Chapter 77. UX Copywriting versus Brand Copywriting

When it comes to copywriting, UX people and true copywriters care about different things. Our focus is on specific types of writing, and we’re not in it for the poetic street cred.

Copywriting in UX Is Usability

Remember when I said that the purpose of UX is to make the user effective, not happy? Copywriting is probably the most pure example of that. Perfect UX copy is understood immediately and forgotten after it serves its purpose.

The UX designer is not the copywriter, or the marketer, or the salesperson, or the creative director. So, when we write copy we need to focus on making the user understand and engage.

Our headlines are calls-to-action, not storytelling.

Our explanations are instructional, not inspirational.

Our form labels are simple, not clever.

And our buttons labels are written for clarity, not to maximize whitespace.

Copywriting in Branding Should Create Associations

Remember when we learned about memory? Humans connect certain things with certain feelings. The goal of brand copywriting is to create those associations.

You might want users to believe your company is more human or more scientific or more authentic than your competitors, and the way to make them think that is to write in a certain tone.

A brand copywriter might write a clever tagline or campaign slogan like Nike’s “Just Do It.” They might write headlines so they feel more fun, like MailChimp’s quirky copy. They might name products or features to make them more ...

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