Writing for Users
The other words
The main part of a UX writer's job is writing microcopy, which is the text that guides users through their digital journey. These are Call to Action buttons, tooltips, onboarding flows, error messages, and more. These words should reflect the brand personality and lead the user like a personal tour guide through the experience. Unlike marketing content and other types of web copy, when properly done—microcopy shouldn't be felt or noticed.
So many questions!
Let's break it down:
After a quick (but thorough) process of Voice & Tone design, we now know what the product would sound like if it was a person and who are its users. Now we go through every step of the flow, every screen, tooltip, and error, and write the words users will encounter when they interact with your product.
Ideally, a UX writer should work with other UX stakeholders. The process is a team effort, and it involves working closely with interaction designers, developers, product teams, and marketing experts, just the way I like it. It requires asking a lot of questions during the process—thus avoiding confused users later on.
VOICE & TONE
Designing a personality
What's your product's story? Who is telling it? Who are they telling the story to? Before writing anything, I must understand and define the personality of the product, or its Voice & Tone.
Here's how it works:
I research your target users, your competitors, and your existing brand documents. I meet with your team (these might be UX designers, developers, product, or marketing) and ask a ton of questions, and together we come up with an actual persona with values, hobbies, individual style, character, and a unique and recognizable voice.
Here are some of the things we'll define:
Is this person funny or serious? High class or down-to-earth?
What are their core values?
What are the main messages the users will hear?
What are the challenges users might face?
What's your product's unique value?
Finally, I'll present you with a Voice & Tone design - a working document laying out all the information we discussed, which will be the style guide for any product-related content: UI copy, web copy, social media, newsletters, marketing material, or sales decks, so your brand's unique voice is consistent and trustworthy.
Once we establish your product's voice & tone, we'll move forward with writing the microcopy for its interface.