You’re reading this article to learn about UX writing. But how did you find it?
Whether you clicked on a Google search result or stumbled on a link that piqued your curiosity, someone was responsible for the text that earned your interest. That person is likely a user experience (UX) writer who leads internet users to a site or page with words.
But what exactly do UX writers do? What’s the demand for UX writers? And how can you break into the industry? Let’s take a closer look.
What is UX writing?
UX design is a field of work dedicated to helping a user make their way through a digital process or product with minimal effort and maximum value. These designers are responsible for creating a great experience for anyone interacting with a digital product, including websites and digital products,, whether that’s creating an intuitive password recovery process or a seamless delivery tracker.
UX writing is the practice of creating all customer-facing text in a digital product, such as a website or app interface. A UX writer creates microcopy — short copy phrases such as slogans, headlines, and calls to action (CTAs) — to help visitors navigate websites, applications, and other user interfaces (UI).
In traditional marketing copywriting, content aims to boost brand awareness and convince people to buy a product or service, while UX writing seeks to guide visitors seamlessly through a digital platform. Because of this, UX copywriters require an understanding of both traditional copywriting and UX design to be most effective.
As technology becomes increasingly complex, UX writers aim to provide people with clear instructions to help them intuitively navigate digital media.
The day-to-day of a UX writer
Customers need to understand what a digital product is for, its benefits, and how they can use it. To do this, they need guidance and assurance. UX writers must have the communication skills to bridge this gap with clear copy. Their work includes introductory text on homepages, instructional text that teaches visitors how to use a site, and error messages for invalid functions (such as when a visitor’s payment fails).
But writing copy isn’t all a UX writer does. Here are a few various duties they might fulfill:
Create and understand content strategies and metrics
Content strategy refers to the production, distribution, and management of content on a website, social media platform, or app. Typically, UX writers work with dedicated content strategists who ensure all written, aural, and visual content matches the goals of the brand and set a course for future content.
Sometimes, this content strategy process involves UX writers, who decide what type of written content will best serve the brand’s goals, review current content for optimization, and plan for new content from scratch.
UX writers must also understand certain metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to ensure their copy aligns with research-backed data and analytics for higher conversions. They can usually determine a product's efficacy by looking at these metrics and using that information for future ideation and implementation.
Develop and implement brand voice
To write the appropriate copy, a UX writer must understand a brand's voice and the emotions it wants to invoke. A UX writer is responsible for following or developing a brand’s voice and using it in microcopy so that the end result reflects the company’s identity. This cohesion in tone helps build confidence in the brand, as readers have a consistent experience.
When working at an agency, UX writers typically receive a client-specific style guide containing information about their brand identity and tone. The UX writer then combines this understanding with their knowledge of the brand’s content strategy and applies their work to the UI and experience.
When working in-house, UX writers must have a deep understanding of their employer’s brand identity and style. They collaborate with UX and UI designers to understand their vision and create copy that elevates the company’s digital product while supporting its function.
A website that shares information about senior care, for example, won’t use complicated jargon or slang that caregivers and elderly people won’t understand. Instead, the voice will be simple and reassuring to provide a succinct and helpful resource.
Collaborate with web development, design, and marketing teams
Other than working with UI/UX designers, UX writers collaborate with web developers, design teams, and marketing professionals to create suitable copy for their clients.
Web developers handle front-end and back-end development, while content designers create graphic elements during the product design process. Marketing professionals such as product and social media managers oversee the product’s online presence from ideation to launch to promotion, even after it hits the market.
UX writers assist these teams by writing relevant copy to achieve their respective goals as a cohesive unit.
What skills do you need to become a UX writer?
UX writers are highly-adaptable and multi-talented workers. Here are a few fundamental skills a UX writer must have:
- Excellent writing. UX writing is more than correct grammar and spelling — it requires a thorough comprehension of voice and tone and the ability to use words to powerful effect. To minimize friction for someone scrolling through a website or app, a UX writer must write crisp and unambiguous copy.
- Basic knowledge of UX. Because their work overlaps with UX design, UX writers must understand who they're creating copy for and where it will appear on an interface. UX writers should understand UX design concepts and relevant tools, as the two facets work together to create a user experience.
- Understanding of visitor behavior. Visitor behavior is key to growth — they're the ones buying products and services, so satisfying their needs is necessary to maintain a business. These writers use UX research and metrics to learn about visitor behavior and develop a deep understanding of what strategies work. This knowledge empowers UX writers to make informed decisions about tweaking their writing to enhance engagement and increase conversions.
- Knowledge of design tools. Sketch, Adobe XD, and Figma are just a few of the tools used by UX designers. They use many other programs for steps like wireframing (a 2D representation of the eventual UI) and prototyping (a testing procedure where design concepts are taken from the wireframe and digitalized). These all work to form a web application’s foundation and provide a design platform for copy. UX writers must familiarize themselves with popular design tools to best collaborate with designers and ensure smooth workflow.
To discover more skills, check out our article on the best design tips for aspiring UX writers.
What is a UX writer’s salary?
According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary for full-time UX writers was approximately $118,555 (or $57 per hour) in 2023.
Entry-level UX writers made between $50,500–92,000, while senior UX writers earned as much as $162,500.
The average salary range for UX writer jobs varied significantly depending on a writer's experience, skill level, and location. This indicated several opportunities for better compensation and growth for those pursuing careers in certain states.
The table below illustrates the 10 highest-paying cities in the US for UX writing jobs:
Ready to take the next step in your UX career?
Having the right skills isn’t enough to break into UX writing — you need experience and a strong portfolio to back them up.
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