Day#310: UX Copywriting and how to test for it

Day#310: UX Copywriting and how to test for it

Hey researchers and designers, today I wanted to chat about UX Copywriting and the fundamental methodologies and testing copy. I initially thought A/B testing and multivariate testing would be a great method. However after getting down to some much needed desktop research I found some really great examples. Before getting to that though I wanted to talk about what UX Copywriting what it means to me, I see a lot of companies hiring UX Writers and lots of writers relabelling themselves as UX Writers, but what does it mean to have this popular acronym before your original title. Well I started as a designer, a multimedia designer to be exact. Years ago it seemed like the right move since I was creative, and in total honesty did not really know what I wanted from a career as yet. Long story short, I found the wonderful industry of UX and ventured into that slowly learning more and more and adding on the title of UX to my Designer title. For a UX Designer the goal is to keep the user in mind when designing. This can depend on so many things with how this is done, from having designers help with creating test plans and conducting testing to having designers as observers on testing sessions, and collecting valuable feedback in that way. I think the various roles would blend together when in smaller organisations, so the bigger the organisation the more specialized the role may be. 

With that in mind I now move on to briefly explaining in my own words where I think UX writers fit into this space, the initial over arching creation of UX design was a great step in the right direction but I’m glad writers have now found a seat at the UX table so to speak. UX writers also predominantly care about the user’s experience, as opposed to the general writer who is writing with marketing goals in mind like retention. Again I have spoken with various UX writers over the years and found that it varies from organisation to organisation on what will be expected of you. The best I can suggest is to understand some of the core methodologies that encompass UX best practises, and slowly wet your feet if you have the opportunity. By that I mean ask the Researchers conducting testing sessions if you can join in as an observer. If your company does not have these more specialized roles, and you have to do a bit of everything yourself and not sure where to start. I would say, look at some of my earlier posts on various topics around psychology, research and testing to get more context on my thoughts on this.

UX copywriting

Workshop ideas

Recency and primacy effect in UX

Asking jargon filled questions of Novice users

Now I would like to get into some interesting methods I have found on testing copy, I found this article which discusses the following

“A Cloze test

A cloze test resembles a gap fill exercise for UX copywriting. The participant must replace a missing language item (eg. items, words, or signs) in a section of copy. Cloze procedures require the ability to understand context and vocabulary in order to identify what belongs in the deleted parts.

Highlighter testing

This content testing method indicates the type of conversation you need to have with customers both across a user journey and within its specific touchpoints. It reveals the conversation framework which drives the design throughout the whole experience.

Comprehension surveys

If you need a larger sample size, have a small budget, or little time, you can even use an online survey platform (like SurveyMonkey) and set up your study as an unmoderated remote test with multiple-choice answers. It takes a little more time to set up than open-ended questions, but it will take less time to score. You can test long text pieces, short strings and everything in between.”

I also wanted to mention how I was trying to think about unique methods for testing copy and thought of looking at how teachers test young children with reading and writing. The types of exercises were interesting and some did spark some ideas, over all I think something to keep in mind is to not let the term UX become like the term Agile. Yes I said it, some companies use the term agile yet are not, and the same goes for UX. Perhaps you are indicating you are a UX Designer or writer because it pays more or you want to learn more about it. There are lots of free resources online to develop your skillset in more detail. Happy researching until next time!

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