UX writers have become quintessential to a brand’s identity. If you want to give your product personality, you need to hire a qualified professional.
However, recruiting them is challenging due to various reasons. First and foremost, as the industry is exceedingly nascent, there are no set benchmarks to judge their skills by. You have to carefully map different voices, tones, personalities, and writing styles and come up with the best fit. It can be daunting.
You need to realize that when you hire a UX writer, they cannot be just another copywriter looking at things from a sales perspective. They should understand what UX is since they will lead the way in making end-users establish a fruitful connection with the product and effectively make the UX user-friendly and mass-acceptable.
It is why some of the best UX writers were UX designers before.
Today, people from different fields taking this profession seriously. Some of them include psychologists, communication graduates, human-computer interaction students, marketing, and journalism professionals, among others.
There’s one thing they have in common: a flair for writing. This is what you should look for.
We have come across multiple candidatures in our UX hiring endeavors. Mistakes were made. We succeeded, but we also failed. We were able to filter specific strategies to employ the right people to deliver pristine UX environments to consumers.
In this guide, we culminate our data and share our guidelines on how to hire a UX writer.
1. Tech Savvy People are Ideal for UX Writing
Put your potential UX writers in the same room with your designers and engineers, and then see where the conversation goes. If it is healthy and responsive, you are on the right track.
Unless the UX writers have a keen grasp on the technical aspects of your product design and code, the output will be dissatisfactory. Therefore, they will need to consistently communicate with the core development team to get a full-scale idea of what is required!
The final content for the entire design should be coherent, relevant, and actionable. Therefore, a clear idea about the features, limitations, and scope is critical. To grasp all the above, technical aptitude must be present in a credible amount.
Keep in mind that tech-savvy UX writers come with the following qualities:
- They work well with your core development team.
- The content will be coherent for the entire UX design and process.
- They know what they are doing.
- It is easier for them to understand and place updates.
Therefore, keep looking for more than average technical know-how when scouting talent.
2. Methodology is Critical! Creativity is Not
Make sure that the writers you hire understand that popularity and creativity are far-fetched in core technical writing. Yes, creativity will be required for lucid writing and creating a story-wise approach for the layman to follow. However, they are essentially penning down processes and steps, so there is not much scope for the literary arts.
UX writers should come into the fray, knowing that this is not blog writing or journalism. Therefore, that inherent exposure of intellect that in-bred writers dream of will be non-existent.
Creativity should be tested, yes, but it should come across laced with technical writing and a lack of an over-artistic approach.
3. UX Writers Must be Analytical
When writing, one can start from scratch, with a seed of an idea that germinated over weeks of research into an article that matters online!
However, with UX writing, context comes first —always.
User Experience as an end-result is a delicate experience. One section written without context can disrupt the entire flow of the user and create a downfall for the UX overall.
Therefore, any UX writer must be logical and analytical. A high score in necessary reasoning aptitude is a good indicator of this factor. You can do a small test online and for free. It will give you a quantitative idea of how analytical someone is.
A highly analytical UX writer will:
- Spend a lot of time understanding the entire product.
- Write a piece of content, connect it to the precursors and successors, and tweak it for 100% continuity.
- Loves tedious data analysis.
A good UX writer works by creating content patterns. They will define a set table of contents. They will also come up with credible logic for each content connection. Structure and consistency should be critical for them.
They are organizational. This means that, compared to most writers, their approach is far more methodical.
In the end, they will make sure that the right content reaches the right users with perfect timing.
Analytical Qualities in a UX Writer:
- Defining problems and solutions with clarity.
- Writing for the target audience.
- Giving narratives that connect better with the target audience.
- Suggesting core development teams tweaks for better end UX.
- Condensing extensive processes into simple ones through content.
- Strong researching capabilities.
- Understanding marketing, product, management, sales, support, and core development needs.
- Will make sure that the final content copy satisfies all stakeholders from developers to the end-users.
Your product is an amalgamation of complex processes and algorithms. Therefore, each section of content that defines the product experience must simplify each complexity. A good writer will name the features in ways that are catchy and simple.
They will develop content keeping user retention and brand-recall in mind. In the end, they should make your story something that end-users like and want!
In the end, analytical and coherent content will help drive conversions.
4. Backgrounds to Look For
After you are done looking for aptitudes you should start finding traits that suit your requirements. Look for candidates with relevant experience and not vast experience.
Ideal elements to look for include:
- Credible writing experience.
- Technical certifications.
- Marketing campaign experience.
- Product tour experience.
- Business writing experiences (FAQs for instance).
Looking at these parameters, as a recruiter, you can quickly gauge what the next six months will be like working with and grooming the candidate. Therefore, hire someone who has qualities of adapting quickly to new and evolving stimuli.
Writers with medical, health, tourism, and finance backgrounds are ideally suited for the role. It is because they are already accustomed to precision and methodical writing.
Clarity will come naturally to such candidates as they have dealt with simplifying experiences for end-users. However, there should also be some latent marketing and sales experience or knowhow. They should effectively communicate your brand value and create content that speaks for your brand as a whole.
In our endeavors, we often see that writers who are good at a couple of niches tend to pick up other sectors quickly and with fervor. Sometimes, when we couldn’t figure out which portfolios to choose, we manufactured writing tests to evaluate candidates.
The benefit of these tests is that you get instant results and can make a decision promptly.
Good professional writers have a mind that designs structures and logic with ease. They will read and re-read until they think the content delivers what is needed.
They will connect easily with the core developers, designers, and engineers and extract all the data they need to derive compelling content pieces that make user experiences flawless.
In the end, other generic factors add to the talent net of any writer. These include formal journalism experiences, professional writing portfolios, PR experience, and more. However, the intricacies mentioned above must be present for an ideal UX Writer to take shape.
5. What Not to Expect!
In our experiences, we often come across the inference that, “sometimes it is better knowing what not to do and what not to expect rather than learning the same along the way.”
A writer cannot fix your UX problems. If there are bottlenecks in design and coding, then UX writers won’t be able to work around them. Therefore, you must evaluate other product operations before evaluating the UX content. It may be that you are looking incessantly for writers while the problems were in the engineering department.
Therefore, a preliminary evaluation of the entire UX is a must before looking for potential hires.
However, analytical writers may be able to pinpoint the problem by finding breaks in continuity or context. If you rely more on your content rather than the UX itself, writers can help point those out. You can work around these loopholes and come back with a bang!
Also, you should not expect UX writers to take care of sales pitches and marketing copies. In the end, if your product has no credible calling, your brainstorming process is to blame and not the team.
We have seen experienced UX writers boldly communicate to the owners about genuine product failures. A product that is excellent only in your mind isn’t a great one. If the initial testing response is terrible, check why it isn’t overlapping with customer demands and make the necessary changes fast!
An excellent UX Writer will cost you anywhere around USD 72,900- 136,500 per year in the US. Experienced ones bring in an average of USD 196,600 annually. Therefore, being an in-demand profession, it requires the recruitment process to be diligent and rewarding for both parties.
We hope this guide points you in the right direction. Find writers that are precise, analytical, and make your brand voice their own. In the end, their writing, above all, should be the prime satisfying factor for you to hire them.