We recently surveyed the heroes on the front lines of product development — UX writers, product managers, and developers — how their teams manage UX content. What did we learn?
4 lessons from the Product Content Optimization Report
1. Good UX is built on three pillars: design, navigation, and content.
For a fast-paced team, time usually gets split like so:
1. Design is given the most love. An amazing design sets up a good first impression, so it gets well-deserved attention and budget.
2. Clear navigation decisions, which impact how quickly new and returning users understand a product, usually undergo planning and a few review cycles.
3. Content, which provides necessary explanations and gets everyone on the same page, is a task usually left for last. And oftentimes the first version written becomes the final version without any additional thought.Oftentimes, UX writing is a task left for last — and in those situations, the first version becomes the final version due to time constraints. This is a problem.Click To Tweet
2. UX copy is one of the primary reasons digital products disappoint users.
When it comes to priorities in UX design and UX content, words often take a back seat to color, shapes, spacing, and other visual elements. But they’re at least as important to the user interface and experience. In fact, words largely define product personality and clarity for a user. They communicate a company’s values and take a brand from recognizable to unforgettable — which can be a positive or negative thing, depending on how much thought you put into your content strategy.
For users, this willful neglect is a barrier to an enjoyable and memorable in-app experience. For product teams, it’s a missed opportunity to reach and retain a wider customer base. The worst case scenario: customers abandon products with poor user experiences, and go on to leave a negative review about how confusing and unintuitive they found the platform.
Do you know what your product is saying behind your back?
3. In most enterprises, the process for managing the written word is a mess.
Very few products are used to improve the workflow of UX writers. Most organizations are still using a combination of Microsoft Office, Google Docs and Sheets, email, Slack messages, and sticky notes to manage content.
Which means iterating over product and UX copy is still overly difficult for everyone involved. Even something as simple as removing a comma can be a hassle, while large updates are haphazard, rushed, and handed off to editors, designers, or engineers through a disorganized process. Lack of process means much of the UX copy users see is created not by copywriters, but by developers and engineers whose core competencies lie elsewhere.
4. We must empower our content teams.
This is an area that’s ripe for change and desperately needs a process overhaul. We must work harder to help UX writers and content teams to enhance their brand impact through the written word.
Read the full report
To sharpen our collective understanding of what’s happening to product copy, Writer shared the results of our survey in the Challenges in Product Content Optimization report. Dive in and see what content and product teams have to say about the current and desired state of UX writing and development.