18 Best Tips to Improve UX Writing

UX Writing

The user interface is intended to present everything which is easy to understand for user. Whether it is an image or a label or a text message, a user that comes to use your design should easily understand its meaning and be able to perform the desired action without any confusion.

UX writing includes every kind of text that displays on user interface. This text needs to define in a way that helps user to move forward on UI.

Few guidelines are used to define UX writing that provides the desired user experience. A list of such guidelines is mentioned below.

1. Eliminate Redundancy

Redundant text is of no use except that it creates noise and clutter on UI. Always try to review the text you write and eliminate any redundant terms.

Eliminate Redundancy
Eliminate redundant words from UI.

2. Be Positive

Use positive language. Try to emphasize what user can achieve instead of what he can’t do.

Be positive
Tell user what he can do instead of what he can’t do.

3. Don’t Invent

Use standard words where they are applicable. If you try to use new terms for existing standards, the user will confuse.

Dont Invent Words
Use standard words to make them understandable for user.

4. Use Numerals

Use numbers instead of writing them in textual form as numeric value is easy to scan for human eyes.

Use numerals
Use number instead of text.

5. Omit Needless Words

It is a misconception that using two or three similar words will convey the meaning in a better way. This is not correct. Write instructions and messages in a precised way.

Omit needless words
Extra words can be skipped to increase simplicity on UI.

6. Be Consistent

Using consistent language will help user better understand the meaning. Using separate terms for similar kind of action will frustrates the user.

Be consistent
Use consistent terms.

7. Avoid ‘the user’, Use ‘you’

If you mention ‘the user’, it will be a less personal tone. Instead using first person will give a more personalized way to talk.

Use You
Use ‘you’ instead of ‘the user.

8. Use ‘I’

Use ‘I’ where user wants to tell the system what to do. This will give the user a feeling of personal interaction with the system.

Use first person
Use ‘I’ instead of ‘you’ to increase personal interaction.

9. Be User-Oriented

Make sure that your communication with user is unambiguous and clear. Use conventions that are easier to scan and understand.

Be user oriented
Use conventions that are easier to understand.

10. Avoid All Caps

All Caps text is difficult to read and scan and it seems like shouting on user.

Avoid All caps
All caps text is difficult to read.

11. Don’t Over-Communicate

Use simple language to convey your message.

dont over communicate
Do not over-communicate.

12. Use Short Words

Short and plain words are easy to scan and quick to understand.

Use short words
Use short sentences that convey complete meaning.

13. Be Polite

Be polite and humble. Provide user a way to move out of a difficult situation gracefully.

Be polite
Be polite to user.

14. Avoid Jargons

Use the terminology your users are comfortable with.

Avoid jargon
Don’t use jargons on UI.

15. Avoid Technical Terms

Replace technical terms with appropriate user friendly terms.

Avoid technical terms
Technical terms are hard to understand for user.

16. Connect Similar Words

Use similar words where applicable so that user can connect them easily.

Connect similar words
Similar words are easier to connect.

17. Avoid ‘lorem ipsum’

Lorem Ipsum is not a good way to write placeholder text. Instead use actual and simple words as placeholder on UI.

Avoid lorem ipsum
Lorem ipsum is not a good placeholder text.

18. Do Research

Whenever you start writing for user interface, always do research of similar options, terms and messages. You cannot invent everything using your brain. It is better to use existing standards instead of thinking about new and unfamiliar ways.

Doing research will make your task much easier. Also, you user will happy to relate industry standards when he uses your design.

Conclusion

UX writing is one of the important and interesting topic of user experience design. This should be given equal importance as UI images, since it has a large impact on your users. An interface displaying difficult and weird language never attracts the user and it takes him no time to leave the product and never come back.

“Easy reading is damn hard writing.” — Nathaniel Hawthorne

References:


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