Is UX Writing Any Different From Regular Copywriting?

User experience writing, or UX writing for short, has fast become a part and parcel of many major tech companies like Amazon, Google, Netflix, and Microsoft. It is a relatively new field and is an integral role in a design team.

UX writing is becoming increasingly popular and is a growing profession. For that reason, it isn’t surprising that as a tech business, you may have wondered…

Do I need a UX writer? Wouldn’t my copywriter be enough to do what needs to be done?

Even though there are qualified experts who are proficient in both UX writing and regular copywriting, it’s still important for your tech business to be able to differentiate between the two. That way, you can properly identify your business needs and make better informed decisions.

Before that, we’re going to break down what it is, and how it differs from regular copywriting.

What exactly is UX writing?

UX writing is a more complex form of technical copywriting that involves developing content specifically tailored towards UX design for digital platforms and interfaces, like apps, websites, or software programs. UX writing also requires very close collaboration with graphic or UX/UI designers, and the use of interface design tools such as Figma and Adobe XD.

Beyond copywriting skills, a UX writer will most likely have knowledge or some sort of qualification in UX design principles. The reason for this is that they would be working on copy for all sorts of digital elements like buttons, app notifications, error messages, form fields, and onboarding flows in order to refine the customer journey and user flow.

What makes UX writing different?

There are key differences between UX writing and regular copywriting and they can be broken down into:

  • The end goal and focus
  • Target audience
  • Metrics
The End Goal and Focus

Regular copywriting is often done from a marketing perspective in order to engage with the audience, and build trust, brand awareness and brand loyalty. It frequently involves eliciting the sales of products or services through a funnel.

With copywriting, the focus is usually to inform and educate readers about how a product or service may be valuable for them, explain about a given topic or industry, or position a person or business as a leader in its field. This might be done through forms of writing, like blog articles, social media copy, corporate profiles, web copy, and more.

On the other hand, UX writing hones in on the end user and what their experience will be like in regards to a particular digital platform. The goal here is to make the platform as seamless and enjoyable as possible for the user, while still sticking to the brand tone of voice across various touch points.

When compared to regular copywriting, UX writing is typically more concise and makes an impact by delivering accurate messages or prompts. The final outcome should still be visually appealing and sticks within the design framework that has been established alongside the design team.

Target Audience

Both UX writing and copywriting consider the perspectives and thought processes of the respective target audience, but they ultimately solve different problems. Let’s delve deeper into how this happens…

A copywriter thinks about the challenges a potential customer may face and how the products or solutions they write about can address these challenges. They add value through their writing to drive action, like make a sale for instance.

A UX writer, on the contrary, may deliberate about what users should know in order to take advantage of a product or service. They also identify issues that users may face when interacting with a digital platform, in support of an overall design. If they manage to diminish frustration and roadblocks for users who are using the platform, it’s considered a job well done.


Conventional metrics that are used to measure the effectiveness of copywriting may include sales revenue, leads, SEO ranking, conversion rates, click-through rates, and open rates. With copywriting, there are also a particular set of tools that are used to assess these metrics, such as Google Analytics and Ahrefs.

For UX writing, these metrics may look completely different. Some of the metrics that are key for a UX writer consist of user satisfaction and engagement, time spent on the platform, and usability.

What’s good to note though is that data from these metrics is usually translated into actionable insights, regardless whether it falls under copywriting or UX writing. These insights then enable copywriters and UX writers to further refine and optimize their efforts in hopes of achieving better outcomes the next time around.

Crafts in their own right

There is no doubt that both UX writing and copywriting are crafts in their own right. Here are the main takeaways you may want to consider when deciding which one your business actually needs:

  • Copywriting helps the business whereas UX writing aids the customers
  • UX writing is more technical and less creative than regular copywriting
  • UX writing delivers messages in a more concise manner
  • Copywriters can work alone, but UX writers have to work alongside various teams
  • Copywriting is about marketing and gets readers to take specific action, but UX writing isn’t

As a tech business, it’s important to really examine your needs and decide what works best for you, whether that is high quality copywriting, UX writing, or both. In most cases, you may find that both are equally as crucial for conveying your message to successfully retain and grow your business. You’ll be glad to know that there are specialists out there who can do both – you’ll just have to find someone with the right experience for your business.

There is a time and place when informing, persuading, and converting an audience is required. Simultaneously, being able to catch the audience in the right way across product or brand touch points is no less essential. At the end of the day, your content and words will have to sell. It all boils down to the method in which you’re going to make that happen.

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