UX Writing Summarized

By Mattias Åkerberg

🐵 It’s not about you, but listen … / UX Writing Summarized #15/2020



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UX Writing Summarized

May 14 · Issue #15 · View online

Every busy UX writer can save time reading this.

It’s been ages, I know. Months. 🤷‍♂️
Yet, here I am. And there you are … safe and sound and at home, I hope.
My head’s been elsewhere for months. I’ve been busy working, busy holding things together, busy living through this. Yet, here I am. And so are you. Happy to have you reading. 💕
Let’s forget about the upside-down world for a couple of minutes.
Instead, let’s dive into the infinity pool known as Microcopy Forever and Ever. 🏄🏼‍♂️

The full story:
Where does UX Writing fit with design? | Owen Williams
The summarized story:
Here’s the thing:
Really, it’s as simple as ABC. Copywriters should “always be converting”, while UX writers must ‘”always be clear” (and concise). We write to keep users, never to push them away. But why and how can a UX writer have a seat at the design table? 🙋‍♀️ Owen Williams, Content Strategy Manager at Shopify in Toronto, gives you the answers.
The take-aways:
  1. UX writing must never be guesswork. It’s absolutely necessary to do research. Talk to your users. Find out what they are trying to get done. What causes friction? How can words help them get there much faster?
  2. Does microcopy HAVE TO sparkle? No. Instead: get out of the way, and help people get shit done (’cause they don’t want your overdone, quirky marketing copy). Yet, it’s always a good idea to be friendly and have a personality. 
  3. It’s 🤦‍♂️ to write the ending before you’ve written the first chapter. It’s 👏 👏 👏 to include a UX writer at the start, since crafting the words reveals design problems at an early stage. Words are design material. 
The quote:
“Copywriting and UX writing are separate for a reason: once your users have signed up, they don’t want to be sold to anymore!”
The full story:
Writing, Copy, and Content: How Words Make or Break the User Experience
The summarized story:
Here’s the thing:
⬆️ UX writing is there to reduce friction, build trust and guide people. In this article by Oliver Lindberg, smart people such as Sophie Tahran, Andrea Drugay and Scott Kubie show you why UX writing can be a thankless job. ↙️ 
The take-aways:
  1. Words are all over your website or app. And thoughtfully written, they shouldn’t be noticed. Badly written, they give people a bad experience. Removing all the words is the best way to show how UX writing can make or break the experience. 😡
  2. Do you know what “NIN” means? No? The same goes for 100% of users surveyed in the UX research phase for a multi-million dollar digital transaction site for the UK government. They changed the term to National Insurance Number, and 86% “got it” and completed the transaction form, 🎵 so effortless. Always speak your users’ language.
  3. In difficult moments, be kind and straightforward with your words, not clever. People want to know that they can trust you. Always make your language consistent and your tone appropriate for the situation. 
The quote:
“Research and test your words early and often, since that saves you a ton of time and money.”
The full story:
3 tricks from UX research that can help you have better conversations
The summarized story:
Here’s the thing:
Talking to people is a big part of UX research (or should be, at least). It’s a great way to understand your readers. But how do we all have better conversations? Maria Jäärats, UX researcher at Pipedrive, tells us 3 tricks.
The take-aways:
  1. People feel sooo good and rewarded when they share something personal, and someone (you!) listens to that. Concentrate fully on the interviewee, and push back every impulse to make your conversation about you. Do not ever steal the attention. 
  2. Let the star of the interview (not you!) do 90% of the talking. 🤩
  3. To listen with your full attention is the first step towards real empathy. You will get better answers when you dare to be silent
The quote:
“When you let go of the rush to think about “you” while listening to others, something unexpected happens.” 😮
I use Dropbox Paper to write. It’s almost always great.
I say “almost” for a reason: when I’m on a train or hiding away in our bedroom to write, wifi connection is often lost. Big problem! Nothing is auto-saved! Help me! 🤕
So Dropbox helps me. Instead of asking me to “try again later”, (Hello?? Later? It’s on the internet!) they understand that my waiting span is down to milliseconds. Have a look at this brilliant call to action button text:
If you förstår svenska, this is för dig:
Now is the time to act if you want to master UX writing in Swedish, with my guidance, starting in September 2020. Over 20 people have already taken part in the exclusive online education program, and registration for the next class is open now
The program, called “UX-writing på svenska” (UX writing in Swedish), is 6 intense weeks with live online lectures, individual feedback sessions and microcopy exploration in Figma.
You’ll do interviews with customers, create a solid voice and tone guide and write a broad range of microcopy for your project or brand. Also, 3 books that are fundamental for UX writers are included for everyone in the program. 👇
The race has been on for a while: who’s gonna …
… host the first UX writing conference ever in the world? Yuval Keshtcher? Nope. The folks at UX Writers Collective? Nah. 
Instead Joe Welinske and his team at Welinske & Associates will be first out. No matter where you are in the world, you’re invited to UX Writer Conference on June 9-10, 2020. The online event will be 12 hours with speakers such as Joscelin Cooper, Bruno Rodrigues, Tanja Matic and Mario Ferrer. Hope to see you there! The ticket price is just 195 USD, which equals “too low to say no!” 👈
How many emojis are enough?
In the latest letter I asked you: am I too big of an emoji fan? 🙈🐙💥🥐✂️
Quite a lot of you replied (thanks a million). Most of you told me “sweet spot found” 🎯, someone said it was “nearly perfect emoji harmony”, while a few shouted “too many”.
I‘m sending the book “Writing is Designing” (a great one, by the way) to Barbara, Mark and Matilda to show how much all these kind and helpful words mean to me. Thank you all! 🕺
This is me
Thank you for reading. 
I’m Mattias, 38-year-young father of two (Ilse and Elis). I’ve been a freelance writer for 10 years, and I don’t ever want to go back (to an open office space and anxious amateur clients).
Instead, I’ve set a goal for my “company of one” to fly high for at least 20 more years. THAT sparks joy in me, to quote Marie Kondo. I am now the Swedish UX writer for experienced clients such as Storytel, Apohem and Confetti.events. 
You can always reach me at mattias@pleasecopyme.se (please do!)
The next issue will be out on June 16, 2020 (maybe earlier, maybe later). 
Can’t wait? You can always read all issues of UX Writing Summarized.
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