She. All of these pronouns create a bond and help build a relationship.
Personal pronouns are made for UX writing.
4. Active Vs. Passive: Go With Positive
Stay positive and optimistic in your UX writing. Instilling the can-do spirit helps your audience to feel at ease.
Every part of the design should display a positivity that can be felt by visitors. No one loves to be told anything is too hard to be done. Never let your audience feel that way.
As much as possible, express possibilities.
5. Don’t Confuse Your Audience With Jargons or Social Media Language
Anything that will require your audience looking for a dictionary should not have a place in your microcopy.
The same goes for social media abbreviations; LOL, WTH, WYA, or LMAO. Any jargon or word that 99% of your visitors will not understand should not be used.
Do you have a targeted audience? What happens when you intend to expand? Write a fresh microcopy.
6. Approach It Like a Sales Copy
Of course, everywhere is a landing page on your website or app, and your UX writing should be able to convert at every point.
It’s not a factor of what your website or app is about, ensure it sells what you are about excellently. Let your UX writing make your website or app more important than everything else at the point of the visit.
7. Be Careful with Numbers and Digit
This is always a tricky one. When it comes to numbers in UX writing, always stick with digit rather than words. Forget Chicago or AP style now, in UX writing digit performs better.
From a glance, digits can be understood.
Just ensure there are accurate punctuations when dealing with long numbers. There’s a difference between 1,234,567.89 and 123,456,789.
Final Thoughts on UX Writing
You are good at UX writing when visitors think in their minds; these people really know their onions or these are what I’m looking for. An excellent UX writing help establish a connection between visitors and the design.