Anyone who’s been working in a digital-based industry for some time knows that User Experience (UX) is one of the hottest buzzwords around the office. Everything from website design to marketing campaigns is being constructed based on the principles of UX, which essentially focuses on making content easy to understand, access, and navigate for the consumer.

Historically, the concept of UX has largely been centered on improving layouts and graphic interfaces.  But what if I told you there’s an additional element of UX known as UX writing that’s been mostly overlooked up until now?

What Makes UX Writing Different From Other Forms of Writing

The idea behind UX writing is fairly straightforward: content needs to be short, sweet, and to the point without losing any of its value. Sounds like your run-of-the-mill copywriting, right? Not completely.

If you want to see the difference between a writer and a UX writer then just look at the name – user experience.  The UX writer creates content that doesn’t only reflect the needs of the business, but is also designed in such a way that is useful and optimal for the reader. This means none of the excessive technical jargon or that overly smart sounding tone that some content writers use in their articles. The UX writer’s job is not to appear clever, it’s to get the point across as easily as possible.

Any copywriter will tell you that UX writing has always been a part of creating good copy. And while that’s correct, UX writing has now become a disciple of its own. Companies like Amazon, Google, Dropbox, and PayPal are all looking specifically for UX writers to add to their teams, and here’s why:

  • UX writing is optimized for the majority of people who scan-read as opposed to reading every single word in the sentence.
  • UX writers are expected to choose their words carefully in order to convey their point as clearly as possible.
  • UX writers don’t care about content, they care about experiences. Readers will forget words in an article, but they’ll remember whether it was fun, engaging, and useful.
  • UX writers tend to be part of the UX design team instead of the team of writers, which calls for more collaboration with programmers, marketers, researchers, and customer operation managers.
  • Written UX content is much more scrutinized than other forms of copy. It’s subject to A/B testing and rewrites from long to short-form until every micro-detail is perfect.
  • According to Google, UX writers draw upon expertise beyond writing to create content that is positive, engaging, and constructed in a way the reader can relate to.

Where UX Writing Fits in the Industry

While there are some overlaps with other forms of writing (like copywriting, technical writing, and content writing), it’s important to remember that UX writing focuses on the reader first and foremost. UX writers are more concerned with catering to the user’s feelings and perceptions rather than creating content that’s comprehensive, informative, or designed to generate leads. And that is what sets them apart from inbound marketers, technical writers, and content strategists.

Brandon Harville is a copywriter who’s riding the UX train until the wheels fall off.