The One Thing You Need to Be a Great UX Copywriter in 2022
It’s often said that people prefer to do business with people and companies they know, like, and trust. While this remains true, it’s becoming more and more important for this know/like/trust relationship to be a two-way street.
Consumers are smart. They are realizing that they’ve held the power and been the hero in the buyer’s journey all along.
And now they want to be treated like the heroes they are.
They want to know that companies are making the effort to know, like, and trust them in return. They want to feel like their wants, needs, and desires are being given priority.
They expect a user experience (UX) that anticipates their wants, needs, and desires. One that puts them first.
These expanding expectations are why this is going to be a great year to be a User Experience (UX) Copywriter.
And the best part? There’s really only one thing you need to be a great UX copywriter this year …
A people-first approach.
And you simply need to use this people-first approach in three key ways:
- in the words you write,
- in the intent behind the words you write, and
- in the priorities shown by the words you write.
People-First Word Choice
As writers, we know that words matter. We know that our copy needs to be focused on the reader and what’s in it for them. This is typically evidenced by having more “you” in the copy than “me” or “we.”
Word choice matters even more for UX.
As an example of this, consider the differences between these two sentences:
Don’t step on the dog.
Don’t trip over the dog.
Both are warnings for the person to take notice of the dog that’s in their path. However, by the word choice we can infer that the first sentence is putting the dog’s well-being first, while the second puts the person’s well-being first.
Consider the unspoken/unwritten ending to each of those sentences:
Don’t step on the dog (and hurt the dog).
Don’t trip over the dog (and hurt yourself).
The difference between “step on” and “trip over” is subtle. And yet it’s important in the context of user experience.
Note: Using people-first language also refers to showing respect when communicating about people with disabilities (vs. saying “the handicapped” or “the disabled”).
Whether for UX or for inclusion, words matter to a people-first approach.
In addition to the words themselves, the intent behind the words also matters when it comes to user experience (UX).
People are eager to buy solutions to their problems, but they don’t want to feel sold to.
Good UX recognizes this and focuses on the intent of genuinely helping the user rather than just selling them something. Of course, the sale still needs to happen … as long as it’s actually helping the person.
UX copywriters show this intent to help the user by writing transparent, truthful messaging.
For example, if we’re writing about the X Model Upright Vacuum Cleaner, which happens to have been named the best available for getting dog hair out of carpets and off furniture, we would want to include the fact that it’s also heavier than other models and requires the ability to push and pull 25 pounds of weight.
Good UX copywriting lets the user with chronic back pain know that the X Model Upright Vacuum Cleaner may not be the best choice for them due to its weight, which could make using the vacuum problematic for them.
Of course, the reader can still buy the vacuum and enjoy ultra-clean carpets free of dog hair … but they should plan to delegate the vacuum chore to someone who can handle the heavier push/pull force needed to operate it.
You see, the intent can’t be just to sell the vacuum without regard to anything else. The intent must be to help the person get what they really want — carpets free of dog hair using a machine that fits them and their lifestyle — by writing the full, transparent truth about the vacuum.
By really helping them, not just selling them a vacuum cleaner.
One of the best examples of showing that you’re prioritizing people and their needs over the company’s is in a guarantee.
As a case in point, this is AWAI’s Guarantee/Promise:
Your Unconditional Guarantee in Writing
Every AWAI program comes with a promise of complete satisfaction.
If for any reason you're not delighted with your program materials — or you decide that this is simply not for you, for any reason — just return the materials within 30 days of receipt and your entire purchase price will be promptly refunded. At any time after that, you may cancel with no further obligation — you'll owe nothing!
Now, offering a guarantee is a smart business strategy for reasons beyond UX. But it also sends a clear message that customer satisfaction is a priority.
Even beyond how you communicate a guarantee, though, you can also show that your priority is people through the rest of your copy and content.
For example, do you make it easy for them to find and access the information they need about your products and services? Do you anticipate and answer their questions and concerns? Do you respect their time with writing that is clear and concise?
Making the reader a priority is putting them first. And that’s what UX copywriters do with everything they write.
A People-First Approach Sometimes Needs a Third Person
Companies can be so close to their products and services that it’s hard for them to be objective and see them from a customer’s perspective. Even when they genuinely care about the user, it can be difficult to get that across in their written copy and content.
That’s why they turn to UX copywriters … and why they will continue to do so more and more this year and beyond.
With consumers becoming more savvy, it’s become even more critical that companies not only put them first but also show that they’re putting them first.
When you can harness a people-first approach to writing copy and content that communicates that the reader is the priority while at the same time getting them to take action, you become a valuable ally.
And these days, businesses need all the allies they can get.
How to Write High-Value UX Copy
Discover how to transform everything you write into “triple-win” UX copywriting that creates a great experience for your readers … boosts your client’s bottom line … and creates a positive impact on the world you can feel proud of. Learn More »