What Does a UX Writer Do? An Insider’s Guide

Explore the pivotal role of UX writers in crafting seamless digital experiences, blending language expertise with user-centric design principles

What Does a UX Writer Do? An Insider’s Guide - Clay

Thanks to the rapid advancements in technology, there are plenty of emerging fields in the tech industry. One of them is user experience (UX) writing. It’s becoming increasingly important for companies to have one on their teams because they craft the messages customers see when using their websites and apps. UX writers contribute a lot to making a UX design successful.

But what is UX writing exactly?

This is a comprehensive guide to answering that question. We’ll also explore what UX writers do and why every team needs one.

Introduction to UX Writing

What Is UX Writing?

User experience writing involves creating readable copy for users to interact with your service or product. It can be anything from notifications and instructions to error messages and conversational prompts. The goal is to make sure it all sounds friendly but professional.

However, this doesn’t mean that all you have to do is write well. You must also consider other factors, such as visual design, accessibility, usability, customer feedback journey mapping, etc., to ease users’ paths through your product or website.

Source: UX Content Collective

The copy should help them better understand the process without prior knowledge.

The skills in search engine optimization (SEO) can also come in handy for increasing visibility online via organic means.

Essential UX Writing Skills

Good messaging improves usability, increases conversions, enhances brand voice, and engages users. With a good UX writer on your team, you are guaranteed better customer experiences:

  • Improved usability – Clear instructions let people know what they can expect next so they don’t waste precious time figuring out how things work.
  • Increased conversions – When detailed information about your products or services is presented clearly, the likelihood of potential leads turning into buyers shoots up dramatically by guiding them through their journeys smoothly without friction.
  • Enhanced brand voice – Your brand will have a consistent tone across different platforms and interactions if one person works on delivering copies through each touchpoint. This consistency ultimately helps in building trust with customers.
  • Increased user engagement – Keeping an eye on what users need always helps you stay relevant to their preferences, making them want to return for more. A UX writer’s job entails creating content that resonates with your target audience, so listen closely!
  • SEO optimization – A good UX writer will also be aware of SEO best practices and be able to write copy that ranks well online, allowing you to reach more potential customers organically through search engine results pages (SERPs).
Source: Myriam Jessier on Unsplash

Including a UX writer in the UX design process can be incredibly beneficial for any company looking to optimize the user experience and improve overall customer satisfaction. They can help create user-focused copy for digital products, existing content, and services, simultaneously meeting business goals and customer needs!

How Much Is a UX Writer's Salary?

UX writer salary can vary significantly depending on several factors, including geographical location, industry, level of experience, and the company's size. In the United States, the starting salary for UX writers can be around $70,000 per annum, with experienced professionals earning upwards of $140,000 or more. In tech hubs like San Francisco and New York, salaries can be higher due to the cost of living and the concentration of tech companies.

Additionally, UX writers working in specialized fields or with a strong portfolio of successful projects might command higher salaries. It's also worth noting that full-time positions often come with benefits that can significantly enhance the total compensation package, such as health insurance, retirement plans, and stock options.

Types of UX Writing Projects and UX Writing Processes

Interface Copywriting

Interface copywriting is a form of UX writing that deals with creating content for product interfaces. It focuses on constructing messages and instructions so users understand what they are supposed to do when interacting with a product or service. This type of writing is essential for an intuitive user experience.

Source: Halo Lab

To successfully interface copywriting, a writer must understand what information users need to finish tasks, know what motivates them to take specific actions, and know what language will best communicate how they should do something. They must craft content with a clear purpose, all while being consistent with the brand.

Microcopy/Error Messages

Microcopy is helpful information or guidance within an interface like button labels, hints for what to enter in a field form or user onboarding flows. Error messages come up so users understand what went wrong when they typed something incorrectly or made another mistake while using the interface. Good mistake messages provide helpful information without being too harsh and enable users to quickly identify and fix the issue.

Both microcopy and error message writers need to remember their brand's tone of voice in these elements to match other pieces throughout their platform.

Source: Justinmind

Voice & Tone Development

Developing a brand's voice and tone is vital to having a successful position in UX writing. Voice refers to the impression users get from reading company copy, while tone communicates that voice. Both elements must speak directly to user needs while maintaining the brand's identity.

To create an enticing voice and tone, writers need to understand user motivations, what information they need to succeed, and what language will effectively speak to their needs. This information can be obtained through research like interviews, surveys, focus groups, or customer feedback loops. Once this data is collected and analyzed, it can be turned into content that stays true to a brand while directly addressing users' needs.

Experienced writers must also consider various types of users; each interacts with a product differently. This means that the content must be tailored to these groups accordingly. So, an app for a younger audience will probably need more playful and funny language than one for older people, requiring more formal words and fewer slang terms or jokes. A key factor in voice development is ensuring all copies speak the same “voice” across channels so customers don’t get confused or frustrated as they switch from platform to platform.

Content Strategy and Information Architecture

Written content is at the heart of UX technical writing, meaning that creating content to meet user needs is a key part of our work. A well-defined content strategy is essential for organizations to ensure their written material works for them rather than against them.

To build an effective content strategy, it’s important to understand what users need from your product or service. What motivates them? This information can be collected through research such as interviews, surveys, focus groups, or customer feedback loops. This information lets you create helpful copy that speaks directly to users’ needs.

Source: Working In Content

Information architecture (IA) organizes information within digital products such as websites or mobile apps so that users can quickly and easily find what they need. When delivering great customer experiences, having a practical IA in place becomes even more critical as this helps users navigate without frustration.

UX writers play a pivotal role in developing a practical IA by creating clear labels that accurately represent the content on each page or element. These labels must also be concise enough to not overwhelm customers with too much information at once. In addition, UX writers should consider how different pieces of information relate, allowing them to know where certain items should be grouped within menus or submenus and ensuring all necessary items are accessible while not overwhelming customers with too many choices at once! Best SEO practices should also be considered when thinking about IA structures; this could mean using words or phrases that users might search for when looking for similar information so you show up higher on SERPs.

The Essential Skills to Become a UX Writer

Technical Skills for Writing in Code

Technical writing skills are crucial in UX writing if you want to succeed. One essential skill here is writing code and modifying HTML, CSS, and JavaScript – languages used to create better content.

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is a coding language that structures content on websites and applications. UX writers will find this helpful skill to ensure their content looks great on different browsers and devices, leading to better user experiences. By knowing how to use HTML tags, writers can also give their writing semantic meaning so search engine crawlers can easily understand what’s in the text – improving SEO performance.

Source: Yannick Pulver on Unsplash

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) allows developers to style webpages. This helps create consistent branding across digital products or localizing text for different countries or cultures, ultimately resulting in customers worldwide having an enjoyable reading experience with your brand. Not only does CSS aid in making your copy look good, but it also lets you preview what it will look like on different platforms or devices of various sizes before it goes live.

Finally, a common coding language, JavaScript, is used to program user interactions. You need to know how this language works to make it easier for people to navigate through a product without getting stuck or frustrated by too many options at once, such as animations, sliders, and more. With this knowledge of user interaction using some aspects of your product, you can better understand what users do when they use your website so that you can make crafting effective content design strategies easier.

Understanding User Behavior and Motivation

Understanding their behavior and motivation is key when crafting UX writing content strategies that make sense to the user while achieving your business goals. Customers should see CTAs driven by their needs or wants. This will help direct them toward what they’re looking for in a way that feels natural and makes it easier to complete tasks without confusion or frustration. If customers are not motivated by the writing or message being communicated in your content strategy, it won’t matter how well-written it is – it simply won't work.

Source: Nick Morrison on Unsplash

Understanding what motivates users also helps writers effectively target content for specific audiences. By doing this, customers will be exposed to features and services they truly need instead of random things they don't care about, making your company seem unorganized. Not only does understandable target marketing help expose the right group of customers, but these insights also provide information on what language might be appropriate for specific groups and topics they might interest most.

UX writers should also consider the different types of user personas when crafting content specifically for them because each person has different needs – even if they want the same thing from you or your company. Different personas require different language and subjects to get their attention properly, so keep this in mind when writing something up.

Finally, considering how different pieces of information can be grouped logically within menus or submenus ensures all necessary items are accessible and not overwhelm the user with too many choices at once.

Familiarity with Design Principles

Knowing basic design knowledge such as typography, spacing, color, and contrast makes creating a content strategy appealing to the customer’s eye and easy to navigate. Typography alone tells text personality – making all the difference in creating a pleasant user experience. The typeface conveys how professional or casual your product is, so choose one that fits your goal. It also needs to be easy on the reader's eyes, though.

Source: Super Snapper on Unsplash

Using white space effectively helps keep content organized while providing clarity by not overwhelming customers with too much information at once. Using colors strategically guides users in the right direction by making CTAs stand out from everything else they see. Colors can also evoke certain emotions, leading customers to take action that benefits them and what's being advertised or sold.

That’s why you need a UX writer. They can make things look good and sound even better. When crafting copy, writers must understand that everything plays a role in the final piece of writing.

Collaboration Is Key

No one works alone anymore. Writers must work with designers, developers, product managers, and marketers. Sometimes, writers need to know why they’re writing something. Other times, they just need to tell others what words they think.

To ensure that the content makes sense at every stage of the user journey, writers must be able to anticipate what people are going to do next. Understanding how the different pieces fit together helps them avoid any confusion on the part of the customer as well as frustration; frustration leads some customers astray and others straight out the door.

It’s All About Research

Knowing your audience is half the battle when you’re trying to keep them engaged with your website or app. Writers should know which words resonate most with their users and what subjects will also perk their interest.


People are starting to realize that writing is important again. As we create more engaging experiences online, companies are turning toward UX writers for their skills in giving customers exactly what they want without them even realizing it. There isn’t anything like guiding someone through a seamless user journey with your words!

About Clay

Clay is a UI/UX design & branding agency in San Francisco. We team up with startups and leading brands to create transformative digital experience. Clients: Facebook, Slack, Google, Amazon, Credit Karma, Zenefits, etc.

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About Clay

Clay is a UI/UX design & branding agency in San Francisco. We team up with startups and leading brands to create transformative digital experience. Clients: Facebook, Slack, Google, Amazon, Credit Karma, Zenefits, etc.

Learn more

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