My bedtime routine involves scrolling through social media feeds, while noticing the slow drool from my mouth as my eyelids fall heavily.
Last night was no exception, that is until I stumbled on this uxbooth post on being a UX writer.
UX Writer wah ?! The words immediately resonated. I read and nodded through the entire article, chanting ‘yes yes this is what I do … I’m no longer a Marketer!‘ followed by internal crying of relief (no disrespect to Marketers).
I’ve been writing procedural articles, designing email content and generally writing user friendly documents since the 2000’s. If a procedure wasn’t user friendly enough, or a training guide full of jargon, I’d be the first to jump at the opportunity to re-write it. But as far as a consultant role goes in corporate, that’s about as far as I could take my skills.
Fast forward to 2012 and I started work with Saasu in Client Services, within about 6 months I was promoted to Manager. I was delighted at the ability to design canned responses, FAQs, host one-on-one client calls, do customer satisfaction research, and train new staff. The great thing about a small company is that you can really get your hands in everything. So when the marketing team went looking, I came knocking.
Combined with a love for writing at an early age, experience writing for The AU Review, and all the Financial documents I’ve written in corporate, I pretty much hit the ground running. My only weakness? I had little care for advertising, or PR, or media, or events. I know. m.a.r.k.e.t.i.n.g. oops.
Anyway I took a shot. Because why not. And I found that I still loved interacting with customers because I’m always asking ‘why‘ and ‘how can this be better for you‘.
That’s what I care about. Why do things? Who will it serve? How will it benefit us and society? Can people understand it? What do they need help with? etc.
Going back to the uxbooth article, there are 3 common responsibilities that define the role of a UX writer: research + writing + collaboration.
Basically those words live in my hood. They jive to my groove. They put the cream on the donut. Haha I made that last one up, you like?
Today, I’ve worked with Menuplicker developing copy and UX writing for their website and mobile app. I’ve helped 1Cover develop their internal training program as an Instructional Designer. And I’m currently spending regular parts of my week improving Squirrel Street’s community presence.
There’s a twist to this story …
I don’t hold a communications/media/journalism degree! I finished with a Bachelors in Business, and a post graduate degree in Art & Design where I honed in on my creative writing skills.
Just the other day I was rejected from Scripted for not meeting their editorial guidelines. I didn’t pass their 40 minute test, which frankly made me so nervous I apparently made some grammatical errors. If that’s their game, I don’t want to play.
The morning I received that email, I woke up feeling sorry for myself, and thinking loudly ‘OMG see? I’m not a writer. I should give up now.‘ Then later that week – bless his golden eyeglasses – Seth put out a post that basically said you either a) blame yourself, b) blame them for rejecting you, c) learn from your mistakes, d) learn to refocus on a more suitable area. Both c) & d) takes grit and resilience but they will take you where you want to go.