Before getting into the nitty-gritty details of how you should enhance the design of the website, let’s first come to the term ‘UX Writing’.
What exactly is UX Writing?
UX writing is basically the professional activity of writing text for the user interfaces for both web and mobile. UX writing doesn’t simply mean writing text – it includes the creation of icons to taglines, notifications to error messages, guidelines, navigation prompts, to name a few.
However, the most important part of UX writing is to know that the text is going to be a part of user experience and the overall design.
That being said, there are still a few problems which are seen to occur – people often mistake UX writers as designers.
Point to be noted – UX writers are not and will never be designers. No matter how beautiful the UX writers craft their sentences to communicate a point to an audience, it will fell flat if the design choices are – well, poor.
This area is where the web designers shine the best – after all, it is their forte as they best know how to design for user engagement. As such, you, as a UX writer have to be comfortable working with the text while keeping in note, the visual piece.
Know this that there are a few things which need to be kept in mind when dealing with UX writing.
Never ever mess with the color
Of course, it goes without saying that there are a whole lot of ways of how you can use color to make your website shine.
But text? That’s a different matter altogether.
Typography is definitely not the place that you want to mess with color. That being said, if you really want to play around with the text, it’s best that you do so while keeping in mind the overall structure of the page.
Try to make good use of any wide spaces on the page so that it draws attention to the typography, instead of messing around with ‘colored typography’. Sometimes, even the simple and plain ‘black & white’ combination looks great on websites – think newspapers and magazines.
Maintaining the symmetry
In copy writing, symmetry has no value. The text in paragraphs and pages will run as long as they want. But in some cases, it is seen that symmetry matters a lot – and in a great deal. But the problem is that many UX writers will avoid that – and even worse, the web designers too won’t try anything to change it.
Say, for example, there are a whole lot of features and services that need to be included on a web page and the best way to do that is to list them in a multi-column text.
Now, the main problem starts when the text in those columns are not balanced properly – one paragraph or the other tends to be either shorter or longer than the rest – resulting in distraction.
Here’s what should be done – no matter the length of the text, it is recommended to at least balance all the text in the columns – no matter how many columns you use. Not only will it look balanced but it will also minimize the white space.
Breaking up the paragraphs
Do you know that you, as a UX writer, should never add more than five lines in a single paragraph? Try to add some more and you will see that your readers will lose interest. The very same thing happens when you try to add in many paragraphs at once – or rather, one after another.
Your readers are also humans, just like you – and they too, need a break.
Hence, it is recommended that you, as a UX writer should be the one to determine how many lines should you add in a paragraph and where to add a pause within the text.
Better yet, you can add bullet-points if your paragraphs contain large chunks of text, but remember, the bullet-points should be short and up to the point. Otherwise, what’s the point of them using it?
Don’t forget the header tags
No matter what page, the header tags are an integral part of every page on a website. The header tags when used in pages, help in creating a structure – or rather a hierarchy of topics which enhances the reading ability of the users so that they can scan and get an idea of the page without having to read it.
Plus, the Google bots also helps the readers a lot by using these very ‘header tags’ to pick up the most important points of a page and rank them well in the SERPs.
That being said, it is quite important to note the space and how much you make the headers take up – usually, it shouldn’t be more than one line.
Focusing on what to write
All of the above points will fail to deliver the right message if your text itself is unclear and is laden with grammatical mistakes. Always remember that when it comes to text, clarity and grammar correctness plays quite a vital role – after all, they build the foundation of any text and engages the readers.
Another thing to keep in mind is that when it comes to text, always use simple sentences – and try to avoid complicated constructed sentences as much as possible. Also, reduce the unwanted elements from the text that has no role to play towards the readers.
While most would say that it is the responsibility of the UX writer to get the point across the audience, there are, however, many instances where it’s seen – yes, sometimes, design can get in the way of writing. All the more reason why it’s important that a website should be the result of a collaboration of all the parties involved.
If, you, as a UX writer is unsure of how the end result will look, the best you can do is to seek out the web designer’s opinion. Or better yet, the project manager’s too. Their fresh eyes will help you to catch on to something which you might not have previously noticed.