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UX
writing
building experiences
with words
Wojciech Aleksander
Meet Content, January 2017
Content strategist
Product content manager at GetResponse
UX writing & tech comm
Usability consultant
Interaction designer
Technical writer & information architect
DTP
Author and editor
Dynatrace, Compuware, Speednet,
Polish Academy of Sciences,
Strefa Startup Gdynia, SWPS University
Hello, my name is Wojtek
UX writing?
Creating of an intuitive
and a clear bridge
between users and your
page, app, brand,
product, or idea.
The opposite of the
marketing waffle. Getting
to the point. Writing that
is purpose driven, it’s
helpful, and facilitates
communication.
The making of a usable
dialogue between the
user and the system.
When the user
understands what the
system is saying, then
they’re getting along.
Using language to help
our users understand
the product, to enhance
their experience with
the product, and to
communicate the brand
voice.
It's a kind of writing when
you help readers
accomplish their goals
while having in mind their
emotions, vocabulary,
and their way of
thinking.
The magic formula
doesn’t exist
¯_(ツ)_/¯
Writing is easy
Writing is easy
not
1000 minutes – 2 work days – non-stop
A mix of art, words, and insight
100 messages
5-10 minutes each
A mix of art, words, and insight
15—35	strings
or even 80 per single element
source: Designthe Web
A mix of art, words, and insight
If	you	don’t	know	what	you	need	to	communicate,	
how	will	you	know	if	you	succeed?
Margot Bloomstein
Who we are, who we aren’t
brand voice
This, but not that
Dating app
• Simple but not shallow
• Positive but not overdone
• Empathetic but not overprotective
• Welcoming but not pushy
• Giving hope but not buttering up
Handy men inc.
• Approachable but not desperate
• Experienced but not worn out
• Honest but not naive
• Confident but not patronizing
Who we are, who we aren’t
brand voice
Your friends at Slack
Your friends at Slack
Match your message to context
tone of voice
message
reaction
thinking
feelings
context
specific
situation
source: voiceandtone.com
Match your message to context
tone of voice
Lead, instruct, correct
microcopy
Don’t be afraid to use more than 3 words in the
GUI. It’s about user task and goal. Ditch the
artificial limitations
Lead, instruct, correct
microcopy
Lead, instruct, correct
microcopy
Rescue, explain, don’t blame
error messages
Rescue, explain, don’t blame
error messages
Rescue, explain, don’t blame
error messages
The best error
message is the
one… you don’t
have to write
• Course of knowledge,
the silent sense killer
• The road to hell is paved with jargon
• Lorem ipsum is pure evil. Amet
• Mind the gender
• Mind the plurals (0, 1, many)
• Just say no to passive voice
• Consider using plain language
(forget everything they taught you at school)
• Say first, sketch second
• Practice brevity
• Don’t trust your first version
(the fourth one might be the best)
• Always check yourself (read aloud)
UX writing axioms
Lorem ipsum to hell (bonus dolor)
Event title
Time and date
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur
adipiscing elit. Sed at pharetra sem, ut
vehicula felis. Sed convallis, mi et
tempus aliquet, tortor turpis volutpat
turpis, et laoreet lorem tellus nec erat.
Nullam tristique lacinia porttitor.
Vivamus sit amet metus porta, pharetra
elit sit amet, tincidunt elit. Sed cursus
vestibulum augue, eu ultricies nunc
interdum ultrices.
No content, filler text
Uchwała Krajobrazowa Gdańska -
konsultacjespołeczne
7 czerwca, 17.00 - warsztaty dla
mieszkańców ; EuropejskieCentrum
Solidarności sala 5
8 czerwca, 17.00 - warsztaty dla
przedsiębiorców; EuropejskieCentrum
Solidarności sala 5
9 czerwca, 17.00 - warsztaty dla rad
dzielnic; Zarząd Dróg i Zieleni w Gdańsku,
ul. Wyspiańskiego 9A
Serdecznie zapraszamy Państwa do aktywnego
udziału w konsultacjach i pomocy przy tworzeniu
Uchwały Krajobrazowej Gdańska.
Real text, case IIReal text, case I
Festiwal Gdańsk Dźwiga Muzę
2016
August 29, 2016, 09:00
Scena Muzyczna Gdańskiego
ArchipelaguKultury w dniach 29 - 31
lipca 2016 rokuorganizuje ósmą edycję
Festiwalu Gdańsk Dźwiga Muzę! W
programie wydarzenia są trzy dni i trzy
noce prawdziwego muzyczno -
tanecznego święta! W dniach
festiwalowych Plac Zebrań Ludowych
(znajdujący się w samym "sercu" miasta
Gdańska), przekształca się w miasteczko
festiwalowe ze Strefami Tanecznymi,
Muzyczną Sceną Główną, Graffiti, strefą
chillout i wieloma innymi przestrzeniami
różnych aktywności. Jest to jedyny
festiwal o takiej formule w Polsce, a
drugi w Europie.
Design for real life, 2016,
Eric Meyer, Sara Wachter-Boettcher
The content strategy toolkit, 2015,
Meghan Casey
Nicely said, 2015,
NicoleFenton, Kate Kiefer Lee
Read more…
UX writing, content first, microcopy,
product content strategy, UX narrative,
GUI text, content strategy, plain language
Learn more…
John Saito (Dropbox), Alaine Mackenzie (Shopify),
Kate Kiefer Lee (Mailchimp), Amy Thibodeau, Abby Covert,
Kristina Halvorson (Braintraffic), Tomasz Piekot (University of Wroclaw),
Government Digital Service (GDS), uContentowani, Meet content
Jonathon Colman - The Epic List of Content Strategy Resources
http://www.jonathoncolman.org/2013/02/04/content-strategy-resources/
…and more
Ryan Bigge - The Super List of Content-First UX Resources
https://medium.com/@biggeidea/the-super-list-of-content-first-ux-resources
You should follow me
@inherentq
uContentowani
Thanks(-:
all background photos: unsplash.com

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Ux writing. Building experiences with words

  • 1. UX writing building experiences with words Wojciech Aleksander Meet Content, January 2017
  • 2. Content strategist Product content manager at GetResponse UX writing & tech comm Usability consultant Interaction designer Technical writer & information architect DTP Author and editor Dynatrace, Compuware, Speednet, Polish Academy of Sciences, Strefa Startup Gdynia, SWPS University Hello, my name is Wojtek
  • 3. UX writing? Creating of an intuitive and a clear bridge between users and your page, app, brand, product, or idea. The opposite of the marketing waffle. Getting to the point. Writing that is purpose driven, it’s helpful, and facilitates communication. The making of a usable dialogue between the user and the system. When the user understands what the system is saying, then they’re getting along. Using language to help our users understand the product, to enhance their experience with the product, and to communicate the brand voice. It's a kind of writing when you help readers accomplish their goals while having in mind their emotions, vocabulary, and their way of thinking.
  • 4. The magic formula doesn’t exist ¯_(ツ)_/¯
  • 7. 1000 minutes – 2 work days – non-stop A mix of art, words, and insight 100 messages 5-10 minutes each
  • 8. A mix of art, words, and insight 15—35 strings or even 80 per single element
  • 9. source: Designthe Web A mix of art, words, and insight
  • 11. Who we are, who we aren’t brand voice This, but not that
  • 12. Dating app • Simple but not shallow • Positive but not overdone • Empathetic but not overprotective • Welcoming but not pushy • Giving hope but not buttering up Handy men inc. • Approachable but not desperate • Experienced but not worn out • Honest but not naive • Confident but not patronizing Who we are, who we aren’t brand voice
  • 15. Match your message to context tone of voice message reaction thinking feelings context specific situation
  • 16. source: voiceandtone.com Match your message to context tone of voice
  • 17. Lead, instruct, correct microcopy Don’t be afraid to use more than 3 words in the GUI. It’s about user task and goal. Ditch the artificial limitations
  • 20. Rescue, explain, don’t blame error messages
  • 21. Rescue, explain, don’t blame error messages
  • 22. Rescue, explain, don’t blame error messages
  • 23. The best error message is the one… you don’t have to write
  • 24. • Course of knowledge, the silent sense killer • The road to hell is paved with jargon • Lorem ipsum is pure evil. Amet • Mind the gender • Mind the plurals (0, 1, many) • Just say no to passive voice • Consider using plain language (forget everything they taught you at school) • Say first, sketch second • Practice brevity • Don’t trust your first version (the fourth one might be the best) • Always check yourself (read aloud) UX writing axioms
  • 25. Lorem ipsum to hell (bonus dolor) Event title Time and date Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Sed at pharetra sem, ut vehicula felis. Sed convallis, mi et tempus aliquet, tortor turpis volutpat turpis, et laoreet lorem tellus nec erat. Nullam tristique lacinia porttitor. Vivamus sit amet metus porta, pharetra elit sit amet, tincidunt elit. Sed cursus vestibulum augue, eu ultricies nunc interdum ultrices. No content, filler text Uchwała Krajobrazowa Gdańska - konsultacjespołeczne 7 czerwca, 17.00 - warsztaty dla mieszkańców ; EuropejskieCentrum Solidarności sala 5 8 czerwca, 17.00 - warsztaty dla przedsiębiorców; EuropejskieCentrum Solidarności sala 5 9 czerwca, 17.00 - warsztaty dla rad dzielnic; Zarząd Dróg i Zieleni w Gdańsku, ul. Wyspiańskiego 9A Serdecznie zapraszamy Państwa do aktywnego udziału w konsultacjach i pomocy przy tworzeniu Uchwały Krajobrazowej Gdańska. Real text, case IIReal text, case I Festiwal Gdańsk Dźwiga Muzę 2016 August 29, 2016, 09:00 Scena Muzyczna Gdańskiego ArchipelaguKultury w dniach 29 - 31 lipca 2016 rokuorganizuje ósmą edycję Festiwalu Gdańsk Dźwiga Muzę! W programie wydarzenia są trzy dni i trzy noce prawdziwego muzyczno - tanecznego święta! W dniach festiwalowych Plac Zebrań Ludowych (znajdujący się w samym "sercu" miasta Gdańska), przekształca się w miasteczko festiwalowe ze Strefami Tanecznymi, Muzyczną Sceną Główną, Graffiti, strefą chillout i wieloma innymi przestrzeniami różnych aktywności. Jest to jedyny festiwal o takiej formule w Polsce, a drugi w Europie.
  • 26. Design for real life, 2016, Eric Meyer, Sara Wachter-Boettcher The content strategy toolkit, 2015, Meghan Casey Nicely said, 2015, NicoleFenton, Kate Kiefer Lee Read more…
  • 27. UX writing, content first, microcopy, product content strategy, UX narrative, GUI text, content strategy, plain language Learn more…
  • 28. John Saito (Dropbox), Alaine Mackenzie (Shopify), Kate Kiefer Lee (Mailchimp), Amy Thibodeau, Abby Covert, Kristina Halvorson (Braintraffic), Tomasz Piekot (University of Wroclaw), Government Digital Service (GDS), uContentowani, Meet content Jonathon Colman - The Epic List of Content Strategy Resources http://www.jonathoncolman.org/2013/02/04/content-strategy-resources/ …and more Ryan Bigge - The Super List of Content-First UX Resources https://medium.com/@biggeidea/the-super-list-of-content-first-ux-resources
  • 29. You should follow me @inherentq uContentowani