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Co-creation ux writer, ux designer: How to do it?

How can UX Writers and UX Designers collaborate better?

UX Writers and UX Designers collaborate
For whom?
UXers
Why should I read?
To increase productivity

It’s not always easy to work together when you’re a UX Writer and UX Designer. But for a quality product, designers and writers need to work together. Both strive for high usability. They can’t do their jobs separately. In this post, I talk about experiences that will make it easier for UX writers and UX designers to collaborate directly.

How UX Writers and UX Designers collaborate?

UX writers show up as advocates, educators, and listeners foremost.

 Sophie Tahran

What do we not do?

Let’s start with some “don’ts”.

  • Don’t separate the workspaces. Successful results come from working together. The UX writer sits next to you to design what the user needs to know based on the words. 
  • Are you sending the UX writer a text or an image of the component and saying, “What do you think?” or “Can you fix this?”. That’s wrong. Stop it. You’re not expecting an edited sentence from a UX writer, you’re expecting a concept based on factors such as business requirements, user expectations, social responsibility, product flow, personas, etc. It’s a good idea to think more about UX Writing if you think design belongs somewhere else and UX writing belongs somewhere else.
  • Take another look at UX writing if you’ve ever thought of it as the last link in the design chain that works on product sentences after you’re done.
UX writing flow in product design
UX writing flow in product design

Let’s not forget:

UX writing isn’t “improve the text embedded in the design”.

It’s all about how you deliver the message to get effective results. UX writers suggest how to make messages stronger and more clear. So they’re more than just wordsmiths: they’re designers too.

A lot of people think a UX writer is the same as an editor. It reduces product design productivity and takes away UX writing’s benefits.

We design every product around the axis of user interaction. How do people interact with one another? By showing shapes? By whistling? By showing colors?

Everything starts with words

It’s all about what to say, where to say it, how to say it, and why

 UX Writing Magazine

How do we get started?

Here are some must-haves:

  • Find out what the problem is and what you both need.
  • Share all the data you need to get started.
  • Engage each other in the design process, so the product of both roles supports the other.
  • Reduce barriers that slow down interaction and decision-making or disrupt joint and simultaneous collaboration. (Put low-yield sessions on hold and do workshop work. If you can’t, arrange review sessions in place of workshop sessions.)
  • Make the UX writer part of the information architecture. UX writers are part of the content strategy circuit.
  • Together, brainstorm a costumer journey map (Instead of sewing a jacket for the button, let’s make all the details together from the beginning.)
  • Lastly, work on common tools instead of prehistoric ones. Don’t get text from the UX writer in Google Docs or Google Sheets.

Deciding on content prior to starting the design helps decide on break-points in text layout, while designing for various device-sizes. Using Lorem Ipsum initially, and then replacing with final content later usually, ends up in the designer having to re-structure the entire design to suit various screen sizes. This is akin to a complete re-design, in most cases! Trimming content blindly, from a desktop-design to fit into smaller screen-sizes, in the last minute results in a lot of meaningful content being scraped away. This during times when 80–90% of users visit your website through Mobile devices is a highly erroneous method. 

Surya Pillai

How can UX Writers and UX Designers collaborate better?

Let’s be honest, the most significant thing is:

UX designer and UX writer fight — challange between UX writer and UX designer

We have a common territory

Our common territory is “quality product”

We need UX Writers and UX Designers collaborate for it.

Territories in common

Nobody’s gonna grab another’s territory. Collaboration between UX Writer and UX Designer has only one goal: to create and improve a great product. Therefore, we have to let go of our defensive or aggressive emotions.

  • It’s better to put the UX writing flow at the heart of the design model by modifying the “design model” to fit your needs. It helps structure the process.
  • Write the principles associated with each section with the UX writer if you’re working on a design system. (Of course, I’m talking about UX writing principles.)
  • You need a way to talk about issues that’s clear and consistent. Keep the conversation archive.
  • Collaboration on artifacts like blueprints, personas, user research results, etc. to make the content easy to understand for all stakeholders.
  • Artifacts (documentation) are essential. Put them all in one place so you can find them all when you need them. Voice messages, audio files, and undocumented oral sessions fly around like the wind.
  • It’s helpful to categorize everything that’s being worked on so UX designers, UX writers, and programmers know what’s being worked on. Here’s an example of a tag my colleagues and I used in a project:
برچسب‌گذاری نمونه برای همکاری یو ایکس رایتر و یو ایکس دیزاینر و سایر تیم‌ها

Tags

Using these tags, we avoided rework, errors, and incomplete steps.

What tools are there to help us?

It was fun working with different tools. I tried Sketch, Figma, Zeplin, Adobe XD, and…, but one of them is my favorite. I’ll tell you briefly why Figma is the best tool for UX Writers and UX Designers:

  • You can work on the cloud simultaneously. It’ll speed you up. Plus, you can see each other’s progress. Sketch doesn’t have this function, because the designer can’t see the text until I’ve finished the work. However, the speed is slow because the files have to be downloaded to the device every time.
  • You can talk to your colleague right there.
  • You can write your comments. You don’t have to come to low-yield meetings.
  • Figma has more than five application plugins specifically designed for collaboration between UX Designers and UX Writers (and even both, with the technical team). These plugins make work easier and processes better.

A tool is just a tool to make things easier. The key to success is interaction, mutual understanding, and focusing on a common goal. Either way, we’ll find the tool or design it. Iranians say: “When we have a hundred, we also have ninety!”

What do you think about UX Writers and UX Designers collaborate? Let me know.

Novelist and UX Writer
Husamedin Motahari
Novelist and UX Writer
A novelist who makes a living with UX writing. I write to pave the way for the user experience. Writing skills are not enough to become a UX writer. This is a world designed for humans.
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