How UX Writing Can Boost Your Design

How UX Writing Can Boost Your Design

In a world where conversions are king and user experience is becoming an ever more important ranking signal, mastering the delicate relationship between writing and design becomes paramount. 

Most websites and brands follow similar formulas, and while they may see decent results, they never truly step out of the crowd.

To help you launch yourself ahead of them, we’re going into the topic of UX writing and how it can boost your design (and conversion rates). 

What Is UX Writing? 

As the team over at Copy Hackers would put it, UX copywriting is writing and structuring copy that moves visitors and customers toward accomplishing a goal in an intuitive way. 

In much plainer terms, it’s writing for users. It’s aimed at booking, persuading, and helping users, and it pays special attention to elements like headlines, microcopy, and CTAs. It tells them what to do and why, and what the expected result will be. 

As such, it works in cohesion with website design. In fact, copy is what brings design to life. Without it, users would be lost on the page, not knowing where to go. And while design is capable of conveying emotions and messages, it won’t be as clear to every single user as the copy itself will be. 

What Are the Benefits of UX Writing? 

Here is why you should make UX writing a part of your website copy:

  • It adds clarity: it tells visitors what they can expect, why something is important, and does so in an un-confusing way. 
  • It adds transparency: it makes privacy and security policies clearer and explains delivery and returns in a straightforward way.
  • It demonstrates empathy: it forges a deeper connection with the user and makes them feel that they are dealing with humans, not a faceless corporation. 
  • It boosts conversions: cleverly optimized CTA text can significantly boost conversion rates, as opposed to bland copywriting. 

UX writing also makes users feel more welcome and helps them navigate and understand your website much better. 

How to Master UX Writing

Now that we know what UX writing is and why it matters, here’s how you can perfect it:

  • Use simple language. Don’t try to sound too fancy or too complex; just communicate your point in as few words as possible. 
  • Understand your audience and what you want them to do. Before you start writing, make sure to understand the action you want them to take. Base it on their needs and pain points rather than your own needs. Create buyer personas and clear conversion paths, and stick to them. 
  • Find your voice. Align your UX writing with your brand’s voice and make it uniquely yours. Don’t feel like you need to stick to a specific format just because everyone else is using it. 
  • Don’t use jargon. While some of your visitors may be okay with it, a lot of them will be confused and may feel inadequate. The last thing you want to do is alienate them. 
  • Don’t use passive voice. It sounds much less personal and generic. Always be as active in your writing as you can be, as it will drive better results. 
  • Speak to the individual. Use “you” as often as you can, as it will make the reader feel they are having a conversation with you. 
  • Don’t put Lorem Ipsum on the website. The final copy will never look like the placeholder one, so you may have trouble aligning the design with the copy later on. Instead, try to make the copy a part of the UI as soon as possible. Ideally, always start from the copy and create your design around it, rather than the other way around.
  • Break the content up. Smaller snippets of copy always read better than long sentences or large chunks of text. Keep it short and to the point, and utilize lists, bullet points, numbers, etc., wherever possible.
  • Use consistent terminology throughout the website. Using different words to denote the same terms will only confuse your readers. 
  • Test multiple times. There is no guarantee you will get it right on the first go, so make sure you test your UX writing repeatedly. Numerous A/B tests will be required to figure out which phrases work best for which audience segments. 

Examples of UX Writing 

Let’s take a look at three great examples of UX writing to demonstrate its power:

Great CTAs 

Action-inducing writing is often difficult to get just right. A brand that does it very well is BaseLang, who’ve created very simple but hugely effective CTAs. 

Their main CTA is “Get started for just $1,” which is action-oriented, personal, and spells out the benefits of using the service very clearly.

They also have “learn more” and “compare plans” CTAs, which are much less inventive, but do a good job of directing traffic without the need to be outrageous.

An Interesting 404 Page

Most brands keep the original 404 pages that come with their website’s theme or write some generic text that does very little to form a deeper connection with users. 

Headspace did a fantastic job, and their 404 page is a prime example of UX writing. The copy is completely on-brand, and it’s funny and witty and makes you smile, despite the fact you just found yourself at a dead end.  

A Powerful Signup Form 

A lot of brands aren’t that creative when it comes to their newsletter signup forms, either. They give you a box and tell you to “sign up here.”

Velocity Partners demonstrate just how good they are at their job. Their “Opt into our crap” form shows you exactly who you are dealing with and provides a much better experience than the usual, bland phrasing. 

Wrapping Up 

UX writing can help you boost your conversion rates and, as the name itself suggests, improve the experience users have on your pages. While it may seem insignificant and small, it’s often the tiny things that make a lot of difference.

Author Bio:

Sarah Kaminski is a freelance writer and social media marketer. She works with a number of small businesses to build their brands through more engaging marketing and content.