By Edwin Mohammad
When people ask me what I do, I proudly tell them I’m a UX writer.
“I write words for an app so it speaks with you; as if it were a close friend who’s there to help.”
Most of them barely get it…
I began wondering why this definition was unclear and dug deeper. Here are some reasons they didn’t understand:
- There was a huge gap of knowledge between my job and theirs.
- They were unfamiliar with UX. Let alone a UX writer.
- Many didn’t think there was a dedicated role for this. Most think that anyone can “volunteer” to become a UX writer.
Some would even ask me…
We have words in our apps?
I don’t blame anyone for not knowing. I’m saying this because some of us may later have doubts of becoming UX writers, just because nobody knows what it is. You shouldn’t.
Here’s why you should feel proud
Imagine if a tech company had no UX writer, would you know what something in your phone is used for? Maybe you would, but a tech company without a UX writer will less likely value the whole point of UX writing.
Keep in mind that UX writers do not just tie words together.
Take this random error screen for example, what does the left one tell you?
The whole point of UX writing is so the words have a soul and can interact with you just how a close friend would. If you see the left screen closely, these words don’t mean anything to anyone:
Apache/2.2.34 (unix) mod_ssl/2.2.34 OpenSSL/1.0.le-fips mod_bwlimited/1.4 Server at www.yourURL.com Port 80
It thus becomes a challenge for UX writers as we should be translating those html-formatted texts into simple words that may resonate with a lot of people. Tell me, do you find it easier to read the screen on the right?
Case study: GO-JEK
Here’s another example. What if, and just for fun, I changed the words on the homepage of GO-JEK into something unrelated, does it still picture GO-JEK as we know today? See the experiment on the right.*
*Disclaimer: just an illustration, never really happened.
Point is, UX writing is still a new field, yet the impact it gives is powerful to the growth of tech companies. It is constructive to users — more so because half the word now is undeniably attached to smartphones.
We make people understand how to use their apps. How is that not important?
The words or the copy in our phones are more than just words; they are guidance to help us make decisions, get to where we want.
UX Writing is hard. It requires considerable degree of skill and is an important art. If you have what it takes, come join us. Head to gojek.jobs and apply to be part of South East Asia’s fastest growing company 🙏