One of the misconceptions in writing is to think there is not much difference between the different types of writing that exists. It is easy to assume that if the role involves writing, then any writer would get the job done.
Well, let us agree on a fact. All forms of writing have a general requirement of being good with grammar and vocabulary skills, but not all of them have the same process.
There has been a lingering debate on the difference between UX writing and copywriting, and this is simply because both forms of writing go beyond giving information to persuading their readers to take an action.
Though the goal seems the same, their objectives and processes are distinct. Why do people often think they are the same? Well, both of them are usually called copies. But is that enough reason?
Copywriting is more of advertisement. Dan Lok, a copywriting guru calls copywriting, advertisement in words. Copywriting involves using persuasive words to inspire people to buy a product or take a specific action that will drive leads for the product or organization as a whole. Thus, copywriting has a focus of turning prospective customers to paying customers, or service enthusiasts to regular subscribers.
Meanwhile, UX writing seeks to guide users on how to complete tasks with a product. UX writing does not seek to advertise a product. Rather, it is more concerned about how users will have an enjoyable experience with the product.
In practical terms, UX writing is that “sign up” button, the “form details” section of a page, the alerts, the welcome theme of a website.
Copywriting on the other hand is that short copy, telling you why you need to buy the product or subscribe for the service. So, you can have both UX writing and copywriting on a website, but they serve different purposes. None is inferior to the other, they are both needed for a successful product.
This article highlights the major difference between these two genres of writing, and how they both contribute to the success of a product.
What does a UX writer do?
UX writing is a design process that contributes to the user experience of a product through clear and concise words that helps users know how to use a product. UX writing is solution oriented. The writing part is the medium which it uses to create that solution.
Creating solutions implies that there must be an accurate understanding of the problem. UX writers work with UX researchers to understand users’ pain points.
The result from user research enables UX writers to have a proper description of the problem.
UX writers engage in brainstorming sessions with other team members on how best to find solutions to users’ problems. During the brainstorming session, UX writers have the responsibility of crafting questions that users would need answers to. This implies that they pre-empt users' questions and try to find solutions to them, which clearly shows that UX writers are fully involved in the design process.
3. Creating user journey maps
User journey maps describe all the interactions of the user with the product from their first contact till the time they use the product to complete tasks. The UX writer details the user journey map, helping UX designers to know how to connect the features together to create an enjoyable experience for users. The user journey map helps users also to know the next step to take when using the product.
4. Creating user personas
UX writers are the right people to write user personas during a design process. In the absence of a UX writer, a UX researcher or UX designer can write the persona, but it is the primary responsibility of the UX writer. The user persona is a guide that ensures everyone on the team remembers the pain points of the user.
5. Writing microcopy for products
The UX writer writes the product’s microcopies. Some of the microcopies the UX writer writes are button texts, alert prompts, error messages, form details, onboarding instructions, etc. These microcopies are essential to how the user interacts with the product.
Benefits of UX writing
1. Provides clear guidance for users
Digital products need persuading, informative and clear copy for users to be well-informed and guided through the user interface. You need to load UI screens for products with persuading copy and other graphical UI elements. In fact, a lot of research has been done on how alternative texts within the same product might produce better outcomes.
2. A better conversion rate for companies
Brands tend to have better conversion rates when the button text is changed from "Sign up" to "Free trial" or "Get started." This results in better overall user guidance inside the system. For a product to be usable, words are essential.
3. Explains product functionalities
UI functionality is better interpreted with words. Some words might make the concept more obvious. We may refer to it as bridging the user and the visual layout gap. Of course, generic icons that are often used, such phone, email, or play button graphical representations, are typically detected more quickly.
4. Creates a better brand image
Good UX writing creates a better brand image. The best way to build a brand’s image is to have a strong bond with your target audience. You can achieve this through an empathetic microcopy that affects the feelings and intents of your user.
What does a copywriter do?
Copywriting is the art of creating written content for the purpose of advertisement and marketing. The written content called “copy” aims to increase product awareness and persuade prospective customers to buy the advertised product. Copywriting started with short texts written on small sheets of paper. The oldest known copywriting is a text created by William Caxton in 1477 to sell handbooks for priests. From sheets of paper, copywriting evolved to print media in newspapers, and magazines, then, to radio, and finally to the internet.
Copywriting has some processes that are similar to that of UX writing, but the context of their processes is different because UX writers work mostly within a team while copywriters can work alone. Also, the end game for both writing is different.
Some of the activities of a copywriter include:
Copywriters research their target audience to understand the strategy that will appeal to their emotions in buying a product.
2. Creating buyer personas
While UX writers create user personas, copywriters create buyer personas. Now users are also buyers. But not all buyers are users. Some buy a product only to resell to end-users. This signifies that the focus of both personas is different. UX writers create user personas because they are concerned about how users use the product, their pain points, and how the product can solve the pain point.
Copywriters see users as customers. They are more interested in what will make them buy the product. Thus, the buyer persona also details the customer’s pain points but it is developed from the angle of persuading them to buy the product.
Buyer personas are also based on research, and it helps them structure their content, and messages to meet the needs of their target audience.
3. Developing brand voice for companies
One of the core responsibilities of copywriters is to develop a voice that projects the company’s goals and objectives. This involves having an in-depth conversation with company executives, studying the brand niche, conducting competitor’s research, and studying the market to know what can make the brand stand out among its competitors.
Thus, the scope of copywriting is not limited to creating advertisement copies for the company. Copywriting starts even before the company starts production. Most times, UX writers can meet copywriters at the intersection of brand goals, objectives, and product goals. They can work together to create copies that align the two objectives together.
4. Writing sales copy
This is the main work of copywriters. They are responsible for writing copy that converts sales for companies. Sales copies are always specific for a particular product. They are meant to drive consumers to take a specific action. Thus, to create a sales copy, copywriters identify a single pain point and craft words that project a solution to that problem.
Types of copywriting
The common forms of copywriting are:
1. Website copywriting
2. Social media copywriting
3. Direct response copywriting
4. Landing page copywriting
5. Product description copywriting
6. Case studies
Benefits of copywriting to a brand 1. It increases the conversion rates
In order to effectively and efficiently reach today's customers, a content marketing plan must be established. Copywriters can send your message at the appropriate time and place; it is your key to unlocking your sales potential. Businesses may increase conversions by utilizing copywriters' persuasive and engaging superpowers.
2. Builds better brand image
When you create quality content, it benefits your business and aids in creating a distinctive brand identity. You'll begin to be regarded as an authority in your industry, which will result in more business chances.
3. Good copywriting creates an empathetic connection with your customers
Finding out what your audience wants and using the appropriate voice while presenting information are key components of brand copywriting. It makes your brand empathetic towards customers when you communicate with consumers in a language they can comprehend. You must be aware of your target market's demographics and needs in order to do this.
Strong emotional reactions are necessary for developing lasting connections. People make purchases based on a combination of reasoning and emotion. Because of this, marketers attempt to elicit an emotional response in their copywriting. If customers sense this personal connection to your brand, they are more inclined to make a purchase from you.
Customers in the digital age expect firms to spread happiness, share inspiring tales, and evoke powerful emotions in their target audiences. Therefore, copywriting generates distinctive experiences for customers rather than just demonstrating how much superior a brand is to its rivals. Customers will be more likely to return if you can make their marketing experience with you a desirable experience.
4. Better ranking on search engines
Good SEO copywriting can help your website rank better in search engines. Copywriters are frequently SEO experts who create keyword-rich, flawlessly on-page optimized copy.
Therefore, they are skilled in providing worthwhile content and fusing it with SEO criteria. As a result, you will get better SERPS rankings and drive more qualified traffic to your websites.
Similarities between UX writing and Copywriting
Now, if you observe carefully, you’ll find out that UX writing and Copywriting have some similarities.
1. They do not require long-form content, they are both written as short copies.
2. Both forms of writing can increase a brand’s conversion rate.
3. They both conduct research on customers’ pain points and seek to provide solutions.
Differences between UX writing and copywriting
1. They have different entry phases into projects
UX writers participate in the product development process from conception during the user research. UX writers need to put themselves in the position of the target audience to determine how a service or product will be received. All of this must be in place before a project is completed. A copywriter often joins a project in the middle, if not later, of the product development process.
2. UX writers write to assist users, while copywriters write to appeal to customers
Although UX writers typically generate material to assist users, there are times when they also provide advice to clients.
A UX writer must collaborate with many different teams inside a business, in contrast to a copywriter who often solely works with sales and marketing. Product development, marketing, sales, law, and other areas might be involved.
They must establish standards for specific terminology that should be used across various platforms in addition to making sure that their text improves the user experience. They may even set the standard for copywriters in terms of the terminology to use for particular products or procedures.
Copywriters write to inspire customers to make a purchase. During this process, they may provide tips to assist customers on how to use the product, but the main goal is to get them to purchase the product.
3. UX writers and Copywriters work with different data sets
Both copywriters and UX writers must use data or metrics to assess if the content is accomplishing the goal for which it was written.
However, they do this using various sets of data. Copywriters consider how long visitors stay on a website as well as the number of clicks and conversions they receive. UX authors, on the other hand, are more interested in usage-related metrics like usability, effectiveness, active usage, and goal completion.
Can Copywriters work as UX writers and vice versa?
It is easy to transition from copywriting to UX writing. However, it requires more than writing a persuasive copy. UX writing is more about knowing design processes, so a copywriter willing to transition might need to learn basic UX design processes.
For UX writers ready to transition to copywriting, they only need to change the focus of their copy from guiding users to getting customers to buy the product.
Can UX writers and Copywriters collaborate during product development?
The answer is a resounding Yes! Though UX writers are more involved in product development, the service of copywriters is equally essential.
UX writers and copywriters meet at the intersection of finding solutions to customers''/users’ pain points. In most cases, UX writers draft the copy that guides copywriters on the brand’s solution for their target audience.
Copywriters turn this product copy to create their sales copy, highlighting product features to motivate users to purchase the product.
What about Web copywriting, UX Copywriting, and Content design?
These are other terms that are offshoots of UX writing and Copywriting. Web copywriting is used to describe writing copies for websites, but it is different from writing microcopies that guides users. Web copywriters write “About” pages, product pages, and landing pages. It is still copywriting but only focused on writing for the web. You can call it a niche in copywriting.
The term UX copywriting is an attempt to fuse UX writing and copywriting together into one, but it is unnecessary. They can stand alone on their own. Any collaboration between the two will not change their names or roles.
Content design is also part of the product development process. It is different from UX design. Content designers are interested in the design and arrangement of content on the website.
UX writing and copywriting have clear differences, yet, they have some similarities that make people often confuse them as being the same.
The major difference in both forms of writing is the reason behind their writing. While UX writers write to create a guide for product users, copywriters write to motivate prospective customers to buy the product. Nevertheless, both forms of writing are important in the making of a successful product.