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Combining UX and backend web code writing

Friday, January 3rd, 2014 by Servage

From the title of this post, you might question the difference between UX writing and web writing; while also wondering about the fragmentation of the content writer’s roles in the overall web development process. With this post, I provide some tips on formulation of the content strategy and content writing itself.


First, let’s understand the visible and comprehensive differences between UX writing and web writing. When doing UX writing, your intention is to deliver excellent user experiences on your site through texts and design elements. For this reason, it requires a bit of technical prowess and/or design understanding. UX writing mainly consists of text on: buttons, icons, and navigational elements; or for navigation purposes (as in Windows 8), instructions, warnings, various pop-ups, banners, headings and other miscellaneous purposes.

The goals of UX writing consist of textual elements that help visitors achieve whatever they desire, as seamlessly as possible. In this way, they feel at ease while surfing your site. In short, UX writing, along with design elements, makes using a website effortless. Whereas web writing creates appeal for the website’s content, along with branding. Compared to UX writings, web content is generally voluminous and informative in nature. Thus, web writing describes purpose for the site, often by incorporating products or services that are presented in distinct ways. Web writing offers opportunity to augment your brand in various ways.

Key Distinctions

When we evaluate both forms of writing, we find some distinctions. This includes greater focus on the titles and subheadings for content and how this will impact the audience. We stress the importance of engaging the audience with our products or services through descriptions of various features and functionality. We offer opportunities to scan the content through writing styles and techniques, allowing our visitors to quickly retrieve desired information.

In the case of UX writing, we present information in an entirely different way. For instance, we describe the intentions of design elements so users know what will happen when they push a particular button. We place informative labels and utilize concise words or sentences which describe the purpose of icons and other UI elements. When we write an error message or warning, we ensure that it makes sense and convey our thoughts precisely without wasting much time and space.

Why Should We Combine Both?

This is a critical question. We realize there are key distinctions between UX and web writing, so why bother trying to amalgamate them in a web development project? Think about a headline that describes a feature of a product or service which in turn creates a desired impact in the mind of your readers. Without context around this descriptive heading it will lack cohesiveness with your users’ experiences. Therefore, you must tie that headline to the goals you have for your user; hence, the design.

In essence, my argument above insists that you write web copy with goals for user experiences. Otherwise, you will lose track of achieving your end goal of your website conversion. Having a web content writer with suitable experience in UX copy writing is great and a sound approach to overall development. The combination of UX writing with web writing in your web design project will bring consistency in the overall content and offer excellent user experiences. Moreover, this will leverage the quality of your website in the eyes of your visitors.


References & More Reading

Three Lessons Learned Doing Content Strategy for a Startup
25 tips for writing the user experience

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