7 UI Tips That Will Improve Your UX Writing

UX writing always goes hand in hand with UI design. UX copies should always match UI design elements and overall concept. It’s the only right way to create a smooth user flow and ensure product success.

As a UX writer, you can learn a lot from UI experts. This article shares the most effective UI tips – feel free to use them to expand your knowledge, improve your writing, and grow as a professional.

Strive for Simplicity

Simplicity is a key characteristic of a high-quality user interface. As experts say, “an ideal interface” is almost invisible to the user’s eyes.

Most UI developers strive to create simplistic designs. They avoid using any unnecessary elements to ensure smooth user interactions.

Simplicity in UX writing is as important as simplicity in UI design. If you want to create effective UX copies, you should focus on simple wording. Here are a few rules you should follow:

  • Avoid rarely used words. Use simple words that your target audience uses in everyday life. In such a way, you will show users that you “speak the same language”.
  • Don’t add too many details to one UX copy. Focus on your key message and keep it simple.
  • Write sentences in active voice.
  • Avoid using sophisticated words where a simpler synonym can be used. For instance, replace the verb “deteriorate” with “worsen”.
  • Don’t use slang and jargon. It will make your copies hard to read and hard to understand for a general audience. The only exception is if your product is supposed to be used by professionals in a specific field. You can use industry jargon if you know for sure that it appeals to your target users.

If you apply these principles to your writing, you will achieve the following results:

  • Make your copies easy to look through and read through.
  • Improve your texts’ accessibility for non-native English speakers.
  • Eliminate distractions that negatively affect user flow.
Keep It Short

In the first quarter of 2021, mobile internet traffic has amounted to 54.8% of the total global online traffic. Since mobile internet is getting more affordable and faster, we can predict this number will keep growing in the coming years.

Today, the vast majority of UI developers adopt a “mobile-first” approach. They start the design process with the smallest screen sizes and then adjust their products to bigger screens.

You should use the same approach when you work on your writing projects. You should create the shortest UX copies possible to make them fit mobile screens.

  • Try to formulate the key message using as few words as possible.
  • Opt for shorter words, where possible. For instance, use the verb “rotate” instead of “alternate”.
  • Don’t use two or more words where one word can be used. For example, you can write the short word “care” instead of the modal verb “to look after”.

Your UX copies will work effectively on any screen if you keep your writing brief and concise. Take a look at the following screenshot: a home page of the Upwork website and its mobile version. Even though the size of the screen differs drastically, the key message (the main UX copies) of the page remains unchanged.

UI Tips

Make Your Writing Consistent

Good UI design is all about consistency. Consistency in styles and colors greatly contributes to usability and creates an intuitive interface.

How do UI designers develop the integrity of a product? They choose a set of colors, fonts, and icons and use them throughout the product. For instance, they create one CTA button design and use it throughout the website/app. No matter how many new CTA buttons will be added later, all of them will look alike.

UI Tips

As a UX writer, you should also make your writing more consistent. It will boost your efforts and make your UX copies more compelling. To achieve consistency in writing, do the following:

  • Set ground rules. You should decide whether you will use shortenings, abbreviations, slang, and jargon. If you choose to avoid such words, you will have to avoid them throughout all your work on the project.
  • Define the tone of writing that matches the marketing strategy. The tone can be professional or friendly, expert or engaging, formal or informal. Choose one specific tone and stick to it.
  • Strive to maintain consistency in wording. Focus on specific words and phrases that resonate with your target audience and use them through the product. Don’t overuse synonyms – that may ruin the integrity of the product.

Here is an example. UX writers at Monday.com used the phrase “get started” as the main CTA button and as a key phrase other UX copies on the page. They didn’t try to paraphrase it. Why? When information is presented this way, it gets easier to convince a website visitor to complete the desired action – to start using the tool.

UI Tips

Think Like a User

Professional UI developers don’t strive to create a product that “looks visually appealing”. Their main task is to design products that meet the expectations and preferences of the target users.

Before starting the project, UI designers conduct user experience research. They do it to understand who will use the product and for what specific purpose. The more user insights designers get, the better outcomes they achieve.

UI/UX design is all about understanding the needs and preferences of the users. So if you want to become a better UX writer, you should focus on users, not your product. Before you jump into writing, imagine yourself as a user and ask yourself the following questions:

  • How will this product help me to solve my X problem?
  • Which of the product’s features will benefit me the most?
  • What information about this product will convince me to start using it right away?
  • If I start using this tool, which features will I try out first and last?
  • I have never used software products like this before. Will it be difficult for me to learn to use this software?

Once evaluate your product from the users’ perspective, you will be able to write more compelling texts. You will emphasize the right aspects of the product and choose words more wisely. This approach will allow you to manipulate the user’s decisions and boost conversions.

Don’t Reinvent Terminology

UI developers are creative people, but they don’t try to reinvent existing design patterns. For example, they place the logo in the top left corner and the “sign up” button in the top right corner. They don’t experiment with design element placement because it may negatively affect user flow.

Standard patterns are familiar to users, and they create a smooth user flow. Non-standard patterns challenge users and affect user experience.

Why does it happen? Unconsciously, human beings tend to avoid things they are not familiar with. When users come across an app that looks very different from other apps, they decide not to use it – they don’t even try to figure out how the app works.

Take a look at the following screenshot. This webpage was built with the use of a standard layout. UI experts decided not to break design conventions to prevent user frustration.

UI Tips

This principle is called the principle of least surprise. It infers that all elements of the product should behave in a way that most users expect them to behave.

This principle is applicable not only to UI design but also to UX writing. When you write UX copies, you should use standard terms and phrases that users already know. You shouldn’t try to reinvent terminology.

The words like sign up, buy, shopping cart, start, select, accept, grow, connect, automate and sync are familiar to every user. Don’t replace them with other rarely-used words, trying to make your copy stand out. It will not work in your favor.

Conduct A/B Testing

No matter how qualified UI designers are, they never know for sure which of their design ideas will turn out to be the most effective. To create an ideal user interface, developers conduct A/B testing and analyze which design elements bring better results.

They test one element at a time. For instance, developers compare the efficiency of various CTA buttons by specific parameters such as size or color (for example, small vs big button, green vs orange button).

UX writers can also take advantage of split testing. Here is a step-by-step guide to follow:

  • Identify a project goal. Think of specific results your team aims to achieve (generate more leads, improve checkout conversion rate, etc.)
  • Form a hypothesis. Define a problem, and think of how you can solve it by adjusting your UX copy.
    • Problem: Users hesitate to click the “Start now” button.
    • Hypothesis and possible solution: Probably, users haven’t decided yet whether they are ready to pay for the product. We should use the new button “Start a free trial” to attract money-conscious users.
  • Set up and run a test using the UX testing tool of your choice.
  • Compare the results and see whether your hypothesis has worked.
  • Implement the changes, and then start testing the next UX hypothesis.
Ensure Clarity in Writing

Well-chosen imagery drives user experience and helps to boost conversions rate. Being aware of this fact, designers strive to use images and visual symbols that users can easily interpret. Also, designers avoid visuals that have unclear meaning or may confuse users.

Take a look at the following screenshot. Can you guess what this software product is all about? From looking at these pictures, you may presuppose that this product relates to marketing and emails, and you will be right. That’s an example of how proper visual design helps you better understand the product.

UI Tips

How can you apply this principle to your writing? You should strive to achieve clarity in your UX copies. You shouldn’t use words that have double meanings or phrases that may be misinterpreted. For instance, you should avoid using idioms because most non-native speakers don’t know their meanings.

When it comes to UX writing, inaccuracy in wording can significantly affect user experience. It’s important to understand that even one poorly chosen word can make users stop using the product.

Make it a habit to reread all your texts before publishing them. Make sure that every UX copy is written in a clear and concise way and that every user, regardless of his cultural and technical background, will be able to interpret it correctly.

In Conclusion

The well-coordinated work of the UI/UX team defines the product success. UX writers need to understand the processes behind the UI design.

We highly encourage you to use these UI tips in your practice. It’s a great way to level up your writing skills and achieve new outstanding results.

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