5 unexpected books that will improve your UX writing
Become a better product writer in the next 6 months (or so) by reading some unexpected books
UX writing is an art and a science
Writing for user experience
A good UX writer can translate complex language into clear, plain terms, highlighted by bits of the brand voice when appropriate. This applies to error messages, form fields, and tooltips as much as it applies to welcome messages, empty states, and success modals.
The internet abounds with blog posts and online articles to improve your UX writing skills. Many of these are granular do’s and don’ts—how to write error messages, how to write CTAs—or all-purpose tips, like
Those are helpful, for sure! But it’s important to recognize that creative writing skills will spill over into your day-to-day life as a UX writer. When you practice poetry, write personal essays, or copy edit like a pro, your product copy improves beyond measure. Your writing world opens to possibilities that wouldn’t exist if you’d only learned how to write in-product copy.
Read books, not just blogs
- You currently work as a UX writer and want to improve your writing skills
- You’re an advertising or marketing copywriter who wants to expand your writing skill set, possibly switch to UX writing, or improve your creative writing skills
- You’re a technical writer who wants to expand your writing skill set, possibly switch to UX writing, or improve your creative writing skills
- You’re a copy editor or technical editor who wants to improve your writing and editing skills
(Note: none of these are affiliate links, so feel free to click abundantly!)
Key takeaway: Language is powerful. Your words can make people feel happy, sad, frustrated, proud, and everything in between. So whether or not “writer” is in your title, your writing is important. At the end of the day, you’re a person communicating with other people. You want to be nice about it, and despite the screens between you and your readers, you can do that. That’s why style matters.
Key takeaway: Writing is hard work. A clear sentence is no accident. Very few sentences come out right the first time, or even the third time. Remember this in moments of despair.
Key takeaway: If you are a writer, or want to be a writer, this is how you spend your days—listening, observing, storing things away, making your isolation pay off. You take home all you’ve taken in, all that you’ve overheard, and you turn it into gold. (Or at least you try.)
Key takeaway: Good exercises are provocative, challenging, and often entertaining. A good exercise will engage you on at least several levels, and should necessitate the breaking of new ground … they provide a way to enter the mysteries.
Key takeaway: No matter what your age or your life path, whether making art is your career or your hobby or your dream, it is not too late or too egotistical or too selfish or too silly to work on your creativity.
OK, your turn! What are some of your favorite books that can help improve writing, creativity, or life in general?
Thank you for reading! Best wishes on your writerly journey.
This article was reposted on Medium on June 19, 2018
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2 thoughts on “5 unexpected books that will improve your UX writing”
Great list! Really helpful as I’m currently looking for ways to package my CW experience into UX writing roles. The Artist’s Way is one of my favorites. I’d add Steven Pressfield’s, “The War of Art” and Rilke’s “Letters to a Young Poet.”
Ahh, two wonderful suggestions! Rilke has a special place in my heart 🙂 Thanks for your comment!