Tuesday UX Trainer: Writing is Design


You’re reading an issue of Tuesday UX Trainer, a series that teaches you something new about UX design every week.

I wonder how many of us learn to write before we draw. Maybe 50/50? If you know anything about me by now (I know, I’m super mysterious), you know that I think writing is design. Look at any webpage and you see that nearly 90% of the “design” is text. In this issue, we look at the craft of writing as an essential design skill.

1. Copywriting is interface design (37signals article)

37Signals was the former name of Basecamp, the wildly popular project management tool. And the founders are great writers too. In Getting Real, the founders’ wildly popular book, there’s a chapter dedicated to why good writing is good design.

“You need to speak the same language as your audience too. Just because you’re writing a web app doesn’t mean you can get away with technical jargon.”

Read it chapter (and whole book) here:

2. Technical Writing Handbook (by iFixit’s founder)

I just love it when a founder creates an awesome thing (like the startup iFixit), then creates an amazing related resource for free. That’s what happened with the Technical Writing Manual.

How does technical writing relate to UX design, you ask?

The entire field is literally dedicated to translating technical jargon into practical steps for a user. Think instruction manuals, good onboarding, and helping the users understand an otherwise complex topic. Overlaps a ton with UX, eh?

This lovely minisite features great guides like Being Concise, Using Other Visuals and my favorite, Communicate with Style.

Bookmark this manual: https://www.dozuki.com/tech_writing

3. How to Write Killer Content for the Web (Udemy Course)

If you want to make your designs more engaging, consider not only visuals but also the words (and tone of voice) you use.

One of the best (if the THE best) Udemy courses on writing specifically for the web. Steve McDonald covers a bit of everything I happen to care about, like writing for websites, blogs and even how to “edit to content to make it sparkle.”

The right words on a portfolio can help set you apart as “just another designer going through the motions” to getting a client thinking wow, I need this for my business.

Check out the Udemy Course: Content is King: How to Write Killer Content for the Web

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Keep learnin’,

Oz / UX Coach @ UXBeginner.com

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