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I Don't Know Anything

...that I keep to myself.

A good specialist knows what they're talking about. They also don't try to hide it.

Hoarding doesn't create value, and this is doubly true with knowledge. As a UX Writer (or any other kind of narrowly-focused professional), it's easy to fall into the pitfalls of not delegating and keeping "trade secrets" locked out of sight.

Do I know things that my designers don't? Absolutely*. Should it stay that way? Heck no!

If we're working on an empty state, I know that it should be informative about what could or should be there. I know it's good to provide a course of action, and that it's not a place for long explanations. So when a designer or PM asks to discuss an empty state, I can either say let me do my magic and come back with clear text, or I can share what I'm aiming for.

Think "teach a man to fish." If that basic knowledge is passed on, I won't have to spend as much time looking at the next empty state. And before you go there: no, this isn't a risk to job security. It just means I can devote more time to deeper content strategy, and make improvements elsewhere. There will always be text to make better, and a single writer becoming a bottleneck to every new feature doesn't help anyone.

I don't expect UI designers to go as deep into content as I do; that's not their job, it's mine. There are times when I ask to look at the Figma file alone so I can ideate and wrap my head around different routes to take, but I always schedule a sync afterwards to go over my conclusions and reasoning. Guarding guidelines and tricks doesn't benefit anyone. Good designers are good writers, and good writers are secure enough in their worth to pass on useful information.

One of the first things I tell any new designer I work with is that UX Writing isn't hard. Anyone can get 90% of the way there with experience, asking the right questions, and just giving it some thought. I can help them gain that last bit of ground, and not just by filling in the blanks myself: by teaching the right questions to ask, by bringing in a bit of experience. I'm around to start a conversation. God forbid I try to make it one-sided.

* And vice versa


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