The Power of the UX Writing Rebel –

UX redesign questions

How much are we expected to know about how the technology works? How do we know as writers if something is possible? 

It’s really easy sometimes to imagine a UX redesign and better way to do something, but we’re not programmers. (Well, most of us aren’t, anyway.) When dealing with software functionality, how do we know the limits? Where do we draw the line with certain features? And how do we deal with it if/when developers shoot down one of our designs?

A user uploads a file, and there is an error with the upload due to a file name that is incompatible with the system. You must write an error message indicating that the file name must change before the upload can work. 

If we want to suggest that the system auto-generates a name suggestion and gives the user the ability to accept that name with the click of a button, can that be done?

A lot of the knowledge about what’s possible comes from experience. If we don’t have a technical background, we can simply pull ideas and inspiration from other applications we’ve used or digital experiences we’ve seen. Logically speaking, if someone has done it before, it’s possible to be done. We can keep an eye out for different trends in how users navigate their way through experiences. We can screenshot or bookmark sources of inspiration when we see something we like. 

Over time, when we get more experience under our belts working on a team with designers and developers, we’ll have a better sense of what is possible because we can ask them before we dive too deeply into a feature design. Until then, be a sponge!

And as far as pushback goes, if a developer ever tells us that something isn’t possible, there’s no harm in asking “why not?” It might spark a productive conversation that can improve the product in the long run. 

Writing copy or a UX redesign? 

Whatever happens, my advice is don’t be intimidated by not knowing something. It’s not our job to know every moving part of what we build. It’s our job to understand and advocate for the user, figure out what questions to ask, and iterate based on those informed answers. One of the most beautiful things about the content design field is that everyone has varying degrees of experience in a wide range of areas. There is no requirement that every UX writer have a background in tech, writing, or design. The perfect job is out there for everyone.

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