5 Point UX Writing Checklist

UX writing is the act of writing copy for user interfaces.  Using the right language is essential to creating great user experiences. It helps users achieve their goals and get to where they want to go.

To help keep your UX writing top notch,  keep your writing:

UX Writing Checklist

1. Clear

The language you use should give the user context. Pay attention to the verb as action words tends to be the most powerful part of your sentence. For clarity try not to use jargon and technical terms that users will struggle to understand.

2. Concise

Concise writing is both short and efficient.  Every word on the screen should have a distinct job.  People have short attention spans so keep your copy front loaded.  Front loaded means putting your important concepts up front.  This is where users will be paying most attention.  Ruthlessly edit what comes after.

3. Useful

Call to actions (CTA) are the part of your copy that guide people to next steps.  To be useful they need to resonate with what people want to do.   ‘OK’ for example is often not a good call to actions as it is so generic.  Instead CTA’s that spell out the options the user can take are more useful.

4. On brand

There are two elements to consider for keeping your writing on brand; Voice and tone. The voice of the brand reflects the brand principles.  It should stay consistent throughout the product experience.  If you don’t have any brand principles Guy Ligertwood suggest deciding on 3 or 4 adjectives.  These should embody your brand, and how you want people to perceive it.

Your tone is how your voice sounds in different context.  Tone of voice may change when talking to users in different context. It might range from informative to inspiring. Or even humorous if it suits the brand.

5. Consistent

One of the most important elements of writing effective UX copy and in fact good UX in general.  Keep it consistent.  It should feel as though one voice is speaking to the user throughout the experience.  Use words consistently throughout the site.  If you use a certain CTA in one part of the site, don’t then use a different word somewhere else. This will only serve to confuse the user.

Find out more about UX writing

Examples of UX writing style guides