Let’s open the UX-File together and discover who —and what— contributes to making the digital user experience as positive as possible.
So far, I’ve published several posts regarding UX writing.
In all of them, I wrote about some essential aspects related to content design.
Speaking of the first post, I wrote about what UX writing is.
Then, I provided you with a list of the 30 highly ranked blog posts about UX writing.
Furthermore, together we discovered what the term “user interface content” or “UI content” means.
In the end, the last topic revolved around what the most appropriate name for the content that enhances the user experience is.
In this post, however, I’ll write about the digital user experience.
I’ve made this decision because I realised that there was a certain level of confusion among some blog visitors when it came to terms, such as UX writing, UX writer, UX copy, and UI copy.
To prevent these terms from being an unknown — a mystery like The X-Files — I’ve decided to help all those who are still unsure of what they mean.
With this goal in my mind, I’ll start by explaining what the digital user experience is.
Would you like to open these UX-Files with me?
If you would, continue reading.
Table of Contents
The user experience: the UX-Files
In this post, you’ll read about the user experience, the digital user experience, and the concepts such as “UX writing”, “UX writer”, and “UX copy”.
Would you like to find out what the digital user experience is?
Want to know how a UX writer can contribute to making the user experience as positive as possible?
In that case, let’s open the UX-Files.
What is the user experience (UX)?
In the beginning, let’s see what the term “the user experience” (UX) means.
User Experience refers to the feeling users experience when using a product, application, system, or service. It is a broad term that can cover anything from how well the user can navigate the product, how easy it is to use, how relevant the content displayed is etc.User Experience, Product Plan
In other words, the user experience is a subjective perception that arises from the use of a product or service.
Nevertheless, before you continue reading, try not to overlook the fact that there is a difference between the terms “usability” and “the user experience”.
Usability and the user experience
Usability is a factor that is estimated according to the amount of time and energy that a user needs to invert into performing a specific action.
This factor can be high or low.
- In case that the level of usability is high, it doesn’t take much time and energy to perform the action.
- On the other hand, if the level of usability is low, the performance of the action takes longer and requires a more significant energy investment.
The user experience, on the other hand, is a feeling aroused in a user during —and after— the use of a service or a product.
This feeling can be positive or negative, whereas it directly depends on the level of usability of the product or service.
The two types of the user experience
Speaking of products, we can distinguish the two types of products:
- Physical products – For example, a computer, a mobile device or a tablet.
- Digital products – For instance, a website, a desktop application or a mobile application.
Info products, such as e-books, video recordings, or audio files, are also considered to be digital products.
According to the types of products, we can differentiate the following two types of user experience:
- User experience with physical products – It refers to the use of physical products and offline services.
- Digital user experience – It relates to the use of digital products and online services.
The digital user experience and the role of UX copy
To achieve a positive user experience or improve the existing one, it’s necessary to take into consideration the level of usability when modelling, designing, and creating a product or service.
The aim of a manual is to eliminate, if not all, then the majority of doubts that the users may have.
In most cases, users receive manuals in a printed form and free of charge when purchasing the product.
The same is true when it comes to digital products and online services.
The company that develops and offers a digital product on the market aims to achieve the optimal user experience.
In other words, the product is designed, created, and launched to be as usable as possible.
To top it off, it should cause positive feelings in users.
UX copy isn’t technical content
However, unlike most physical products, the use of digital products is rarely accompanied by technical content, such as manuals.
More often than not, there are no printed instructions for the use of digital products.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that there’s no content that is being crafted to improve the digital user experience.
This content is known as UX content (UX copy), and it differs from both formal user guides and instructions printed in manuals.
In summary, UX content is one of the factors that make the difference between the digital user experience and the UX with physical products.
- When it comes to the content of manuals and instructions for use, technical writers are in charge of crafting this type of content.
- On the other hand, content creation for the user interface is mainly done by UX writers.
For more information about these two professions, I invite you to visit the post on the Gordian knot of writing.
The most important terms related to the digital user experience
UX content or UX copy is the content that forms part of digital products or is somehow related to them.
This type of content contributes to making the digital user experience as positive as possible.
However, UX content and UI content aren’t synonyms.
Namely, UI content (UI copy) can be found within different types of user interfaces, whether these are websites, applications, or other interfaces.
This type of content is also known as micro-content (microcopy) and represents a more specific and narrower term than UX copy.
All UI copy is UX copy, but not all UX copy is UI copy.
UX copy, on the other hand, can encompass marketing content and any other piece of content that has even the slightest influence on the digital user experience.
UX writing is a discipline, UX writer is a profession
With regard to the discipline of crafting UX copy, that discipline is called UX writing, while the professionals who specialise in UX writing are UX writers or UX copywriters.
Nevertheless, UX writers aren’t the only members of teams that dedicatedly work on improving the digital user experience.
- UX teams are usually made up not only of UX writers but also of UX researchers, UX designers, etc.
- Their fields of expertise are UX writing, UX research, UX design, etc.
In the end, although UX writers aren’t the most important members of UX teams, they do play a significant role in building and enhancing the digital user experience.
Not “X-Files”, but the UX-Files
In a nutshell, the digital user experience is an essential factor in retaining users and customers.
What’s more, this factor is in line with two imperatives of marketing:
- Better than trading services is finding solutions to customers’ problems.
- Instead of selling products to customers, PROMISE them a positive experience.
And since “it’s not about giving a promise but keeping it”, to keep your promise, it’s necessary to count on the contribution of all the members of a UX team.
In that team, needless to say, it should always be a UX writer, too.
A Writing-Friendly Question: What is your opinion regarding the most effective way to improve the digital user experience?
My name is Stasa Durdic, and I work as a UX writer. In my opinion, not only the truth but also the usability is out there. If you would like to know more about me, please read my story or visit my LinkedIn profile. On the other hand, in case you want to get in touch with me, I’ll be happy to offer you my help with UX writing.
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