I stumbled upon Aulia Rahmani Soendoro’s tweets on Twitter (@aulley) and followed her writeups on Medium.com. There I discovered some promising future for writers to survive in this increasingly digitized world.
As the late Steve Jobs put it, “There’s an app for everything…”, the world population with smartphones is being inundated with more and more newly launched apps. Pretty much every single thing we do in life is now doable with an app installed and activated on our gadgets.
I believe writers are one species that can withstand the test of time, especially in these very very tumultuous times.
From Pandemic, Economic Recession, Poverty, Well-being Issues such as Loneliness, Depression, and the list goes on…
While writers who are now in their comfort zone feel there is no need to expand their expertise and experience, as someone who wants to be a well-fed writer myself I know it is so ridiculous to keep on writing something that you love but the world doesn’t give a single bit of attention.
That’s just sad and dejected.
Writers need to develop themselves and adapt themselves to the ever-changing world, too. Or else they’ll get crushed by the world.
Making us writers relevant to the current world trends is what we do need to stay afloat or even to soar.
In short, I’m so happy to find myself in a new but still relevant landscape to roam.
So what is UX Writing about?
It has very much to do with what users really feel when they are using a product, both digital or non-digital one.
A user experience writer is then someone who works to create content or “microcopies” (sentences that can be displayed on digital apps) to guide users.
A UX writer works in such a way to make users feel and experience the best while using an app or product.
A UX writer simply has to understand what users factually needs and how they think and issues they are having while completing a task or two on a certain app. Finally, a superior experience of using an app is partly thanks to a UX writer.
Again, like writing any other pieces, a UX writer works based heavily on data. So they can’t just write something without the relevant data to justify. This is a nonfiction writing type so one cannot just make it up from the thin air.
Aulia emphasizes on the fact that the growing tech industry still needs a lot of UX writer talents. But it seems the number of talents is not enough.
She exposes some ways to build a portfolio for a novice UX writer.
The one top piece of advice is that a great UX writer must be able to write like s/he speaks with a real human. So forget about formal expressions for a while. Digital app users may already have them enough in their professional emails.
On digital apps, they’d rather have a more informal, casual, and conversationally fluid language that makes an app feel more humane and alive and warm and personalized.
Aulia then shares some thought on how we beginners build our portfolios as UX writers.
First, we have to find out a product for a study case. This can be an app or a web service that we are familiar with or use every day. You know well what that is better than anyone else. It could be Spotify (the premium service, which requires you to complete a series of instructions), or Sayurbox if you’re fond of going shopping groceries safely at home.
To build a study case, of course you need to do some small scale research. Aulia mentions about usability testing. For this, a UX writer must involve some research participants. They must be real people who are willing to try and give feedback on the microcopies a UX writer has applied.
Another point to build is that we have to make user flows and personas. This is actually like you have to understand their personality and behaviors, you should find out their problems (pain points), goals and tasks to complete while using an app or product.
And based on the research result, craft microcopies that these people need so that they can more conveniently complete a series of tasks on a product or digital app.
She also details the sections that we must include in a study case. It includes:
- Details about the product being analyzed: Explain the product’s background and why you chose it in the first place.
- Our chosen flow: Explain the user flow you chose in the study case. Also include a chart and brief explanations. Don’t be technical or pedantic. Never use jargon or terminologies laymen won’t understand.
- User personas: Create user personas that can represent the audience of the chosen product. You can make more than one persona.
- Hypothesis: List down a hypothesis about potential issues (pain points) user may find out while using a product or app and explain why this is important to be solved ASAP with microcopies.
- Research: Simply explain what your research is about and the method being used, participant details, and proofs of the research (to prove you really did it), and most importantly, show them the takeaway or conclusion.
- Solution: Microcopies are given as solutions to users’ pain points/ problems.
I also found another source on UX writing as a career prospect here. UX writer Yuval Keshtcher generously shares a lot of resources there. (*/)