UX writing is a booming writing field. Did you notice how we can purchase groceries at home with online applications, communicate directly with equipment and machines and submit online cheques through digital platforms?
Well, the words that appear on the screen serve as a great guide for you to perform these actions. UX writers write these screen texts and guides that allow you to navigate and perform an operation successfully.
Well-known companies like Google, Amazon, and Uber are constantly hiring more and more UX writers. Although the scope of this skill is vast, one thing that can’t be neglected is that this career option will not fade away anytime sooner. So, are you looking to become a UX writer?
If you are a copywriter and want to make a transition to UX writing, or if you are a product designer and want to master and embed this skill into your services, or if you are willing to learn this skill to completely shift your career by 180 degrees, we will provide you with complete guide and detailed tips on how to become a UX writer.
How to Become a UX Writer?
You can spend a lifetime learning a skill and still not master it completely. But you if are good at whatever you’ve mastered already, no one can stop you from calling yourself an expert.
UX writing falls under the category of technical writing. Many UX writers are former technical and copywriters. So, in general, it is easier for technical writers and copywriters to shift towards this writing field.
The tips and tricks to master and become a UX writer are not so complicated for learners who are devoting their time to learning it.
One can easily master this skill by following these UX writing fundamentals:
1. Learn Writing Skills
This is a very basic tip but the most important one. If you are looking to be a UX writer, and you don’t have the basic writing and communication skills, you cannot learn it.
UX writing demands a good grip on English writing and requires the knowledge to use simple words. Many writers believe that use of complex words in the text points towards their experience which is not true in this case. Such practices are worthless in UX writing, as this writing is user-centered writing with a focus to enhance user experience.
So, UX writing requires a command of basic writing and English skills.
2. Become a Microcopy Enthusiast
There is a UX writer’s work in your surrounding that you won’t even notice. Good UX writing is invisible for the readers, and they are unaware of the fact that it even exists.
In learning UX writing, you must learn invisible writing. You can do so by noticing the short text on your mobile apps that navigates you through the complete app, the description on the buttons of your microwave that guides you to use it, or a similar description on the digital products.
Research the UX writer's work you notice in your surroundings and write a microcopy for each digital product you observe.
This practice is referred to as Microcopy, and if you become an enthusiast in doing so, you can start learning UX writing.
3. Learn and Understand UX Design
One of the most basic skills to master UX writing is to learn UX design. A specialized UX writer has the complete know-how of a UX design.
An experienced UX writer knows how to enhance the brand’s voice through their writing, win the user’s trust, and help them to navigate throughout the whole application. This can only be achieved with an efficient knowledge about the product’s UX design and the technicalities behind the product usage.
Once you are familiar with the product design and its working, only then you can help the user navigate through it. This is achieved when you use easy and simpler words in UX writing.
An interaction with UX designers also helps. UX writers work along with UX designers and product designers on a product's UX design and its documentation. So, if you are in the process of learning this skill, it is recommended that you start interacting with the product design team. You can ask them questions like how they work along with writers to achieve the target goals.
4. Research About User-Centered Design
UX writing is user experience writing. Thus, this skill demands a good grip on user-centered design.
User-centered design is a product design process in which the designer focuses on the user’s ease and comfort. Best UX writing and good user-centered design, build a user's trust in a business. Both these niches integrate very well with each other.
Hence, it is a mandatory requirement of a UX writer to have a good grip on the knowledge of user-centered design, so that the whole design process is efficient and easier at the user’s end.
5. Keep Yourself Updated with Market Trends
As soon as a new field jumps into the market, its competition grows. The best act to stand out from the crowd is to learn and master the competitive things.
UX writing also demands an updated knowledge of skills. You can conduct UX research on google to know about this skill’s evolution and this way you can get plenty of knowledge to consume.
Connecting with other UX writers in community groups on different social media platforms also provides an opportunity for diversity in knowledge.
6. Join a UX Writing Course
If you are a fresher or completely shifting your career, then joining an online teaching course for UX writing is a good option.
Also, if you join an online course, you have the privilege to earn a certificate that you can showcase to your potential clients and hiring managers.
A UX writing course will help you learn all the basics of this skill. You can learn the principles of UX writing and design tools. The teachers from the online courses also provide a detailed guide to prepare samples and build portfolios.
7. Study UX Writing Rules
Use a search engine to explore and master the UX writing rules. Google and Yahoo's search engines are great tools to craft the rules of UX writing.
You learn more about the rules and principles by reading the books and literature to master this skill. Explore the literature in local libraries, so you can increase your knowledge about the rules of UX writing.
8. Sharpen Your Skills by Spec-Work
Another great method to learn this skill is by practicing spec-work. As soon as you notice the UX writer’s work through microcopy, rewrite it.
Learn the methods to improvise the words. Find ways how you can write the same instructions in simpler words that convey better meaning.
9. Look for UX Writing Opportunities in Your Current Job
If you are an employee, there must be UX writing work in your organization. Try finding those opportunities and help the UX writers. Learn design tools from user experience writers and designers.
This way you can not only build the credibility of your job, but you can also secure the position of a UX writer if you are efficient for your organization’s work.
Connect with the UX writing hub so you can learn these skills faster. You can also devise and master shortcuts that the UX writing community adapts in their work.
10. Work Voluntarily for Startups
Many business startups are initiated by only two or three investors. At some point, they might need a UX writer. Work for such businesses voluntarily as their UX writers.
This way you can practice the skills as a UX writer by writing error messages, in-app texts, user flow guides, and at the same time building a portfolio. You can also test different design tools to build your portfolio.
11. Build a Portfolio
A portfolio is the most important aspect for UX writers to secure a job. As you work voluntarily, or with a startup organization, it is a great tactic to build a portfolio that you can showcase to potential clients and hiring managers. Use this portfolio to secure bigger UX writing job opportunities.
Follow these above-mentioned tips to master UX writing skills.
You can also enroll in our professional UX writing course which not just helps build your portfolio but also allows you to secure UX writing jobs without experience:
Here are written answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding UX writers.
What Degree Is Needed to Be a UX Writer?
There is no hard and fast degree rule for UX writers, but a minimum of a bachelor’s degree with a writing background is ideal to secure a UX writer’s job.
UX writing is a complex and technical field, so a grasp of technical knowledge is also a mandatory requirement.
Most UX writers have a bachelor’s degree in product design, journals, engineering, or a relevant field. While senior UX writers can have masters or doctoral degrees in the same field they work in. Still, many UX writers find that they can land the job simply by getting a certification and relevant freelance work on their resume.
Is It Hard to Be a UX Writer?
No skill is hard to learn if you learn it with passion and interest. UX writing is easier for someone who is transitioning from a copywriting or another writing career to a UX writing career.
But when a person is shifting the career completely by 180 degrees to become a UX writer, then it is slightly difficult for them to master this skill.
Overall, UX writing is an interesting field to work in where UX writers collaborate with different teams to get the final output product.
How Much can UX Writers Potentially Earn?
Bigger companies’ employees have higher annual salaries in comparison to middle-sized companies.
Some of the top UX writers can earn $150k+ on average per year, while some make $100k+ in a year according to Glassdoor.
The salary of UX writers varies based on the field they work in and the amount of technical work their industries require.
Is UX Writing a Good Career?
No career is a bad choice if you have the passion to excel and make the most out of it. UX writing is a newer yet emerging field. Many copywriters are transitioning to this industry as this is a specialized field.
It is relatively easier to secure your dream job with specialized skills. The same is the case with UX writing. So, UX writing is a great career choice for passionate copywriters looking who are niche-focused and want to specialize in a certain category.
Learning this skill can also open doors to many writing jobs and work opportunities.
There’s no hard and fast degree rule to become a UX writer. You only need certain skills and a relevant portfolio to secure good UX writing positions.
UX writers focus to enhance the user experience, user interface, and user research. Their main job duties involve writing UX copy, error messages, app button texts, and flow guides. UX writing is indeed a great career choice for passionate applicants. It requires the knowledge of UX design, product design, user-centered design, and market trends.
That's why UX design is a fundamental prerequisite for UX writing.
And if you follow mentioned tips to master UX writing, you'll become a UX writer.
If you are new to UX writing and are looking to break-in, we recommend taking our UX Writing Certification Course, where you will learn the fundamentals of being a UX writer, how to dominate UX writer interviews, and how to stand out as a UX writing candidate.
Josh is the founder of Technical Writer HQ and Squibler, a writing software. He had his first job in technical writing for a video editing software company in 2014. Since then, he has written several books on software documentation, personal branding, and computer hacking. You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.