Every room in the Ace Hotel is dimly lit, as if the designers were looking to maximise eye damage. Apparently long-term sight issues are cool now, how festive.
Rows of Gary Vaynerchuk disciples line up around the communal tables in the hotel lobby, looking to growth-hack their route to IPO. I thought this strain of “hustle all day” had died at Fyre Festival. Alas, it lives on.
I was in and out of New York for work last week. I can admit, I missed this country. I miss the American optimism and approach to getting things done. I do not miss the subway, but that can wait for another time.
I flew in on the red eye and took a taxi into Manhattan. I sat in a deli and read the Sunday papers while my room was being prepared. Across the counter, a thin man in a blue sports jacket ordered a coffee “black, two sugars, m'am” and watched the line cooks prepare extraordinary portions of eggs.
I caught his eye. “Don’t mind me,” he said, “Sometimes I don’t know what comes out of my mouth. I don’t remember it.”
I looked back at the paper and pulled out the ‘New York’ segment. I love the ‘Morning Routine’ section, often it is an over-ambitious CEO looking to impress but on rare occasions it features someone with a halfway normal routine.
This was one of those days.
When Garrett Oliver was growing up in Harlem he would implore his father to “do this, or go to that”.
His father always had the same response: “I am doing creative nothing.”
Saturday is a day for plans. But Sunday is for creative nothing. An unstructured day for impromptu plans.
I finished my omelette and coffee, collected my bags and walked back to my hotel in the rain. In the hotel lobby, the Gary V disciples were still in position. Their heads bowed to the gods of hustle and recurring revenue streams.
A few people have written in to ask how they can prove the ROI of UX Writing to their company.
I was blasé about how easy this was to answer. I assumed there was already a wealth of literature and case studies available to product teams, to help them answer this question.
I was wrong.
It turns out there is not a whole lot of information out there. Or, rather, there is not a lot of good information out there.
There are a lot of Medium posts extolling the success of brands who have snappy micro-copy. But assessing the ROI of UX Writing is not delivered by good branding or pithy copywriting.
Beyond ‘set up an A/B test’ for your copy, it seems like nobody has really shared their best practices.
A/B tests are good and all, but sometimes the UX Writing team is not involved in that process. Or, worse, they are excluded on purpose.
Without a business case or the right metrics behind you, it is going to be difficult to prove the worth of your UX Writing team or role to upper management. Worse, you might be in a meeting with the Executive team and they ask “so, how do we assess your impact?”
And you have no answer.
And then you might be out of a job.
It might be fickle but it is a real danger. Without metrics or a clear ROI for the company, UX Writing is in danger of being viewed as a passing fad. A position that is easy to eliminate when the next “cool” job role comes along.
Kinneret Yifrah argues you can assess ROI
in three ways:
- More users complete actions
- More user activity
The ROI of UX is a problem the wider discipline of UX has grappled with for years. As Dr Andrea Peer wrote:
“Most organizations won’t be able to tell you how UX is directly tied to ROI and most likely won’t have anything in the works towards that goal. This is not unique to any organization that I’ve seen or worked in – this is simply the UX space.”
Instead, she argues, the question that needs to be asked is:
“What is the UX currency within your organization, and how do you help your company consume that currency?”.
This question is always going to be specific to your organisation. But, the ROI of UX Writing is directly tied to customer willingness to buy (as a huge report by the Temkin Group
demonstrated in 2016).
As you can see, demonstrating the ROI of UX Writing takes more than a pithy blog post.
It takes real time and analysis to identify what metrics are important to you. And isolating the impact words have on that metric.
Otherwise, all we have are nice words on a page. But empty promises.
are hiring for a (Freelance) UX Writer, could that be you? The role is not advertised on their site so I guess you could classify this as an “exclusive”. It is a contractor (temp-to-perm) role and requires you to have 2+ years of experience. Contact Janet Choi
for more info.
are looking for a Content Designer
in Barcelona. You will have “4-5 years of experience on a digital, product design or UX team (or a killer portfolio)” and speak Spanish / Native English, German or French.
are on the hunt for a UX Writer
in London. Small team (7), decent holiday (30 days) and a killer location (Old Street). What are you waiting for?
, purveyor of fine home furnishings, are looking for a Lead UX Writer
to craft killer copy at their London office. Worth it for the 25% discount alone.
are hiring for a UX Copywriter
in New York. You’ll have 3-5 years’ experience as a writer (with at least one as a UX Writer). In 2019 the company was named as one of “NYC’s Best Places to Work”. High praise.
are after a UX Copywriter
in San Jose. They are growing at 969% (oddly specific) and they’re the “11th fastest growing company in San Jose” (is this good or bad? Who knows). But you will report directly to the Director of Design, which is a good thing for career growth.
are hiring for a Senior UX Writer
in Centennial, CO. You will need 4 years of experience plus experience with HTML editors. Check it out.
The (damned with) Faint Praise Corner
“Made waiting to board my plane a bit less miserable” - Michael Metts
“It’s alright” — Kate Scholes.
My name is Gordon Macrae
. I’m a freelance Learning Designer. Got a job tip or opinions about UX writing roles? I’d love to hear from you, reply directly to this email.
Good luck out there!