Better User Experience Thanks To UX Writing

Lidia Hannusch
Lidia Hannusch

How clever copywriting can optimize the UX.

What is UX-Writing?

The content of a website or a digital application is not only the texts, images, graphics or videos that can be seen on it. It's often the small elements that motivate us users to click again, or put us off. Pinterest, for example, managed to increase the conversion rate by 11% by simply rewording the email subject, thus generating hundreds of thousands of new Pinterest users per week. (Source: Pinterest Engineering Blog

UX writing (also UX copy) aims to better guide users through the application or motivate them to receive further content by cleverly writing the interface elements, email confirmations or help content of a website.  

Every little hint (microcopy) on CTA buttons, in e-mails or on 404 pages serves the purpose of instinctively motivating users to take an action such as a click, purchase or download.

The Seattle Times offers an example. It optimized the content of its Corona News push notifications, thus creating a more positive UX despite a negative topic.

© Seattle Times Screenshot


- Header imprecise and long

- request at the beginning

- impersonal

- Yes/No option

- Body text imprecise

- CTA problematic

- dark/unclear design

© Seattle Times Screenshot


 + header precise and positive

+ concise and to the point

 + personal approach/orientation

 + body text offers specific content = broader target group  

 + clear/friendly language

 + 2nd button offers further option

 + CTA positive

+ clear design

Opportunities - small words with a big impact

Looking at user behavior, it becomes clear why UX writing is important for digital applications: users rarely have the time and patience to slog through long texts and incomprehensible jargon. They are always looking for a helpful answer, the best offer or the right gift. Not only must content be available quickly, but the handling of digital products must also be simplified. To achieve this, content and design must be developed inseparably together. In this context, UX writing should be an indispensable part of the content strategy.

Netflix, for example, offers its future users at a glance what can be expected with one subscription: rich movie programming, location-independent, cancellation at any time, and a trial option.

© Netflix Homepage

Brand strengthening thanks to optimized user experience 

Uncertainties that might arise when using the application are analyzed by means of data research and user tests and constantly optimized for a holistic UX. Here you can find how a UX audit is carried out.

Through the interface, the user links the positive user experience with values and the brand behind it. Consistency and user-centric language can lead to long-term and emotional engagement with the product and brand. As this page shows:

© Mailchimp 404

Despite unavailable content, the user is likely to stay on Mailchimp and search for other content. Text and design were used effectively and consistently here to resolve a negative situation in a positive way.

Potential increase in sales

If the user associates a digital product with uncomplicated, intuitive, direct handling and a positive UX, he/she is more willing to download the app, use the website longer or subscribe to the newsletter. This also has a positive effect on the search engine algorithm. 

According to Kinneret Yifrah, measuring a clear ROI can be simplified: Higher user activity = more users take actions = revenue. Accordingly, UX writing can increase e-commerce. Google, too, proved a few years ago that a positive UX is more likely to lead to sales by changing the text from "Book a Room" to "Check availability" in the interface, and increased its engagement rate by 17%

© Screenshot Google How Words Can Make Your Product Stand Out (Google I/O '17)

Both variants pursue the goal of booking a room, but trigger different emotions. 

"Book a room" expresses commitment and puts users under pressure, while they may not even want to commit to a specific room and date when searching for a hotel. "Check availability", on the other hand, motivates users to get an overview and book if necessary.

At Uhura, we know that good digital products need content, design and action. That's why we already apply UX writing in numerous projects to optimize the everyday use of digital applications and create relevant content for your target audience.  

If you too are looking for an improved UX for your brand, don't hesitate to contact us. We are happy to support you with our UX expertise.

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