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Designing content

133: Bad copy is ruining your designs.

Alex Dovhyi
Alex Dovhyi
3 min read
Designing content

When working as a product designer in a team, I frequently take on the position of UX writer or content designer.

We, designers, provide a way for customers to communicate with a product when we create an interface. And words are as important as, if not more important than, icons, colors, or typography.

Creating decent interfaces requires thinking about copy as part of the design process. While the copy in your designs may not be final, it should provide context and direction.

Designing content

You could be an excellent blogger or novelist while being a lousy UX writer. Most people don't know how to communicate with users since they don't know what "users" are.

Users are not prospects or people who marketing is attempting to attract. Users are already trying to do something with your product. Remember this when writing copy, and imagine yourself in their shoes.

Good writing rules

  • Clear: I can understand even if I'm not an expert
  • Short: it focuses on what matters now
  • Aware: it takes my current situation into account
  • Helpful: it helps me with my goal
  • Honest: it's not trying to trick me into something
  • Spoken: the interface is having a conversation with me

Who are you talking to?

If your product is an enterprise product, a gaming community, or a medical platform, it will not "speak" in the same way.

The rules you establish for one product may differ from the ones for another. While you may have your writing style, remember that UX writing is the product speaking. Not you.

Find the product's voice

  • Research how products with similar audiences "speak"
  • Create personas to help write copy that works for the users
  • Inventory existing copy

An inventory will give you an idea of the current tone of voice. It will also assist you in identifying off-brand copy.

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