Decoding UX Writing: Making Products a Breeze to Use 🚀

July 26, 2023
•
Design

You know that feeling when you're sliding down a water slide, enjoying every twist and turn, with the least amount of friction possible? Well, that's exactly what UX writing aims to achieve for users of a product. It's all about using the right words to make their journey through your product a seamless and delightful experience.

So, let's dive into the world of UX writing and discover how it can improve your product! 💦🎢

But before we embark on this word-filled adventure, let's remember that UX writing isn't just about writing itself. 

No, no! 

It starts with some good old-fashioned research. 
Here's what you need to do before even putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard):

1️⃣ Understand the goals of your product and company.
2️⃣ Get to know your target audience like your favorite Bollywood star.
3️⃣ Familiarize yourself with the style guide and tone of voice of your product.
And if anything's unclear, don't hesitate to seek clarification from your colleagues. Teamwork makes the dream work, after all! 👫🏼💪🏼

Now, let's zoom in on 12 ways you can supercharge your product with the power of UX writing! 💥✍️

#1 - Write in the Present, Avoid the Future! ⌛️

‍When it comes to UX writing, we want to keep things in the here and now. Use the present tense to describe actions and interactions, avoiding the distant future. 

Why? 

Because it adds a sense of urgency and keeps the momentum going!

So instead of saying, "Video has been downloaded," opt for the snappier and more action-packed, "Video downloaded."

#2 - Avoid the Jargon Jungle 🌴

‍Say "no" to confusing technical terms and "yes" to clear and simple language. 

Remember, clarity is key!

So, trade in those mind-boggling error messages like "System error (code #2234): An authentication error has occurred" for something more user-friendly like "Sign-in error: You entered an incorrect password." 

#3 - Embrace the Active Voice, Ditch the Passive 😴

Passive voice? Yawn! We want our users to feel engaged and energized. So, swap out those sleepy passive sentences with active ones.

Compare these examples: "The Search button should be clicked when you are ready to search for an item" versus "Click the Search button to search for an article." See the difference? Active voice brings your writing to life and keeps users captivated! 🎭💥

#4 - Be Conversational, Not Corporate 🗣️

Instead of ordering users around with boring phrases like "Write a post," why not engage them in a friendly conversation? 

Take a leaf out of LinkedIn's book and ask, "What do you want to talk about?" Let's make our users feel like they're chatting with a buddy! 😄🤝

#5 - Language that Knows No Boundaries 🌍

Remember, not everyone speaks English! So, make sure your product's language translates well into other tongues. Consider our friends in Germany, where words can be quite a mouthful. 

If your microcopy works seamlessly in German without changing the entire interface, kudos to you! 

Gut gemacht! 🇩🇪🎉

#6 - The Power of Consistency 🔀

Pick a word, any word, and stick to it. Avoid using synonyms like "Next," "Proceed," or "Continue" interchangeably for your navigation buttons. 

We don't want users scratching their heads, wondering if "Next" and "Proceed" will lead to different destinations. Consistency is the key to a stress-free user experience! 🗝️



#7 - Numbers Speak Louder than Words! 🔢

‍When it comes to numbers, let's keep it short and sweet. Use numerals instead of words to represent numbers. It saves space, makes information easier to scan, and adds a touch of efficiency.

Instead of saying, "You have two missed calls," opt for the concise and impactful, "You have 2 missed calls." Numbers have a language of their own, so let's let them do the talking! 1️⃣2️⃣3️⃣
‍

#8 - Address Concerns Head-On 🤔

‍Imagine you're about to make a decision, but you have some lingering doubts. That's where UX writing comes to the rescue! When users perform certain actions, it's important to explain what will happen and what won't. 

Just like Netflix does when you choose a subscription plan, they let you know about the 1-month free trial upfront and assure you that you won't be charged until after that period. No surprises, just peace of mind! 🙌📺

#9 - Decode the Weird and Unnecessary 🕵️‍♂️

‍Sometimes, we ask users for information that may seem unnecessary or private, like a phone number. In such cases, it's crucial to explain why we need that information.  

By addressing their concerns and providing clarity, we build trust with our users. It's like saying, "Hey, we need your phone number so we can send you awesome updates and keep your account secure. We've got your back!" Trust is the foundation of a great user experience! 🔒💪

#10 - Conciseness is King 👑

In the fast-paced world of UX writing, brevity is your best friend. Why? 

First, you often have limited space to work with in interfaces, so being concise is a necessity. 

Second, a shorter copy takes less time to read and digest. Take a page from the task management tool Todoist, which breezes through their sign-up process with succinct and straightforward instructions. It's like taking the express lane to user satisfaction! 🚗💨

#11- Be Useful, Be Awesome 🌟

At the core of UX writing is improving user experience. And how do we do that? 

By being incredibly useful! 

Review your CTAs (call-to-actions) and other transactional elements. Anticipate the users' needs and concerns, and try to predict what they'll need before they even realize it. It's like having superpowers of anticipation! Just like Medium, which informs users that their saved articles are available offline too. Talk about being one step ahead! 😎📚

#12 - Adding Some Spice: Surprise and Humor! 🎉😄

Now, here's where we sprinkle some extra magic on top. If you've mastered the previous tips, it's time to unleash your creativity! Introduce an element of surprise, humor, or even a dash of friendly friction. 

But be cautious—this superpower comes with responsibility. Consider your company's goals, target audience, and brand tone. Test and evaluate user feedback to ensure your surprises hit the mark. 

Just like Typeform, which cleverly uses Bruce Wayne as an example during sign-up. Batman fans will laugh, and others will appreciate the creative touch. It's a win-win! 🦇❤️

So, there you have it—your ultimate guide to UX writing that will make your product shine brighter than a Bollywood star! ✨✍️ Embrace clarity, simplicity, and the power to create delightful user experiences. 

Happy writing, my fellow wordsmiths! 🌟🖊️

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