If you’ve ever seen the title “UX Writer” written in job descriptions, you may have questions about what specifically they do. After all, what does UX stand for anyway? And how does the job of a UX writer differ from other writing jobs, like copywriting? This brief summary should help you understand the differences between UX writing and effective copywriting.

What Does a UX Writer Do?

The term UX stands for (User Experience), and someone who is a UX writer has the job of creating a text that helps the reader create a specific task, typically on a web page. UX writers work with a variety of departments within an organization, but most likely product managers, software engineers, marketing departments and customer consultants.

What Does a Copywriter Do?

A copywriter creates text for promotional materials for brochures, websites, emails, billboards, and other advertisements. The text that they create is called “copy,” and it has the purpose of encouraging a reader to take a specific action. That action can vary but is typically to get someone to engage with a company, sign up for emails, or purchase a service or product. Sometimes small business owners act as their own copywriters as they getting off their feet. Since they may not have the capital to invest in a marketing team, they might create their own website or blog using a platform like WordPress, which makes it easy to sell a service or product without hiring a professional marketing team.

How Is a UX Writer Role Different Than a Copywriter’s?

Although both UX writers and copywriters both need to be good with words, each role has a different focus. The focus of a copywriter is to be informative and convincing. In contrast, a UX writer’s job is to help the reader (or user) solve a problem, and enjoy using a service or product. The UX writer has to understand what any of the user’s pain points maybe with help of the UX designers. Some other specific differences include:

· Different phases of entry into a project  ̶ UX writers are involved in the inception of a product as it is being researched. They have to put themselves in the shoes of the intended audience in order to gauge how a service or product will be received. This all has to be done before a product is marketed. A copywriter typically comes into a project during the middle phase of product development, or even later.

· Different teams to collaborate with  ̶ While a copywriter typically only has to work with sales and marketing, a UX writer has to collaborate with a wide range of teams within an organization. That could involve product development, marketing, sales, legal and more. Besides ensuring that their text enhances a user’s experience, they also have to create guidelines for specific terminology that should be used across various platforms, possibly even setting the tone for the copywriters as far as what terms to use for specific items or processes.

· Different data sets to work with  ̶ Both copywriters and UX writers need to work with sets of data or metrics to measure whether their writing is doing its intended job. However, they use different sets of data in order to do this. Copywriters look at how much time is spent on a web page, and how many clicks and conversions they’re getting. In contrast, UX writers are more interested in metrics that relate to product usage, including ease of use, efficiency, active usage, and goal completions.

Can Copywriters Be UX Writers?

UX writers have to start somewhere, and most starts as copywriters or have a strong writing background. So, yes, a copywriter can certainly become a UX writer. But it takes more than simply being a strong writer. A UX writer should also have an understanding of technology and design, or at least not be afraid to learn. Bad user experience could ruin the success of a product, so UX writers are becoming heavily relied upon today more than ever due to the advent of the internet and mobile apps.

A Shift in Focus

In the past, when a designer would create a website, the content was king. The designer would simply fill in the “Lorem Ipsum” text, send the design to the copywriter to complete, and then send it back to the designer who might only have a few recommendations to accommodate certain design elements. Then the site would be ready to go live.

Today, however, the user experience is king, as organizations are realizing the damaging consequences of poor user experience on a website or app. Therefore, it is imperative that UX writers have a strong understanding of how a product works and the intention of the user. They need to be able to bridge the gaps between the technology and the design, as well as the words (or copy) that are being used to sell it.

A UX writer wears many hats and will be successful in their job if they can see the viewpoint of a user and be able to successfully communicate with other teams within an organization. Similarly, a copywriter who is able to understand how to reach their intended audience can be a great asset to any company that has a service or product to sell.

Stacey Wonder is a content marketer and copywriting team manager at Essaytigers.