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June 17, 2022
The difference between content design and UX writing, how to do research for UX writing, and where UX writers sit in an org.
In the world of product design, wordsmiths go by many names—UX writers, content strategists, product writers, and so on. But whatever you call them, these folks play an important role in developing seamless user experiences.
Yuval Keshtcher is the Founder of the UX Writing Hub, an online education platform helping hundreds of people perfect their UX writing. He joins us to explain the difference between UX writing and content design, how the discipline is growing, and his favorite writing resources.
In this episode:
[2:00] Are UX Writing and Content Design the same?
[6:27] Where do UX writers sit in an organization?
[8:40] To be a great UX writer, you need to master research.
[11:05] How to use conversation mining to communicate better with users.
[17:23] How many emojis can we really use in UX copy?
[25:04] How easy is it to change product copy later?
[28:37] If you don't have a UX writer, start with a content design system.
[33:46] What kind of research do you do to validate that what's live is working?
[38:04] UX writing is part of the product design process.
Top 16 Content Style Guides 2022 (and How to Use Them)
Words Matter: Testing Copy With Shakespeare
Yuval Keshtcher is the founder of the UX Writing Hub. UX Writing Hub is an online education platform for all things UX writing. The UX Writing Hub has helped hundreds of professionals transition into UX writing and content design. He also hosts the Writers in Tech podcast.
[00:00:00] Yuval: Everyone can and should do research for the words of the digital interface. Not necessarily the UX writers, the research people should be mindful of that. The designers, the product managers at the end of the day. It's the way your product is communicated and it's part of the design.
[00:00:17] Erin: Hello everybody. And welcome back to Awkward Silences. Today we're here with Yuval cash to her, the founder of the UX writing hub at uxwritinghub.com, which is one of the largest UX writing schools. And today fittingly, we're going to be talking about UX writing and UX research for UX writing. So Yuval thanks so much for joining us.
[00:00:58] Yuval: Thank you so much for having me, Erin and JH. I'm very excited to be here to be honest.
[00:01:04] Erin: Got JH here too.
[00:01:06] JH: Yeah, I'm a little under the weather, so hopefully I'm not dumber than usual, but I'll do my best. I'm excited to learn about this topic.
[00:01:11] Erin: Yeah. Talking about, writing's always fun. It's like what's the old Steve Steve Martin joke. Talking about music is like dancing about architecture. So, we'll talk about writing today will be
fun. Talk, talk about researching about writing. So Yuval on that note, UX writing and content design.
I know, so I've been here at user interviews a little over four years and the industry has changed quite a lot, actually in four years. And one of those changes or something I've observed is. Maybe four or five years ago, UX writing was something I'd certainly heard of and was a thing.
But not everyone had it. And it seems like people are now talking more about content design. Are they the same thing? Are they different things? Are they just different terms for the same thing? What UX writing and content design up with those terms?
[00:02:00] Yuval: Such a great question. All right. So first of all, UX writing it's a new discipline, like a relatively new discipline in the event of Google IO, 2017, eh, Google brought on stage three UX writers. And since then, since 2017, it feels like there is way more attention to product writing in general, like many.
Product teams look up for Google. They saw the practice. They saw the writers on stage. Talk about how to write clear, concise, and useful copy. And everybody became way more mindful of product copy. Now, back then UX writing wasn't a big deal and many companies that had product writers call them content strategists. Companies like Facebook, Shopify, Uber.
That practice was called content strategy. Like arguably not the best title for a product writer, because there is a lot of overlap between SEO writing and content marketing and so on and in the past year or so those companies like Facebook, Shopify, Uber, More companies decided to change the term to content design.
And we see we've seen some kind of a transition lately. But we still have companies that call it UX writing. I feel like based on our salary survey, we can see that UX writing is currently a bit more common outside of the U S and about your questions.
So based on the research. Our team was doing this in the past. We've published it six months ago and we, it took us six months to do it, but basically we've analyzed a lot of job posts all over the web and compared between content design and UX writing and what people and what the company is actually looking for and our conclusion that both of them are more or less the same thing, which is product writing, which is all about communicating your digital product in a better way.
So we have some kind of a. Discussion about what the title should be like in design, you have UX design, UI design, product design, and so on. So in UX writing, we have UX writing and content design, based on our conclusion. So it's our take and we can talk about it, but based on the Arctic it's more or less the same thing.
[00:04:21] JH: Okay. Cool. So there's a lot of similarities, but some nuance emerging, it sounds like, or some shifts in how people define and think about. Is it fair to say that just in general, those like that collective sort of title are becoming more common and exist in more teams. And I know I've heard about it over the years, but I feel like lately I've seen it more and more.
And so just curious what your perspective on if it's becoming more of a common thing in teams?
[00:04:45] Yuval: Yeah, definitely. So it's really common right now that like a lot of companies hiring right now, product writers. That's how I called it for, from, for now on for the listeners. And so way more companies hiring right now, UX writers. And usually the ratio is something around like, we have a salary survey that backs it up, but usually it's around one writer to two designers or one writer to three designers or something like that.
Industry, is that hiring more UX writers daily than others is FinTech by far more FinTech companies. But also educate edTech, like education companies and so on. That's about it.
[00:05:26] Erin: these are hard to understand products or would be without good words, FinTech ed tech, maybe health tech always jumps
[00:05:34] Yuval: Okay.
[00:05:34] Erin: as well. When you think about, you know,
[00:05:36] Yuval: Yeah.
[00:05:36] Erin: to understand.
[00:05:38] Yuval: So I currently let myself open the data in front of me. definitely because FinTech products might be more so to explain them all. So like 20% of the people that answered in FinTech, 12% are in.
E-com eh, as you said, 7% are in health care and the rest are scattered around different industries.
[00:06:07] Erin: And do these folks with these jobs. I know I asked about the difference between UX writing and content design. You said I'll do you better? more titles. There's the product writers and I've heard like micro copy, lots of terms for similar kinds of jobs. Do these folks generally sit on product teams or design teams or do they tend to sit in an org?
[00:06:27] Yuval: Oh, so that's a great question. So in an ideal environment those writers will sit under product teams or design teams. In a less ideal world, we can see them also under marketing, under the title, UX copywriter, for example. But a lot of times we hear it in our company. Have a very big community at the UX writing hub and like a Facebook group and have a newsletter And so on.
But many people say. That there is such a huge burnout when the company doesn't understand eh, the idea that they need to have UX writers. So they hire one writer to do marketing and product development. And so on. We've seen it like five, six years ago. It was very common. UX designers like marketing graphic design, but also like the website and also the product.
And now it's less common. Now we can see way more UX designers inside of product teams without doing marketing.
[00:07:27] Erin: yeah. And you hit on something. I hear that all the time. Like, oh, if you can write this thing, you can write that other thing, which could not be more far from the truth. I mean, so I'm glad it feels like the market's catching up to where maybe designers have been right. Where it's like UX designers, visual designers, brand designers.
These are not all the same thing. Right. And same with writing. You're starting to see now, too.
[00:07:50] Yuval: Definitely. but I must say the fact that you can do both the fact that you can do marketing and also product writing.
Does it mean that you necessarily need to do marketing writing? Because sometimes writing digital products or designing a digital product have. Interesting complexities that you just want to do, and you don't want to do like blog posts and stuff, or you don't want to do like one pagers.
You just want to do the product writing. And because that's what you're doing really well, and that's your expertise. So, I recommend that people that are really great at product writing should do that.
[00:08:27] Erin: Yeah, absolutely.
[00:08:29] JH: Yeah. So on that, like how do you be a great product writer? It seems like, obviously there's a specialization. And it's a unique type of writing and a unique skill set. What are some of the ways that people do that really well?
[00:08:40] Yuval: So, also a great question and basically in order to be a great product, you need to be first of all, a good writer, but you need to understand product design and you need to understand how digital products work and user journeys. And most importantly, you need to master user research. Let me explain
[00:09:02] Erin: I was going to say what a great segue. Let's talk about research.
[00:09:06] Yuval: Definitely, but let me explain.
The work is the player research before the writing. Why is that? Because let's say that we're working right now on a digital product. Okay. So we've built a very specific feature for a very specific product. Like we're working at like, and I don't know, like we work at McDonald's and we're doing like the kiosk of McDonald's.
So. In order to create a really good digital experience here, we need to do a lot of research, a lot of behavioral research about how people use those skills, what time of the day they're coming. also if we're talking about writing, so we need to know how. These kind of people communicate with the them kiosks can maybe we want to say good morning to them if it's morning and, or maybe we don't want necessarily to greet them a greeting because it might too much, but we don't know that they are too need to do some research understand exactly how people like to be communicated in that specific context.
And in order to learn. We must do research.
[00:10:25] JH: And is that type of research that you're describing and those skillsets is something where people who are not dedicated product writers can still benefit from some of that stuff. I'm just thinking about it. The way that design has a lot of specializations, UX, UI, et cetera. And a lot of smaller team designers are asked to be generalists and do the wireframes and the high fidelity stuff.
And I'd imagine that's probably true in some other smaller teams where they don't have a dedicated UX writer or product writer. Some of the stuff you're describing is applicable to people who are filling in that gap and can benefit from that. I'm wondering if people who are not dedicated product writers can kind of leverage those things too. If they were kind of being asked to be a generalist and they're doing some writing in their role, even though it's not their specialization.
[00:11:05] Yuval: Definitely there are different methodologies that can help us to understand how we should communicate with our users. As I said, 90% of the work is not about writing. And for example, eh, There is this methodology that we've coined that the name of that methodology is conversation mining. And that method is all about.
Analyzing the way your users talk to each other online in order to understand how we could communicate in a better way with them in a digital product. Let me give you an example. So let's say that we're building an app for brides and they have a very specific lingo for very specific terms that I currently don't know.
Obviously, I'm not bright, so I will go to a Facebook group as an example of pride. So maybe a review section of a very popular product among brides. And I will do some research on that piece of content. And it will help me to understand many things. First of all, like on the most shallow level, it will help me to understand how, what kind of eh, terms they use.
Talk about when talking about stuff that is related to the wedding, like, eh, like if they're talking about photographers, so are they saying that, are we going to book photographer? Are we going to make an appointment with this photographer? So specific terminology is very important because we could communicate it in an app afterwards.
And if we will find a term that is very common around. Pride in this specific example we would probably like to communicate in the digital experience, but that's on the shallow level on a more deeper level. We could analyze the online conversations of our users and understanding in a better way, their pain points and their struggles and their goals.
And maybe. Maybe if the photographer doesn't show up at the last moment, that's like a very big fear that they have. And maybe I can communicate something in my product that will reduce that concern. So we can learn a lot just from analyzing conversations of our users. And that specific methodology is named conversation mining, and you don't necessarily need to be a writer to do that.
Dark funeral methodologies, research methodology. I can talk about that and can help you to write your product in a better way. Also, if you're not necessarily a UX writer.
[00:13:53] Erin: Great. Yeah, I think let's dig into some more methodologies.
[00:13:57] Yuval: Cool. So, Those methodologies are really common in general in user research. So doing user interviews but very specific to the conversation. So understanding exactly the same things that you've learned in the conversation, mining examples on a, like asking your users about it, see how they use it and create conversation.
To do that conversation also inside of the digital product. Whenever you write something, I recommend talking to your colleague and asking their opinion also. And this is considered to be some kind of a test, but like asking this, is this word clear? Does it make sense? Then you could, boom. You could do more testing and bring users and then maybe print the user.
The UI and give the users the option to tell you what was clear and what wasn't clear. And yeah, that's about that. I also really recommend doing competitor analysis. So for example, if we're building right now, let's go to the same example as before. But if we're building this app for brides, I will do some research and I will say.
Other companies and other apps, and we'll see how they choose to communicate there and apps. And we learn what was bad about it. What was good about it? This is something that is very common also in UX design, like analyzing different design patterns. So I recommend also to analyze different content patterns as well, and not necessarily have the same app.
Let's say that you have a task right now, which is. It all messages for your product and your work in FinTech. So you have these like bank notifications to write right now. So I wouldn't necessarily check in my direct competitors. I wouldn't necessarily check other banking apps, but I would just in general, do some massive research about notifications in general, what works well, what doesn't work that well, then see How, I can bring the same kind of communication.
To my notifications
[00:16:09] Erin: how do you know what works well, when you say how you react to it, do you like it or not? Like clearly you're having access to the analytics of your competitors. When you say what works well, what do you, what are you looking for when you're looking at direct or indirect competitors?
[00:16:26] Yuval: That's a very good question because what I like to do on a personal level is to build some kind of a mood board where I just like for like some kind of a mirror board or fig jam board. Then find that out on notifications, put it over there and then more or less based on gut feeling, I kind of filter them to what doesn't look at, what doesn't work that well for me on a personal level, what does work well?
This is also part of my design process. So, That's a good question. And then you put it to the test. It doesn't necessarily mean that if you come up with some idea that you think is good, it doesn't necessarily mean that it will be good, but then it's like a good starting point to test it. If you think it's going to be good and notification specifically something that is relatively easy to test.
So you can come up with, I like to come up with a few versions, a few, the kind of directions, and then based on that, see whatever works better.
[00:17:23] Erin: Random. Just a quick aside emojis UX writing as product copy microcopy, up, thumbs down, dead emoji. eye roll. What are your thoughts? How many emojis should we be using in our UX? Copy.
[00:17:40] Yuval: Eh, that's a really good question. And it depends on the voice and tone of your product. Like let's say that we have a banking app and we write them a notification and we have to tell that person that they have maybe some kind of an overdraft and they owe money. So we wouldn't like to put
a set emoji.
[00:18:00] Erin: Yeah. Yeah.
[00:18:01] Yuval: LOL for sure.
[00:18:02] Erin: yeah,
[00:18:04] Yuval: Maybe a good writer, someone that might be a good writer might think, okay, let's put in a sad emoji because it's a sad situation. Right, but I wouldn't agree that we need to put a set emoji, for example, over there, because it feels maybe a bit like detached or a bit cynical, or
Maybe I would put it over there like a red warning emoji. So I don't know, but that's a very specific example, but. It really depends on the voice and tone of the product on a personal note. I love emojis. I think it's a really cool way to communicate with your users. I think it's like, and I think that since we had like, Cave wall paintings.
We didn't have that type of communication. And now we have it at scale. Like we can literally bring an emotion to another person or tell them how we feel based on a picture that we send. And I think it's a very cool way to communicate.
[00:18:59] JH: Yeah, there's a lot of cool aspects of it. They do feel like modern hieroglyphics of some sort. The thing I was going to kind of probe on a little bit is when you talk about some of these techniques that you can do within research to get better at writing, conversation mining, some of the other ones you mentioned are those things that need to be standalone, like research projects, like we're going to go out and do some conversation mining specifically to inform our writing, can you.
Piggyback or combine them with other research you might be doing. So if you're doing some generative conversations, know, making sure you ask a question, so you kind of prompt people to talk in the language they might use, so you can kind of pick it out. Is it like, how do you see teams typically do it?
Is it like it's standalone or is it part of other research that they're doing?
[00:19:36] Yuval: So it really depends on the team. A lot of times we have research people in our team in bigger companies. And then, then you have someone that can help you to do that research. a lot of times, if you don't have research people in your team, maybe you need to do it by yourself. What I'd like to do is to have some kind of a research plan to lay out some kind of an outline about my research plan and to understand exactly How.
are we going to do that, to have a deadline and everything.
And then to do that of course, we are already doing user interviews, we can as you said, like piggyback and do. Conversation and language related stuff at the same time. Okay. We could definitely combine or do them ourselves a lot of times, like the writer just needs to kind of figure out some stuff while they do their work.
So they could do some conversation mining and analysis and they don't have to be relying on anybody else and they can maybe do it for the cool. they were really efficient in their flow, maybe they're using some kind of a template already that they have. I like to use it. I've created an Airtable template that I really liked.
So jump to my airtable templates and then I can do it really efficiently and quickly without being dependent on anyone else. And then I can do it but a lot of time you need to like, Well close their interviews and maybe send a survey and so on. And that might take more time. And maybe if you have a research person in your team, you would have to kind of talk to them and do it together with them.
So every project has every different kind of research going on. And I must say that based on my experience, a lot of time, you understand the scope of the research only when you start writing. So you, you like, you have a brief, you have a feeling about what you're going to the research about, and then when you get going, when you're just getting started, you understand that maybe a unit to have different angle in that competitor analysis, or maybe your persona is not necessarily exactly who you find it will be.
And then it changes you as you go.
[00:21:49] Erin: Yeah. I think that's just in time. Fast agile research can be really helpful too. Cause you're talking about right. Like 90% of writing is research, which by the way, I think is true for all writing. And maybe you're getting, I don't, I'm sure different organizations have different sizes, different teams within the same organization have very different workflows in terms of how this UX is right.
Gets done or requested, but I'm just imagining a scenario of, Hey, UX writer. We need this for this thing. Like, in a couple hours or whatever and say, okay, well, how am I going to get the context? The insight I need to do this well with the time I have, which is of course.
Maybe its own problem in itself. But if this is the time we have, what's the minimum viable research that can be done in this, where some of these methods feel like you could do a little bit of conversation mining pretty quickly, right? maybe you have a day instead of a couple of hours you could use a tool, like I don't know, user interviews and hop on and talk to somebody like same day and get a little bit of information.
So even if you didn't have it. A thorough well-planned out research plan weeks in advance of writing, whatever the UX copy is. There might still be time for a little bit of research to make that writing all that much better.
[00:23:07] Yuval: And so, first of all, jumping on a user interface, I think that could be a really cool solution. If you just got a task and you have a few hours to do it. And sometimes, like people ask you, Hey, just take a few minutes. I need to make this copy a bit nicer. And then like you ask them questions and you figure out any, you understand it.
Like there are so many content design problems that lie under the specific solution. So my solution in that case, first of all, I would say that. If you are a UX writer, the one thing, if there is one thing that you need to be a great communicator, you need to communicate really well, your digital products and your business, basically with your users, but also you need to be a really great communicator with your team and you need to feel comfortable to get a task and then ask a lot of follow-up questions before start writing.
So. Actually interview the designers and interview the stakeholders. And also maybe ask if there is maybe some previous research that you can see, or maybe you can see like older iterations and see how they came up with this specific solution. And that, that will be a research basically.
[00:24:27] JH: Yeah, this is a bit of a random thought, but something I think about a lot with product and design is, how quickly you can move or how much risk you're willing to take on depends a lot on whether or not it's like a two way door. Like, if we do this and decide it's wrong, it's easy to change or it's not.
I'm curious how that maybe does, or does not apply to writing where you imagine there's certain terminology or certain phrases or language that you introduce into parts of an experience that users become familiar with. So then if you need to change it because you realized it wasn't optimal, that's kind of hard to do that change.
Cause you got to let people know that. The thing is now called something else, like, does that come up or is that I'm just curious how that fits in and if it's a part of the consideration of, this will be easy to change. So let's just put something in here now, and we can do more research versus like we're putting language into the navigation or on the homepage that we're really going to get familiar with.
And so we should be really careful again.
[00:26:01] Yuval: And so ideally the process would be the latter but most of the time, the writing it's not even made by the writer a lot of time. The UX writing is the afterthought. After you have a lot of legacy content and code and stuff, that's a developer wrote it like 15 years ago, 10 years ago or two years ago.
And it's just there because nobody just asked why it's there. And now it's time to come and ask the tough questions. But when you have a UX writer on board, definitely the optimal thing would be to ask if it is clear. Now, for example, we just had a discussion in another project I had for ski companies like a company that's happy to book your ski trips with your friends.
And, eh, we had a really interesting discussion going on around, like, should we use the word holiday or. Okay. And it was like a long discussion and we had to do a lot of research in order to understand it because there were so many components that impacted that specific word, like what country you're in, like in the UA in the UK, one was more common than the other. w we had to understand, like, what Work eventually. So we needed to do some research around that and definitely conversation mining helped us over there and so on.
[00:27:32] Erin: Where'd you end up? Is it a holiday or a trip or was it a
[00:27:35] Yuval: it's a
trip. It's a trip. It's a trip. And Yeah. Or even though in the UK, it was way more common that they used holiday.
But yeah. It was an interesting discussion.
[00:27:47] Erin: Yeah, absolutely. Especially with internationalization. So, okay. So, and again, all of this is going to vary by org, but certainly some orgs don't have any UX writers or content designers or any of those things, which go by different names. Many orgs probably have them and not enough.
[00:28:05] Yuval: Yep.
[00:28:06] Erin: you are a product designer or a product manager or engineer as you alluded to all the time. Actually a lot of user facing language in, in many scenarios. Okay. So you have you find yourself in a situation where you're writing user facing copy and the product, and that's not your day job.
What are some tips or ways, principles, heuristics, rules of thumb best practices to get folks started on the right foot when they find themselves in that situation of needing to do that work.
[00:28:37] Yuval: So that's a really good question. And what I would recommend is First of all, if you have some UX writer on board or maybe someone that could be in charge of that, a very good tip would be to build some kind of a content design system. So some kind of just like you have a design system. So to have some do's and don'ts that's related to a digital product, so a developer could pick it up and then they wouldn't have to ask anyone's question.
They know that if they write an error message. There is a checklist that they need to follow, and that makes life a bit easier. You might ask yourself wait, but who will be in charge of that checklist? So ideally a UX writer would be in charge of that, but if you don't have one, I would recommend that the product manager or the designer should find some consistency in the writing and document it and systemize it basically.
That activity taken can give that I think would be good.
[00:29:34] Erin: Yeah.
[00:29:35] JH: Are there ? I've seen some teams put those things out there as kind of like open source, like the way that teams will have, like their design systems kind of be public and people can check them out. I think I saw one that had a good kind of writing set of guidelines that you could just go through.
Like, do you know of resources like that? That maybe would be helpful. So like, a product manager is trying to put together this checklist and it's, they don't even know what to put on it. Like, are there good places to look to, to borrow from other teams?
[00:29:58] Yuval: definitely. So we're having another terminology issue here while calling it a content design system, MailChimp, which now is the same company as Intuit because they integrate, acquired MailChimp. Earlier this year MailChimp called it a content style guide. So if you Google content style guides, like there is this article.
Well, we. Eh, I collected a list of 16 different content style guides that we've found such as MailChimp Monzo, Microsoft, Canada, post Google, and out of companies have an open source design system, like you've said, JH, and you have a writing branch. So if we go to Shopify, they have a Polaris design system.
So they have a writing section. Google as well in their material design, eh, design system, they have a writing component. So I would go to, if I were you and I was looking for inspiration, I would go to current open source design systems and see if there is any kind of writing branch over there. And I would Google a content style guide.
And look it up on our blog because I've collected this article. I can also share it with you and you can put it in the show notes if you want.
[00:31:20] Erin: Yeah, I was going to say, well, stick that in the show notes. So it's easy to find on Google as well. I just did it
[00:31:25] Yuval: Cool, cool. Also add the content, a design system of Intuit, because I think this is a very good example and that's more or less about it.
[00:31:34] JH: I have a question that's maybe more on a. I'm curious to get your thoughts on it as it feels like language obviously evolves and changes. Right. But it feels like lately the speed of that has picked up with social media and memes and online jokes and everything.
[00:31:48] Yuval: Right.
[00:31:48] JH: do you, as a writer kind of keep a pulse on that and realize maybe like, to go back to the bridal example of like people talk about weddings and stuff differently than they did two years ago.
Like, so we need to revise some of this to keep up, like, something you kind of just do qualitatively by being close to the
[00:32:04] Erin: Um,
[00:32:04] JH: Is there something more structured? Let's keep tabs on it or is that not a real thing? And I'm just guessing here at Dynamic, that's not actually happening.
[00:32:11] Yuval: I think it's a good guest overhaul. At the end of the day, we iterate on the user interface forever. Basically. We also iterate on the language of the user interface as well. So, of course, like being constant with research, seeing if stuff makes sense, we're going to do another iteration of the homepage or another iteration of this user journey anyway. Right, So at the same time, we can also see if we could iterate the contents. If it makes more sense or. And maybe it's a term that people don't use anymore. I haven't seen a specific scenario, now, when it's, when in two years a whole like, and thing became outdated. But yeah, I don't know.
Sometimes they look at the material like our old stuff, the UX writing hub, and then it just rewrites it. I see that for example we said in the past a lot of stuff regarding content strategy. Remember we talked about the fact that people use less the word content strategy. So, we use it less right now. So we iterated on that basically.
[00:33:20] JH: Yeah. I guess I was thinking of somebody doing writing for like a NFT or web three project or whatever. I feel like that's such the wild last it's like, you're probably changing terms every six months or something, but
[00:33:30] Yuval: Right, right. And like I said, there's a lot of jargon and you know, where should I explain what's defies? Or should I explain what Dow is? I don't know, like.
[00:33:40] JH: how many, so many terms are popping up? Yeah.
[00:33:42] Yuval: You definitely need to know your users when writing for these kinds of apps.
[00:33:46] Erin: Yeah. Well, I'm curious on that side, we've talked about sort of, the research upfront and different kinds of methodologies and ways of working with your product team to do that research. There's probably a lot of research, the product team that's doing that you might be able to steal and use for your purposes as a writer as well.
What about either pre-launch or kind of, at the prototype stage, do you do any message testing or before or after any kind of to validate that this UX writing is quite unquote working that it's effective.
[00:34:22] Yuval: So you do whatever you can, but basically you have to come up with some content. So, and out of time you can give your designers to write it. And you can also say to them, just write what it means. You don't have to write the actual words, use protocol, like prototype copy, and then you could do some content audit And improve it based mainly on your gut-feeling I assume.
And based more or less on what, of course, even gut feeling is based on research in my opinion, because it's based on all of the data that you have in your brain.
[00:34:59] Erin: And your brain. Yup.
[00:35:01] Yuval: And there's a reason you came up with that solution because even things that we can explain even more gut-feeling, but even when you come up with stuff that is related to your gut feeling, you can see. Test it in a way you can still ask for your colleague's opinion. And if it makes sense, like I would recommend that with every piece of writing that you put out, there's going to be at least two pairs of eyes going for it and giving you feedback on it because yeah, it's better than it's better together in this case.
[00:35:35] Erin: Do you ever test one message versus another or anything like that too, is that something you recommend for folks to do, to actually validate the copy in cases with users?
[00:35:48] Yuval: Yeah, definitely. Like if you can, basically, I recommend to a lot of times you just can't,
[00:35:54] Erin: Right, right.
[00:35:55] Yuval: Like there are some really quick wins in content specific. Not like in general you that, but in content specifically, there are some really quick wins, for example, Headlines for emails. For example, you can test really quickly if you have a lot of traffic going on to your homepage.
And I don't know, you want to test a copy of a button, which is really rare, by the way, most of the time you don't see people test buttons just like that. But, you could do that. Like, if you have like millions of people coming to your homepage and you want to test this button, you can have an, a version, a B version, and then see what convert better basically.
also like, yeah, you can use different copy components and see like, if you have a button right now and it's like some kind of a registration button to a platform. If you had, you can test the word or the sentence, no credit card required and see if it actually increased the amount of people pressing that button or not.
So you can actually test it. I know that there are some companies out there like booking.com and even Netflix, they have a really cool case study about it. You can head to the show notes, they have a platform name, they think Shakespeare or something like that helped them. It's like this AI tools for like really big corporations that automatically do that testing.
For copy. I know I've heard of a case study at booking.com because they're really big with awards and testing. So they kind of have like this automatic bot to place awards for them. And. Automatically kind of keeps the one that works better. So, if you're a huge company to have this kind of, tools that they can use.
So the more opportunities you'll have with testing basically, but most companies don't have this resources, so we could just test basic stuff.
[00:37:53] Erin: Yuval. What else should we know about UX writing and research? What did we cover? What should we have asked for? I didn't ask to part with that.
[00:38:04] Yuval: All right. So, first of all, everyone can and should do research for the words of the digital interface. Not necessarily the UX writers, the research people should be mindful of that. The designers, the product managers at the end of the day. It's the way your product is communicated and it's important.
Exactly. Just like the layout of the user interface, like the way it's designed, basically it's part of the design UX writing is part of the product design process. And it's really important that everyone in the product team be mindful of it. Okay. And if you don't have a UX writer in your team, You want someone that will be hands on.
So we should hire one. If you don't have the capacity to do that, you should do the research yourself and. Eh, as hard as you think you can, as Jared says, piggyback on your current research in gen, and then just add some, eh, content and language related research, and it's going to be a small effort that's going to have compounded results.
That will be fantastic for your experience at, for your product and for business.
[00:39:15] Erin: Here.
[00:39:16] JH: Nice. And it makes sense.
[00:39:19] Erin: Well, thanks for joining us. It's been great to have you.
[00:39:21] JH: Yes. Awesome.
[00:39:23] Yuval: Thank you. so much for having me. I was honored to be here today.
VP, Growth & Marketing
Left brained, right brained. Customer and user advocate. Writer and editor. Lifelong learner. Strong opinions, weakly held.