Andrew and Katrin come up with questions and answers. Pretty straightforward, but let's see what happens!
<aside> 💡 published in April, 2021.
A: It depends! I've experienced about every situation you can imagine as far as my entry into a project. Recent work with my company's Growth team was great because I was always part of opening discussions for problems we tried to solve. But the reality is this: That doesn't always happen. As a UX writer, you must be adaptable and a quick learner. My background as a journalist helps me here. In that life, I faced quick turnarounds, tight deadlines, and new topics all the time. Nothing I've encountered in my current job has come close to pressures I felt in those roles. I love thinking and playing with words, so this position suits me well.
K: It also depends ;) but we try to think of UX copy already in research, during explorations and discovery. That words are design as well is something that is sometimes new to others when you are entering the position as the first UX writer like I did. I love being part of the design team, I did not come close enough to all these collaborative stages when I was working freelance. I love seeing the iterations grow and thrive.
K: To stay on top of all the instances where your words could be repurposed, so consistency is delivered. Staying on top does not mean looking through all the Figma files or the Contentful CMS—it rather means to be in connection with the people in my team and their current work. Also, a big challenge sometimes is, to be short but also smart, so the words still make sense or add even value to the experience.
A: Sometimes, the spotlight is bright! Most people think they can write, so feedback can seem nit-picky at times. There's a lot of work that goes into placing words on a screen. It's rare I'll write anything without referring to our marketing website, support site, brand assets, or other parts of our app. I'm super big on consistency. I try to align anything I produce with terminology or phrasing that exists somewhere within my company's ecosystem. The same goes for my video work. I'll use our visual style guide to stay aligned with brand-appropriate colors, fonts, and more.
A: I never feel like I'm alone. Yes, I'm the only UX writer while working within cross-functional teams. But our UX content team has a private Slack channel where we share our work and offer feedback. We also hold daily stand-ups, and every few weeks, we have content community meetings to talk about our projects. I love that part of my job. Our little group feels like a true team. Working with my teammates is the best part of my role.
K: I am the one and the only as well 😇 I love my team and our rituals, too: daily, Slack channels, collaboration on Figma, Miro and Google Meet. To me, I don't feel lonely either—my team members bring so much inspiration to the table. To write in a vacuum usually does not make for the best copy ever, in my opinion.
K: It is a never-ending cycle—I love that work is never perfect, never done, never finished. In every user testing you learn something you might have never thought about anyway. Sometimes, if you change one word, it creates a ripple effect and you need to get everything close to it "just right". But it is a snapshot, and I am not counting 🙃
A: "Who is counting anyway" is a great way to put it! I never keep track, but it always takes more than one iteration when I work on a big project. Smaller situations like writing labels or alerts can be different. But when I work on a complex flow, it's rare each of my words will fly through the design process without changing. That's good! I gain a fresh perspective each time I revisit a project. For UX people, time is a wonderful ally. It's interesting how our minds work, but I remember so many occasions where I stepped away from wireframes and edited my words a day or more later with a clearer vision. I also take stakeholder feedback into account. Sometimes, I make changes or compromises to get a project past the finish line.
A: My manager was my company's first UX writer. She created our UX content style guide, so it has been awesome to learn from her. When I joined my company in 2018, our processes were well-defined. I started using InVision as a design tool, but our UX team made the switch to Figma a few years ago. As a content person, that was a game changer. -
Before, I had to leave comments within files and tell UX designers to change the copy. But with Figma, I can edit everything in wireframes, which is great! For my video work, I use Adobe Premiere, which pairs nicely with Audition and Photoshop. I also dabble in After Effects. I'm familiar with Google Analytics, VWO, FullStory, Targetprocess, and Asana.