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🤶What most startups lack, the Christmas mistake, and word efficiency ㊙️


UX Writing Summarized

May 14 · Issue #6 · View online

Every busy UX writer can save time reading this.

I’m Mattias. So nice to meet you. 
I crawled out of bed early to write this. The sun was already up. ☀️
I poured a cup of coffee, and put it next to the Duplo bricks on the table. 
After writing one and a half sentences, my son Elis woke up (and refused to go back to sleep). He’s 4, but if you ask him he’ll tell you that he’s 5. 😛
He crawled up onto the sofa, and together we looked at pictures of me when I was about his age. “We’re quite alike, dad”, he said and crawled closer. ❤️
As a father of two, time is short for me right now. That’s a good thing. It forces me to focus. I s-p-e-n-d my time on the people and things that matters the most. 
Most likely, your time is short as well. That’s why this newsletter is intentionally concise. Enjoy!
PS. You and me … let’s be friends, not strangers. Send me an email. Tell me about you. What is it about UX writing that gets you going? What do you struggle to get your head around? What would you recommend me (and others) to do, see, and listen to? It might just be a short e-mail – that’s more than fine by me. You’ll reach me at

This issue deals with things like:
✌️Why tech startups should hire a UX writer (right now)
✌️Why UI texts should be written early in the process
✌️Why localisation beats translation at Booking. com
Why startups need UX writing and how they can make it happen Why startups need UX writing and how they can make it happen
Here’s the thing:
Tech startups need a UX writer. In fact, it’s a secret weapon if you aim for success. Elaine Short, UX writer at Spotify in Stockholm, claims that “for startups, UX writing is a differentiator because a better experience is a differentiator.” Hiring a UX writing consultant is the best way to start (totally agree!).
The take-aways:
  1. Startup people think that UX writing is just copy. 🤦 It’s not. UX writing copy plays – together with visuals and interaction – a crucial part in creating a usable experience that engages people (and makes them stay loyal). Often, you don’t even notice it, since successful UX writing copy blends in.
  2. A UX writer governs and makes sure that every added word is clear, human and on-brand. For a small startup, we can transform the end-to-end experience, increase performance metrics, and gather fruitful findings from our user research. 🥝 🍓 🍌🍏🍊
  3. It might be tricky to employ an in-house UX writer right away (it’s hard to evaluate a craft that’s new to you). You’re better off hiring a UX writing consultant instead, because that person’s hours, process and expertise are valued in a literal way. You can expect a different perspective 👀, and a big impact over a shorter period of time.  
The quote:
“Having a UX writer is a game changer. How can so many tech companies not already have one?”
16 Rules of Effective UX Writing – UX Planet
Here’s the thing:
Professional UX writers work together with developers and designers. And the user interface (UI) texts should be written earlier in the product development process. Why? It’s simple. Because text problems often reveal design problems 💊, which otherwise would have gone unnoticed until way later. Nick Babich, editor-in-chief of UX Planet, picks 16 rules that can help you write better UX.  
The take-aways:
  1. Be efficient with your words. Use as few as possible. Make sure every word has a job. 👷🏻
  2. Start your sentences with the objective, then the action. For example: “To see item’s properties, tap on it.” See? First objective, then the action. 
  3. People don’t like surprises. They want to know what to expect. Let your action verbs on labels and button texts be clear. Write “Send” and “Subscribe” instead of vague words like “Okay” and “Submit”. 🙄
The quote:
“You may be surprised at the time and effort it takes to write effective UI text. But believe me, it’s worth it. Every word in your app is part of a conversation with your users.”
Writing UX copy for translation – Writers – Medium
Here’s the thing:
Writing copy is hard. Writing copy for translation is even harder. Just ask Rachael Bundock, the UX copywriter at The words she chooses must work in 43 languages and dialects. How do you do that? 🤷‍♀️ By being flexible (“make it work and fit”), working together with the company’s Language Specialists, and don’t cling to the idea of the perfect piece of copy. 
The take-aways:
  1. Do you want your copy translated – or localised? It’s far from the same thing. You may force the words to an exact match. Or you can be more flexible and make them fit the reader’s language and culture. It would be insensitive at best to send a Christmas e-mail to people in countries where Christianity isn’t a large religion. Localisation is the way to go here. 
  2. Skip “Hey Eva”! In many languages, using someone’s first name is far too personal. And the name itself may even change in the translation process. Instead, you may use a personal, friendly tone to achieve the same goal. 👋👋
  3. Ask yourself “Why am I writing this?”. When you know the WHAT and WHY, you can make it sound like it was never in English in the first place. That way, you make people understand you (which is way more important than trying to be funny).  🤣🤣🤣 
The quote:
“We write in ‘Booking’, not English, as we have to consider the translatability of everything we write.” 
Erin Kissane is a content strategist, and the author of the book The Elements of Content Strategy. Now, she’s giving her book away for free. Read it before she comes to her senses. The online book is divided into three sections: 1) Basic Principles, 2) The Craft of Content Strategy, and 3) Tools and Techniques.
Do you speak Spanish? Then, congrats! Here’s why:
Sergio Valero Notari is the Lead UX Writer at Doctoralia, based in Barcelona, Spain. He’s carefully put together a concise online course all about UX Writing and UX Editing. In less than 2 hours, Sergio talks about microcopy, voice and tone, text testing and the content-first approach. It’s self-paced and consists of 44 super-short lessons
The first great thing: this UX writing course costs you close to nothing (that’s 15 USD to be precise). 
The second great thing: as a thank you for reading this newsletter, Sergio insists on giving you something extra. On top of the course, you will have a 1-hour video call with Sergio to get more in-depth discussion, clear up any doubts, and get a review of your portfolio with tips on how to make it even better.
This is for you if you haven’t yet bought your ticket to the one-day Nordic.Design conference in Stockholm, Sweden, in October 2019: 
Today and tomorrow you (and a friend of yours) can buy TWO tickets for the price of one. That’s 3,198 SEK (that’s 333 USD) for one ticket, and also 3,198 SEK for two. This offer is valid until Wednesday, 15th May, 2019.
If you are just fine with one ticket: use >> UXWS19 << as your promo code and – voilà – you will pay 1,199 Swedish kronor less for the ticket; that’s a discount of roughly 125 USD (!).
That’s it. Spend your day wisely.
The next issue will be out on June 11, 2019. ☀️
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