Resources for New UX Writers

My browser has slowly filled up with bookmarks and notes that I wish I'd had two years ago, when I was first starting my UX journey.


A lot of UX writing comes down to practice and time, but having the right resources in hand can make that learning curve a lot less severe.


Here's what helped me:


Books

My favorite UX book is Writing is Designing, but there are a lot of shorter options, too. Check out a full list in an earlier post.


Tools


TickTick: I will forever proselytise people towards TickTick. I know a million productivity apps are out there, and you have to just find what works best for you; but TickTick has been the one thing consistently keeping me organized and sane. Nielson Norman Group: The golden book of UX standards.

Notion: I have a love/hate relationship with Notion. But as far as collaborative workspaces go, it's got just about everything you need. And it's great for documentation.

SlidesGo: This site gives you free access to Google Slides templates. Great if you need to create content documentation or a presentation explaining your process.

Character Counter: For when you've got a specific limit to stay under.

Title Case: Again, something copy-and-pasting is the easier route to take.

Milanote: If moodboards or visual representations of what you're working on helps you focus, this is a great way of seeing everything together. Hemingway: This site analyzes your text for simplicity and clarity. I used it a lot when first starting out, since my writing tended to be overly robotic and academic.

Job Board: A lot of jobs are posted on typical sites like LinkedIn or Indeed, but you can find a lot of great opportunities on smaller job boards, too.


In addition to these side tools, life got a lot easier once I got familiar with different softwares. Check out Figma, Sketch, InVision, Zeplin, AdobeXD, Balsamic, etc. You can easily find tutorials on YouTube.


Courses

A quick Google search pulls up tons of UX Writing courses. Some of the bigger names are UX Collective, UX Content, and UX Writing Hub. While these are definitely great resources, their courses can get expensive. You can find a lot of the same information by following them on LinkedIn or Twitter.


What I've found to be more helpful is UX courses: not just focused on UX Writing, but user experience as a whole.


I recently submitted my last assignment for Google's UX Design Certification. Let me be clear: I have no natural talent when it comes to what most people define as "design," the colors and images and overall look of a product. But I am getting good at how a product functions, which is what design really is. Google's course is great in exploring basic hierarchy, as well as principles of user research, accepting feedback, creating portfolios, and running usability tests.


I'm also halfway through two more UI/UX certifications, offered by the University of Michigan and the California Institute of the Arts. The former has a great focus on the ideation process, as well as basic usability principles, while the latter focuses mostly on the UI side of thing, including aesthetics.


While these courses are, again, more focused on design, I think it's important to note that UX Writing is sometimes called Content Design, and for good reason. Having a better understanding of users and basic principles can make a world of difference in your writing.


You can find these specific courses on Coursera.

Note: I'll be posting a comparison of these certifications once I finish all three, so stay tuned!


Influencers

I don't want to recommend any one specific person; I think it's better to find who speaks to you on a personal level. But try to find people on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Medium; look up the authors of your favorite UX articles and books; and follow more senior writers at your workplace or in your field.


And keep an eye out for local events: the more writers you know, the more you can learn from them.


A Final Note

If you're just getting started, UX Writing can be overwhelming. How does localization work? What's a key? How can I balance tone and voice?


Don't try to learn it all at once, and give yourself time. The more you write, the better you'll get. Be organized, stay caffeinated, remain teachable, and enjoy the difference you're making.

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