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Why UX Copywriting Matters & How to Get It Right

As a marketer, you need to understand both user experience (UX) and UX copywriting. Here's what you should know, including best practices and examples.

August 10, 2022
Why UX Copywriting Matters & How to Get It Right
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You have thousands of user experiences daily—including countless digital experiences—that all have some impact on the decisions you make. As a user yourself, you might not think much about user experience (UX) unless something goes terribly wrong or exceptionally well. But, as a marketer, understanding and consciously paying attention to it is crucial. Why?

We’ll get to that shortly and talk about some ways to improve your UX writing. But first, let’s clear up what user experience is, what UX copywriting is, and what they involve. 

What is user experience (UX)?

User experience encompasses many aspects of an individual’s interaction with a product, service or brand. It applies to both physical and digital products and includes:

  • How they interact
  • Why they’ve chosen to do so (and if the experience lines up with their original intent)
  • When they engage
  • How smooth the experience is or isn’t, and how they feel as a result  

Take, for example, users of your company website. What are they looking for when they visit it? Whatever it is, if you asked them, would they tell you it’s easy or even enjoyable to find? 

If so, you’d be providing a good user experience that builds relationships and drives conversions for your business. And, if not, bad UX would be to blame for the exact opposite results.

To continue our explanation of the importance of UX, let’s now discuss UX copywriting in particular.  

What is UX copywriting and why is it important?

Its name gives it away. UX copywriting is copywriting that’s specifically designed to improve user experience. It aims to guide users toward a set goal and uses language to reduce or eliminate friction along the way. 

To be clear, it can contribute to a consistent brand voice, align with content strategy, and have an impact on sales. Yet, its main purpose is to effectively and efficiently guide people to where they need to be. This is evidenced by where the UX copy is found. Page headers, buttons, onboarding instructions, loading screen messages, pop ups, error messages, and other forms of microcopy are all meant to direct users. 

When they do a good job of it, users are more likely to:

  • Have meaningful interactions with you
  • Buy from you now and in the future
  • Refer others to you 

All because good UX—combined with other elements such as a great product or service—puts them in the positive frame of mind to do so.

UX writing vs. copywriting: how they differ

You’ve probably noticed by now that UX writing and copywriting do have some similarities and overlap. Both use words to lead people toward an end goal. So how are they different? Is there really a need to make the distinction between these two types of writing? The short answer is “yes.” 

Copywriting is writing to persuade or sell. It’s about providing the info potential customers need to feel comfortable moving ahead, and heightening their motivation to follow through.

UX writing, on the other hand, is about making it as easy as possible (or even fun) for them to take the next steps. 

You could think of it this way. UX writing is like clearing the path to a set destination and putting up signposts so that travelers can navigate it easily and arrive as expected. Copywriting is how you persuade them to travel on your path and/or to that specific destination. So, while they do work hand in hand, they’re far from being the same.

This is further confirmed by who these two types of specialists work with. Copywriters generally work with marketers such as content strategists and with branding teams. And UX writers are more involved in the design process, collaborating with UX designers, developers, and product teams.

Now that we have more clarity on what UX writing is, we’ll dive into how you can improve the digital experiences you create for your audience. 

How to make your copy more UX-friendly

Here are a handful of best practices that make for good UX copy and that can help you provide a seamless, positive experience for your audience.

1. Study the audience and speak to each member

Just as with copywriting in general, it’s important to know your audience well when doing UX copywriting. Only if you understand their wants, needs, concerns, and pain points can you effectively guide them toward an action. 

And a big part of being effective is not just speaking to your audience as a whole but speaking to each individual, prioritizing what’s most important to and for them.

For example: Growth Tools shows how this is done with a full-page overlay on its home page, which:

  • Addresses the common frustration of feeling stuck in your marketing
  • Speaks directly to each site visitor by using “you” repeatedly
  • Explains what you’ll get by taking the recommended action 
  • Highlights the benefit you’ll get by clicking the button (a proven idea and everything you need to execute it fast)
growth tools ux
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You can use the knowledge you gain about your audience from user testing and user research in a similar way.

2. Be crystal clear and consistent

Remember: Good UX copy guides users effectively. For it to work, your messaging has to be clear and easily understandable. And it also needs to be consistent. Both contribute to a good user experience, free of the kind of confusion and frustration that deter users from interacting with you in the future. 

hubspot ux
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When it comes to clarity and consistency, we can all take lessons from HubSpot. Its CTA button is clear about the two options you have—getting started or requesting a demo. 

Plus, the exact same call-to-action is found in the company’s website header and elsewhere. So no matter where a visitor is on the website, they always know the best next step and understand what awaits them on the other side of this button.

3. Leverage the power of positivity 

While playing on negative emotions can sometimes be a secret weapon for copywriters—think of the Pain Agitate Solution framework, for example—it can often be better to use positivity. 

To illustrate, Canva knows the stigma associated with design. Most non-designers think that you either have an eye for it or you don’t. It’s viewed as something difficult and time-consuming if you're not very creative.

canva ux
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However, instead of focusing on the design worries of potential users, Canva focuses on what you can do with its suite of features. Just about anyone can create stunning designs with this tool. Being told as much empowers site visitors, making them more likely to become users. The same principle applies to your UX copy. 

4. Use action words

Since UX writing and copywriting should prompt people to take action, it only makes sense to use action words. Not only can active verbs complement what’s happening in the visual design, but they also get readers mentally involved in what you’re saying and primed to do what you’re encouraging them to do. 

Source

CoSchedule did a great job of this on the landing page for its Headline Studio extension. Notice the repeated usage of verbs like “take,” “download,” “get,” and so on. 

You can use these and similar words to progressively lead readers closer to your desired action. 

5. Let Jasper do the heavy lifting for you

Additionally, to ensure that your UX copy is equal parts clear and compelling, you can use Jasper’s copywriting templates to generate ideas. 

One of the standouts for this type of writing is the Explain It To a Child template, which simplifies complex ideas into simple language. 

As you see from the example above, which is related to a computer error message, this template can be especially helpful if you’re giving technical instructions or explanations to a non-technical audience.

You could also try the AIDA template, which provides the copy you need to grab attention, generate interest, heighten desire, and then prompt action. 

This works well for outlining the next steps in a signup process and makes clear why readers should be motivated to take them.

Why not play around with these and other templates, and see how they simplify the process of writing copy with user experience in mind? If you sign up for Jasper now, you can be up and running in two minutes, and start producing power-packed UX copy in no time!

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Meet the author

Dave Rogenmoser
CEO of Jasper

Dave is the Co-Founder Jasper, a Y Combinator-backed tech company based in Austin, Texas. He is also a husband and father of 3 boys. Rumor has it, he 6'8" tall and once ate the beating heart of a king cobra.

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