Conversation starters: 50 FAQ for a UX writer

A crowdsourced list of common questions UX writers often answer

A diverse group of people talking around a wooden table, while holding tablets.
Image via Adobe Stock

Want to learn more about UX writing, but not sure where to start? Are you a UX writer who’d love to connect more with other UX writers, but you don’t know which questions would be most valuable for your conversations?

Here are some common questions UX writers tend to get. This list was compiled for a gathering of the San Francisco UX Writers Meetup, but they’re also helpful conversation prompts for any networking event or coffee chat. Please add any questions you don’t see here in the comments!

Getting started or transitioning

1. How do I get started in UX writing?

2. I’m a UX designer (researcher, product manager, marketing copywriter, poet, social media coordinator, graphic artist…) but I can’t find a way to make the transition to UX writing without direct experience. Do you have advice?

3. I’m currently working in retail (food service, dog walking, teaching yoga…) but I love to write. How can I start making my way to UX writing?

4. I’ve done some product writing, but a UX Writer role doesn’t exist at my company. How can I make a case for the role?

5. What’s the best background for a UX writer?

6. I’m interested in UX but I’m not sure yet if I want to write, design, do research, or something else. Which area should I choose?

7. What classes do I need to take to learn UX writing?

8. What videos do I need to watch to learn UX writing?

9. What books or articles do I need to read to learn UX writing?

10. I’m not sure I understand all of the job titles. What’s the distinction between UX writing and (content strategy, content design, product writing, UX copywriting, microcopy writing, UX strategy…)?

11. Is there a list of resources that tells me everything I need to know about UX writing?

Career and hiring questions

12. Hey! I just learned that what I do has a name: UX writing! How cool. I thought I was a copywriter. Any suggestions for how I can maximize this information?

13. Money questions: what is the expected salary range for junior UX writers (remote writers, writers outside Silicon Valley, writers in Europe…)?

14. What do hiring managers want to see in a UX writing portfolio?

15. I created an unsolicited redesign of an app so I could practice UX writing. Is that OK to use in my portfolio?

16. My team says they’re embedded (driven by UX, content-first…), but it’s really waterfall (studio model, over the fence, fill in the boxes…). How can I change our structure and process?

17. I have a budget to hire another writer for my team, yay! How do I hire one?

18. I don’t want to manage people, but there’s no other way to progress at my company. What should I do?

19. I love managing people! How can I start hiring and grow a UX writing team at my company?

20. What’s an ideal UX writer to product designer ratio?

21. Who should a UX writer report to?

22. Where in the company should a UX writing team sit?

23. Can I get a job as a remote UX writer?

24. What’s the best way to manage my UX writing career?

Skills-related

25. Chicago or AP?

26. Can you use questions in headlines?

27. Do UX writers write landing pages?

28. Do UX writers code?

29. Do UX writers create the content style guide, or should that be created by marketing (brand, comms, someone else…)?

30. How can I get better at editing / improving readability / proofreading before my work ships?

31. Do I need to learn design software or can I just write?

32. Should writers work in Sketch? What plug-ins are available?

33. Should writers work in Figma?

Process questions

34. How do you write for different languages?

35. What is the work process around copy?

36. What are some ways to integrate UX writing into the design process?

37. What are some ways to integrate UX writing into the engineering process?

38. I’m struggling to figure out how to make sure all of our copy gets a final proofread or QA before it ships. What can I do?

39. How early in the process should UX writers get involved? How early do they actually get involved?

40. Who “owns” and writes the copy?

41. What’s the structure of your team?

42. How often do you release features?

43. I feel like I’m often left out of key meetings and decisions. How can I be more seen as a UX writer and get a seat at the table?

44. I write for lots of projects and I’m not sure how to prioritize. What can I do to juggle everything?

45. Our process has lots of different levels of approval and different tools: Google Docs, Trello, Sketch, Confluence. It goes through several rounds of editing in all these tools. The process isn’t bad, but it isn’t great. How can we improve our process?

46. What are some tips on using Dropbox Paper for UX writing?

47. How do I organize a UX writing feedback workshop / crit session?

48. What are some tips for participating in design crits?

49. My designers gave me edit access to their Figma files. What’s the best process for integrating copy: separate UX writing page, type directly into designs, something else?

50. Everyone questions my writing. Everyone has an opinion. Help!


What questions do you have that aren’t listed here? Please add them in the comments!


Special thanks to Kathryn Strauss and Jennie Tan for their insights!


Also published at Medium on April 9, 2019.

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