How UX Writing  Is Different From Copywriting

By Scarlett Payne  |    March 11, 2021


The profession of UX is  newer, but it’s growing.  Major tech companies like Google, Amazon and Microsoft all have UX writing teams. But, what is UX writing? And what makes it different from copywriting?

UX stands for user experience, and UX writing focuses on creating great user experiences. A UX writer writes copy for the user interface (UI) of a product to guide users through it.

What Is UX Writing?

UX writers are responsible for:

• Buttons • Error messages • Controls • Notifications • Instructions • Onboarding sequences • Form fields • Loading screen  messages • Chatbots

Copywriting drives sales, whether directly (ads) or indirectly (blogs). Different types have different needs, but it all draws attention, informs, leaves a lasting brand impression and leads to a desired action. A UX writer writes copy for the user interface (UI) of a product to guide users through it.

What Is Copywriting?

Copywriters are  responsible for:

• Landing pages • Email newsletters • Product descriptions • Blog posts • Social posts • Print ads • Radio jingles • Slogans • White papers

Myths  About the Differences Between UX Writing and Copywriting

Myth 1

Copywriting helps the business. UX writing helps the customers. Good copywriting also benefits the customer, and UX writing helps the business by increasing task completion.

Myth 2

UX writing is for existing users, not customers. What about websites where UX writers help guide customers? What about apps with in-app purchases?

Myth 3

UX writing is technical, not creative. UX writers still creatively combine context and brand voice. When the message isn’t fun, it takes a creative mind to say it in a way that amplifies user experience.

Myth 4

UX writers don’t tell stories. UX writers use storytelling to reflect user journeys and create solutions. If creative enough, they can also tell stories while directing and encouraging users.

Myth 5

UX writing is microcopy. Copywriting also uses microcopy in headers and CTAs. Microcopy is shorter copy written with very few words.

Myth 6

Copywriting is about marketing, not user experience. Good copy always considers the audience’s experience. For years, copywriting has emphasized empathy, customer needs and solving problems.

Myth 7

Copywriters try to make readers take a specific action. UX writing helps users take the actions needed to complete a task and improve conversions. It’s why both conduct A/B testing.

Myth 8

Copywriters work alone, and UX writers work in teams. UX writers engage with more teams, but good copy comes from understanding strategy, goals, products and design. This requires working with others.

Good UX writing and copywriting follow similar rules, challenges and processes.  Both require a grasp of people’s needs, feelings and questions so that they can reduce friction and build trust.

But they need to be distinguished.

Even if they’re similar, they describe two different jobs, and that’s where the main difference lies. Copywriting = marketing UX Writing = digital products

The Difference

UX writing references writing that helps users use a digital product. Copywriting refers to marketing-related materials and isn’t limited to the digital realm in any way.