Do You Know What This Prompt Means?
“Failed to refine type: Predicate isEmpty() did not fail.”
If you do, you’re probably a coder or a developer (or at least someone who knows a bit about coding). And if you know it, so will everyone else, right?
At the end of the day, it’s no guarantee that your end users are fluent in the language of computer code.
And an error message like the one above will presents a considerable problem. Actually, make that TWO huge problems:
- They don’t know what just happened
- There’s no information about what they’re supposed to do next
Fortunately, it’s possible for anyone to use an app or any other software, thanks to “UX Writing.”
What Is UX Writing?
At its core, UX writing is any text that guides the user through a mobile app or another piece of software.
To put it into context, here are 4 examples where you’ll encounter UX writing:
Scenario 1: A page that informs the user that they’ve attempted to search for a page on a website that doesn’t exist – also known as a “404 page”.
Scenario 2: The parts on a login form that tell the user where they must enter their username and password – even before they’ve started typing.
Scenario 3: To inform the user that they’ve entered the incorrect username or password for their account.
Scenario 4: A text notification informing airport passengers that their scheduled flight is delayed due to bad weather at the airport runway and what they’re supposed to do next.
UX Writing vs. Copywriting
The main difference is that copywriting aims to market something and trigger a response from the user, such as buying a product or signing up for a newsletter.
UX writing, on the other hand, is all about instructing the user on how to use the product.
With UX writing, every little character often counts – hence why you’ll often hear the phrase “microcopy.”
What Qualifies Me to Write UX Writing For You?
In my previous career as a software tester, one of my main responsibilities was to write bug reports. And part of that process involved writing steps the reader had to take to reproduce the bug.
Here’s an example of what that might look like:
1. Click on the “Open File” button (located in the top left corner of the screen)
2. Select the file you wish to upload and click on “OK”
3. On the main page, select the “Media” tab
Expected results: The uploaded image should appear in the “Media” gallery
Actual results: The uploaded image is not displayed in the “Media” gallery
The purpose for these bug reports was simple – anyone, regardless of how tech-savvy they were, had to be able to reproduce the bug in question by following these steps – all of which were written in clear, concise, everyday English.
Is There Anything I Won’t Do?
While I’m happy to write the actual text for you, I won’t do any graphic design. But why?
Well, I might be able to use Canva, but apart from that, my graphic design skills are well below par – so below par, in fact, that I can’t even call them skills.