Chapter 7. Tools of the UX Writing Trade

[ 7 ]

Tools of the UX Writing Trade

It’s best to have your tools with you. If you don’t, you’re apt to find something you didn’t expect and get discouraged.

—Stephen King, writer

There isn’t any one magic tool to be a good UX writer. In fact, most UX writers use widely available tools, even tools that are available for free. In this chapter, I share the tools I use to be successful while I accomplish the main tasks of UX writing:

  • Drafting
  • Reviewing
  • Publishing
  • Tracking work

Write for the Context

When most people think of writing, they think of writing words that people will read in a book, article, essay, student paper, or blog. This book has sentences grouped in paragraphs, organized in sections and subsections, to do its word-based work. I used two common word-processing programs, and I wrote it in approximately the same format you’re reading it now.

In contrast, UX writing is not a sequence of words, sentences, and paragraphs that stand on their own. Instead, it exists to be the conversation between the experience and the person using it. The experience talks to the person with words and visuals, and the person responds by interacting with elements on the screen.

To choose the appropriate words while UX writing, we need to consider not only titles, sections, and paragraphs, but also buttons, controls, flyouts, dialogs, text input fields, and more. Our words can be seen, heard, or both. When the person encounters this writing, they ...

Get Strategic Writing for UX now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.