Good website copy can make or break your website. The content strategy can be exceptional and the design beautiful. But without strong, accessible copy, users will be at best, unengaged—and at worst, alienated from your brand completely. The solution? UX copywriting.

UX copywriting can help make your website a more accessible, inclusive place for all of your visitors and customers. According to Eleken, more than one billion people in the world have some sort of disability, including 26% of American adults. Therefore, inaccessible copy can alienate over one billion people from your brand (and ultimately, your bottom line).

Fortunately, the team at 829 Studios has top-notch tips for making your UX copywriting the most inclusive it can be. Here’s how it works:

What is UX Copywriting? 

Defining UX & Copywriting

UX is shorthand for User Experience. It’s the way in which users interact with a digital product, like a website or an app.

Copywriting is about delivering words that get people to take some form of action. Copywriting includes marketing, Public Relations, technical, blog, editorial, email, social media and SEO copywriting.

Defining UX Writing 

Copywriting is focused on the expression of a brand and is more subjective. It is typically more persuasive and sales-oriented. But UX writing is about communicating what the user needs to successfully complete a task. It focuses on the cut-and-dry details and is user-oriented.

UX writers focus more on the needs of the user instead of the needs of the brand. They consider user accessibility, inclusivity and readability as they’re writing for the web. 

person typing on macbook

What Does Accessibility and Inclusivity on the Web Mean?

When you think of the terms “accessibility and inclusivity,” what comes to mind? Perhaps entrance ramps for people who use wheelchairs. Closed-captioned videos for the hard-of-hearing or deaf. Those are both good, real-life examples.

Ensuring user accessibility on the web, however, looks different. Accessibility and inclusivity in online content can be more subtle than in real life. All humans, regardless of their abilities or identities, should understand your website. Thus, creating accessible content relies heavily on word choice. Here are a few examples on how word choice can affect the accessibility of online copy: 

  • Using device-agnostic words that describe the action instead of the interface: Words like “click” or “touch” make assumptions about how the user is physically navigating your website. Try “select” or “choose.” 
  • Avoiding directional language: When referencing a form or image, using language like “fill out the form below” or “in the image to the right” seems practical. However, screen readers or devices bigger or smaller than average can change the layout of the content. Thus, directional language can be confusing or even nonsensical. 
  • Writing content at an 8th-grade reading level: This ensures that most users, regardless of education level, can understand your copy. Avoiding complex and wordy sentences will keep content accessible and your users engaged! 
  • Replacing gendered language with gender-neutral words: Inclusive content must take into account all the different ways a user can identify. Gendered language such as “men and women,” “him or her” or yes/no prompts such as “Will your wife be joining you?” can alienate and even confuse your users. Try using gender-neutral language such as “people,” “they” and “Will someone else be joining you?” This keeps copy inclusive and inviting to all users, and reduces wordiness.

Why Does Accessibility in UX Copywriting Matter? 

Impact on Users

When researching, creating strategy and writing for a website, the concept of a “user” can become abstract. Users can seem more like a collection of data and analysis in the bullet points than a customer persona. However, it’s important to remember:

We’re building websites for real people. 

We’re building sites for everyone, including:

  • Those with motor, vision, hearing or other disabilities
  • Those using small screens, large screens or any size screen in between 
  • Those who navigate via mouse, keyboard, stylus, voice or touch

Inaccessible web copy is already frustrating for those who have difficulty understanding it. But it also demonstrates a lack of respect and understanding for this demographic. 

Impact on Business

Writing accessible and inclusive content has a profound business impact. Usablenet says that people with disabilities spend a half-trillion dollars annually. However, Monsido reports that people who are blind abandon 75% of e-commerce transactions. Inaccessible sites alienate users and lose profits: companies without accessible websites lose $6.8 billion a year to competitors with accessible sites. 

 

UX Copywriting at 829

Our UX Copywriting team is a blend of brand, UX and copy. The team focuses on both the needs of the user and the needs of the brand to better the user’s digital experience.

In general, UX writers write the copy users interact with, including: 

  • Buttons & controls
  • Error messages & notifications
  • Instructions & onboarding sequences
  • Form fields & loading screen messages

The UX copywriters at 829 write all of that, plus: 

  • Headers & descriptive copy
  • Product-oriented pages, such as solutions pages and product profiles
  • Brand-oriented pages, such as “Our Story” and “Why Choose Us”
  • A blog post or two 

 

Our copywriting team collaborates with UX strategists and designers to ensure our copy fits each webpage’s strategy, design and brand voice. As you work with us, we will absorb your passion, goals, brand and strategy. When it’s time to write copy, we will be ready to write fresh, on-voice copy that places the users at the forefront.

As you begin populating your new or refreshed website with content, 829 Studios is more than happy to help! Get in touch with us today to set up a free consultation. We can’t wait to work with you.

 

Special thanks to Toria Rainey and Gabriella Marchetti, my fellow copywriters on 829’s Experience Design & Strategy team, for their researching, writing and editing assistance.

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