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😡Confusion, Solution and Cake 🍰 / UX Writing Summarized #2/2019


UX Writing Summarized

January 15 · Issue #2 · View online

Every busy UX writer can save time reading this.

Ciao, 👋
Hope you are well! Thanks a million for all the kind words sent to me after the first issue of UX Writing Summarized. I’m overwhelmed. One of these e-mails comes from Rich Jones, UX writer at Vistaprint in Barcelona, saying: 
“These days, it’s rare that I read an e-mail from beginning to end. So I commend you for that. Great roundup. Keep it coming.” 
So, this issue will tell you:
  • What the 5 Cs of UX writing are (“Clear” is one)
  • The difference between UX writing and copywriting 
  • How to add and update copy in your app (without annoying developers)  
Your bonus this month is 20 % off the brand new Fundamentals Course in UX writing from UX Writers Collective. Scroll and enroll! 🤑
3, 2, 1 … Bring it on! ⬇

The 5 C’s of UX Writing – UX Planet
Here’s the thing:
If you, willingly or unwillingly, have the task of choosing the words for a digital product, always remember that UX writing is a cake with five layers (a lot of Cs coming up): it’s got to be clear, concise, constructive, conversational and consistent. Sweet! Thanks for the words, Charlene Nuval.
The take-aways:
  1. Write CTA button texts that are crystal clear. Why? Because you have the user’s attention for milliseconds, and clarity trumps confusion on every day ending with -day.
  2. Keep copy short. Write like it’s a billboard for users driving by at 80 mph (probably faster).
  3. Read your words out loud. Does it sound human? Then you’re on the right track. 
The quote:
“Scanning is the new reading.” 😎
Like fall and autumn, UX writing is just another word for copywriting
Here’s the thing:
Edwin Mohammad, UX writer at GO-JEK in Indonesia, thought he had got his head around the difference between copywriting and UX writing. Then he realized that he hadn’t. So he turned to thousands of writers to get a good answer. 
Many people, like product managers, think that UX writing is just another name for copywriting. Is it? No. While copywriting should convince and sell, UX writing is about guiding users and helping them achieve their goal. The copywriter owns the pre-customer experience, while the UX writer owns the customer experience. Also, the copywriter is part of the marketing team, while the UX writer belongs to the UX team
The take-aways:
  1. UX writing is more upfront and less witty than copywriting. Both disciplines should humanize complexed or technical words by understanding people’s reactions to all sorts of things. 
  2. UX writing and traditional copywriting overlap, and are not completely different things. The skills required are the same, but the context and the goal differs.
  3. I believe that Greta van der Merwe says it best. She is UX writer at Careem, the “Uber of the Middle East”. The difference, in her words:
“If writing was a rally race, the copywriter would get drivers excited to enter the race, the content designer would consider what the track should look like, and the UX writer would be the navigator in the seat next to the driver = the user”. 
⬅️ 🚗🚙🚗
The quote:
“It finally hit me. UX writing to them [product managers] was just another name for copywriting. You know, like twelve and dozen, big and large, fall and autumn. You get the gist.” 🥔🍅
How to change copy in an app (without annoying developers)
Here’s the thing:
As UX writer for an app you will need to add new copy or update existing copy. Today, that’s not an easy thing to do. In fact, you need one of your developers to do the job. Sadly, they have always, always, always more important things to work on. 
The team at Picnic – the Dutch online supermarket app – had the same problem. They created their own solution: Babelicious. It’s a plain text Git file (called the Babelfile), which you can directly edit through Github’s editing interface. Great for developers, great for writers. 🥂
The take-aways:
  1. Developers are the busiest people on the planet. That’s exactly why every UX writer needs a smooth way to handle copy changes without having to bother them. That tool needs to make it easy for developers to embed the copy in their codebase.
  2. Github? YAML file? Piggyback? You might need to google those. But if you are a UX writer, you will gain a ton from getting on the same page as your developer.
  3. The next step for Babelicious? The Picnic team is p-r-e-t-t-y vague: “In the coming months, we will be working on open-sourcing the tool” and “maybe we’ll further develop this tool”. Hurry, Harry! Every UX team in the world is screaming for a tool like this. 
For writers and developers working with words together, some of the tools out there are: Phrase, PO Editor, Launchpad, Localize and Bablic. Which tool do you use in your UX team? Do tell! 🙏🏻 
The quote:
“Most product owners state that processing copy changes should not take a developer’s time. I couldn’t agree more.” 😂
Your bonus! 💃🏽
Today marks the opening of the Fundamentals Course in UX Writing, ambitiously put together by the expert team at UX Writers Collective. Bobbie Wood and her staff work with content strategy and writing at Google, Amazon, TurboTax and General Assembly in San Fransisco. 
This online self-paced course is perfect for journalists, copywriters, and marketing writers who want to transition to this new and exciting field. In just 2-4 weeks you will learn the essentials of successful UX Writing. Each of the 7 units is broken down into a series of 4-6 lessons. 
The Fundamentals Course in UX writing costs 895 USD (roughly 8 000 Swedish kronas). As a huge thank you for getting this newsletter, you can now use the code COPYME20 to receive 20 % off the course fee. This golden ticket to UX writing expires by February 15, 2019. 🤓
About me 😊
I’m Mattias Åkerberg, a freelance UX writer from Gothenburg, Sweden.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about all those things in life that I am ridiculously bad at. See, I absolutely cannot use any building tool, wrap a gift, grasp too many spoken numbers or play even the simplest video game 🤦‍♂️. And this is just the beginning of a looong can’t-do-list.
However, I’m pretty awesome at UX writing and doing a newsletter about it. You and 621 other kind people tell me so. That is, to me, a huge comfort in my otherwise complete incompetence. So thank you! 
Photo: Louise Johansson /
Photo: Louise Johansson /
This is my daughter Ilse and me. She’s by far the happiest 9-month-old creature I know. That’s one of the reasons why I’m really looking forward to spending three days off every work week with her until September, 2019
Besides being on parental leave, I will do B2B sales for Rulla vagn (Swedish for “Roll the stroller”), a startup run by my wife and me; in less than 3 years we’ve taken our tiny idea from the sofa in front of the TV to a solid plattform that reaches 100,000 mums and dads in Sweden every month.
I will also spend time and money to become a better UX writer in numerous ways. That’s pretty much me, for now. Feel free to contact me or add me on Linkedin or on Twitter – I would love to hear from you.
“Give, and it will be given to you.” – Luke 6:38
Want more? Here's more:
The next issue will be out on February 12, 2019. Later that same day me and my family will leave for 5 weeks of “workation” (work + vacation!) outside Malaga in southern Spain. ✈️👨🏼‍💻💦🍷👨‍👩‍👧‍👦   
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