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Gandalf’s approach to UX writing

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Jessica Drew worked as an ad copywriter in New York before she moved back to Boston, where she fell in love with UX writing. In our recent chat, she covered why

  • UX writing includes the best parts of copywriting
  • AI will free up UX writers to focus on the creative stuff
  • many companies are behind when it comes to UX writing
  • ADHD can help writers find the dusty corners of a website
  • airport kiosks are a live user experience test
  • working as a UX writer is like being a magician
  • new UX writers shouldn’t be scared to apply for senior jobs
  • …and much more! 

Multi-skilled Jessica Drew has experience of writing, photography, design, singing, and coding. Currently the sole UX writer at CarGurus, she started her career as an ad copywriter at Ogilvy in New York. When she moved back to Boston, she was introduced to UX writing and loved it.

CarGurus is a marketplace for used and new cars. They want their customers to be in control, and this is where Jessica comes into the picture. By improving their UX copy, she aims to help everyone through the purchase process, even people who don’t know much about cars.

Jessica thinks UX writing can be great for people who, like herself, have been diagnosed with ADHD. As she interacts with every team in the company, she never gets bored. It is also a great role for people who enjoy solving puzzles, because that’s what you find in the dusty corners of every website.

We also talked about joining a new design team at CarGuru, the relation between writers and machines in the future, why so many companies are behind with UX writing, the problem with airport kiosks, and why new UX writers shouldn’t be scared to apply for senior jobs. 

And what does all this have to do with The Lord of the Rings? You’ll find out in this episode!

Episode notes

Check out our free UX Writing course: https://course.uxwritinghub.com/free_course

Jessica on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessicacdrew/

CarGurus: https://www.cargurus.com/

The post Gandalf’s approach to UX writing appeared first on UX WRITING HUB.

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Best Practices Portfolio

The ultimate UX portfolio resource: 70 best practice examples

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Shortcuts—jump straight to

What is a UX portfolio
Why you need a UX portfolio
What should you put in a portfolio?
What if you don’t have any experience?
How to get started?
Top 3 best UX portfolio examples
UX writing portfolios
UX design portfolios
Portfolio-building resources
Become a UX writer

What is a UX portfolio

A UX portfolio is a summary of you and your work, usually published online as a few web pages or as a part of a bigger website. In brief, your portfolio should show examples of work you have done together with an explanation of your work methods.

Why you need a UX portfolio

A portfolio is a great way to put yourself forward for exciting UX writing and design projects. It is sometimes required in job adverts, and is also great to have if you contact companies you want to work for directly (and you can absolutely do that!).

Plus, the process of creating a portfolio will help you in future job interviews as it helps you to get your thoughts together and explain your process.

What should you put in your portfolio?

What you put in your portfolio is really up to you, and you can be as creative as you like. Most portfolios we’ve gone through focus on a few UX-related case studies, which include some or all of the following:

  • A brief explanation of the project
  • Information about a challenge or problem you solved
  • Your method for solving the challenge or problem
  • How you collaborated with the rest of the team
  • Before-and-after screenshots
  • Any results or data that show the effect of your work
  • What you learned from the project

Most importantly, be sure to show how you arrived at a particular solution instead of just showing the solution. At the same time, be aware that recruiters often are limited for time, so you want to keep it concise 🙂

What if you don’t have any experience?

It’s a good question. Where do you start if you have limited or no experience? One thing you can do is to create your own before-and-after examples. Next time you bark at your laptop in frustration, be sure to take a screenshot, mock up a better version and explain what you have done and why.

It is also worth thinking about if your previous experience may be relevant after all. You may not have been employed as a UX designer or content designer, but perhaps you’ve had a customer-facing role? Other types of writing assignments? Marketing, journalism? In fact, anything you have done could be approached from a UX point of view – how could the user experience have been better?

Not to mention that we are all users on a daily basis —what bugs you when you use your social media accounts, for example?

As you will see in the best practice examples below, many UX pros also include information or articles they’ve written about UX, what it is and why it matters. It’s all about showing what you have to say about UX!

OK so how do you get started?

If you’re struggling to get going, here are a few insights we’ve found after sifting through tons of portfolios:

  • The most common tool used is Squarespace, which comes with a bunch of cool templates
  • If you want to create your portfolio for free, a few options are Medium, Notion and some WordPress templates
  • Don’t be scared to be yourself. Companies are interested in who you are too, not just what you do.
  • Start small and remember that a portfolio doesn’t have to be fancy. As always in UX, the most important thing is to be clear and simple.

Summarizing your experience in a visually appealing format is easier said than done. That’s why it’s a great idea to have a look around and see what other people have done—not to steal their work but to get inspired by it 🙂

Top 3 best UX portfolio examples

Some portfolios just stand out from the crowd by being way-above-the-mark-extra-awesome. Check them out for inspiration or head down to the next section if you’re not feeling quite as ambitious.

Portfolio What about it Tool used
Cortex Copywriter

UX Writing Hub has shared Nathan Mudaliar’s portfolio several times in our social networks, and we’ll probably do it again. Click on Switch experience at the top to display the page in five different writing styles. Mind = blown. Unknown
Get Coleman

One of the simplest yet most effective portfolio websites I have ever seen for a writer—and probably the single most creative. Move the “hard sell” slider for a demonstration of what great writers can accomplish. Serious lolz by the end. WordPress
Dare2hire There’s UX gamification, and then there’s this amazing portfolio that decided to make it “more fun for both of us”. I don’t really even have words to describe it—just see for yourself. Would you dare to hire? Wix

UX writing portfolios

Portfolio What about it Tool used  
Marina Posniak Marina Posniak, a UX writer at Spotify, has a clean, stylish and simple portfolio – just like UX writing should be 🙂 Squarespace  
Andrew Schmidt Andrew Schmidt is a Lead Content Designer at Slack. His portfolio starts with a few explanations of how he goes about creating effective microcopy. What better way to show the world that you know what you’re doing? Squarespace  
Darci Groves Darci Groves is a writer and UX leader who want to make sure that “people feel the human element beneath the pixels”. Be sure to check out her iTunes case studies, which cover interesting projects like introducing automatic downloads and removing unwanted U2 albums. Unknown  
Rebecca Cha Rebecca Cha is a creative and a strategist who strives to make everyone’s job easier and to push the boundaries of what her team can accomplish. Her portfolio is a beautiful blend of minimalist design with a touch on movement and interactivity. Check out her work with Southwest Airlines, Chipotle, and others. Unknown  
Sarah Kessler Cool stuff from recent UX Writing Academy grad Sarah Kessler. Check out the great work she and her classmates did at Localize.city, along with some other nice case studies. Webflow  
Aviva Pinchas Aviva Pinchas is a digital strategist and storyteller who specializes in optimizing customer experiences. She offers services ranging from strategy through execution and measurement. WordPress/Elementor  
Val Klump Meet Val Klump; more than just a badass name, Val has some serious UX writing skills and knows how to show them off. Unknown  
Veronica Camara Veronica Camara makes good use of case studies and info about user research, data analysis, and content strategy on her portfolio, showing how she goes about making interfaces “more usable, useful, and kind”. Squarespace  
Emily Capps A brilliant content strategy portfolio by Emily Capps. Check out how she presents the results and analytics of her work on the InterContinental Hotel – this is exactly what you need to do to evangelize UX writing. Webflow  
Owen Williams Impressive work by Shopify UX Manager Owen, including some great case studies as a UX writer for companies such as Stripe and IKEA. Unknown  
Joleen Lee Joleen Lee crafts clear, thoughtful, and relatable UX copy by working closely with UX researchers, designers, product managers, engineers, marketing teams, and users. Don’t miss the brilliant GrabFood case study, which shows the process of implementing a new feature and the changes and insights she made along the way. Squarespace  
Lizzie Kost Content designer and researcher Lizzie Kost has lots of fun stuff to explore on her site, including work she did as part of the UX Writing Academy program. Wix  
Hannah Krakauer It’s great that so many writers are looking into conversational experiences these days, and Hannah Krakauer is definitely one of them. She transforms ideas into compelling stories, brands, and experiences. Tip: Check out her cooking app voice interface design case study. WordPress  
Jennifer Baranoff Jennifer Baranoff represents that oft-overlooked, but oh-so-critical role in UX: the UX researcher. Her portfolio is crisp and clear—just like how research findings should be presented. Squarespace  
Marie-Pier Rochon Marie Pier-Rochon creates top content in the UX writing space. Her work is a great example of how quality content can help attract clients to your portfolio. Check out her blog and case studies! WordPress  
Orlee Gillis Orlee Gillis shows that it is perfectly possible to publish a sleek portfolio as a Medium page. Of course there’s nothing wrong with common tools such as Squarespace, but it’s great to know that you can create something effective with a simple and free blogging platform. Medium  
Diana Arteaga Diana has a portfolio with lots of personality and a detailed case study of her time as a Product Content Strategy intern at Shopify. WordPress  
Gari Cruze Gari Cruze is a brilliant copywriter who has worked with companies such as Slack and NPR. His blog includes several wonderfully crafted case studies that we all can learn from. Squarespace  
Diego Cagara UX Writing Academy grad Diego Cagara is now a content designer at Facebook. Check out his UX writing case studies, especially the one for the digital technology addiction app Reboot & Recover. Unknown  
Andrea Azcurra Andrea is a seasoned UX writer and content strategist with a love of design thinking and user experience. Her portfolio contains both case studies and lots of samples of her work. Squarespace  
Christian De Pape Friendly vibes at content designer and UX Writing Academy graduate Christian De Pape’s portfolio, plus lots of clearly structured case studies that include his work for LinkedIn. Wix  
Shilpi Dewan Get inspired by Shilpi Khanna Dewan, Conversation Designer and Creative Director who has created content for major tech companies and tv networks such as Google, Apple, Newscorp (Disney), Sony Pictures, and Zee TV for 20+ years. WordPress  
Janna Lawson How many UX writing portfolios have great humble brags and a Dolly Parton quote? Janna (not Jenna) Lawson’s does! Check out her writing-focused collection of work. Wix  
Alexandra Duncan Great example of a well-organized and navigable portfolio from Alexandra, a UX writer and data-driven content strategist for corporate communications. WordPress  
Suzanne Richards Suzanne Richards has some nice UX writing examples in her portfolio. Pair that with a clear design and easy navigation and you get a winning portfolio. Squarespace  
Lauren Reichman Sweet writing chops based on +10 years of experience. Her “30 days of 404 pages” project is a cool idea for everyone who wants to break into the field. Squarespace  
Dan Adams Dan Adams’ portfolio just draws you in. Maybe it’s because of Usain Bolt with a ginger goatee used in his case study for Virgin Media? Check out the rest of the case studies for Barclays, Skycsanner and Vodafone too! Squarespace  
Tyler Womack Content designer, information architect, writer and musician Tyler helps innovative companies solve problems through user-centered design. Squarespace  
Josiah Flores Josiah is a UX writer with a strong sense of design thinking and an interest in social good. Great portfolio in both design and content. Squarespace  
Lisa Collins UX writer and cat enthusiast Lisa Collins’ impressive body of work includes stints at Apple, Google, and more. Squarespace  
Asher Sherman UX Writing Academy alumna with a background as a college admissions consultant and editor/translator. Check out the impressive list of UX projects she’s been involved in since she discovered UX writing! Unknown  
Catarina Abreu Say olá to Catarina Abreu: curious mind and dreamy UX Writer from Portugal. Love the use of notion.so for a simple, clear layout with some great UX writing and copywriting examples. Notion  
Alyssa Wenger Alyssa Wanger shows that UX writing is “pretty dang important” in her portfolio, which includes lots of practical examples of her work. Squarespace  
Laura Cunha Meet Laura Cunha, a multipotentialite with 6 years of experience in writing, customer experience, and design. Her blog includes both UX exercises and case studies. Squarespace  
James Reith Here’s a content designer and writer who focuses on inclusive, user-centered design. Check out some great articles in his minimalist portfolio. Unknown  
Serena Giust Serena Giust is a UX writer and team leader at Booking.com. She doesn’t just have a top portfolio herself, she’ll help you make one too! Check out her site the free portfolio guide. WordPress  
Paul Vogel Lots of interesting projects from content strategist and UX writer Paul Vogel. Currently the Content Strategy Director of Droga5, he’s also been recognized as one of the 100 most innovative people in media. Squarespace  
Nikki St-Cyr Seattle-based Nikki St-Cyr has more than just a cool last name (pronounced SAYNT SEER) – her well-rounded portfolio sure showcases her design and writing skills. Squarespace  
Orchid Chen Multi-talented Orchid Chen has a stellar portfolio/website — design, layout, content, pricing … it all just flows. Squarespace  
Chelsey Stiefel Chelsey Stiefel is a Content Strategist with a background in creative storytelling. Once upon a time, while hunting for the perfect pun for a headline, she stumbled on UX and never looked back. Squarespace  
Hana Gausfain Meet Hana Gausfain, a UX writer and designer based in Barcelona. She has a simple but stylish portfolio with examples from companies like SEAT, Movistar, and more. WordPress  

UX design portfolios

Portfolio What about it Tool used
Liz Wells Liz Wells’ portfolio is both aesthetically pleasing and functional—a classic example of a great UX portfolio. Her design makes it easy to understand what she does and how her talents influence the products she’s a part of. WordPress
Anton Sten Anton Sten has spent 20 years helping companies such as Spotify, Volvo and IKEA “connect with their customers in meaningful ways”. His comprehensive portfolio and case studies prove that he knows what he’s talking about! Unknown
Ismael Barry Great case studies by Ismael Barry from his experience in different companies, including Airbnb. Squarespace
Bruno Simon When it comes to gamified design portfolios, Bruno Simon’s is second to none. Check it out on desktop! Unknown
Mike W Curtis Designer Mike W. Curtis is another UXer whose portfolio lives on Medium. Case studies, articles … it’s all right there. Easy to read, and easy to create! Medium
Adi Holehonnur Adi Holehonnur is a software engineer turned digital experience designer who treats pixels with care. Check out how he organizes his case studies. Good stuff. Squarespace
Nuno Coelho Santos Keep it simple: tell, don’t sell. Nuno Coelho Santos shows how to write a UX case study like a pro. Unknown
Abdus Salam Abdus Salam is an engineer by qualification but a designer and writer by choice. Currently you’ll find him at Facebook, but his portfolio is full of interesting case studies from the TV industry. WordPress
Kevin Chang Kevin Chang’s portfolio makes use of some sweet storytelling. Check out the section How can I help too – and how good is the microcopy under the CTA that shows he is available for new projects? Unknown
Isaac Feldman Web stuff maker Isaac chose to host his portfolio on notion.so, which is a good move for many reasons: Free hosting and templates that allow a clear structure—which is what portfolios are all about! Notion
Simon Pan Google designer with a stylish and informative portfolio. Check out his case studies from Amazon and Uber! WordPress
Zara Drei Exceptional UX writing portfolios cover all the bases: great design, a seamless UI and an informative case study. Zara Drei does just that! WordPress
Daniel Autry Daniel Autry is a product designer, developer, and researcher who is fascinated by the social product space. He’s currently designing new reading experiences for The Washington Post. Head over to his portfolio for several case studies about his work for projects related to mental health. Unknown
Moritz Oesterlau Moritz Oesterlau is a product/UX Designer and tutor at the Career Foundry. His portfolio is so cool that Ran Segall of Flux created a video review of it! Webflow
Michael Evensen Michael Evensen’s site is a singular, in-depth case study about building SoundCloud’s mobile app—and it’s chock-full of insights. Looking good, too! Unknown
Jason Yuan Jason Yuan, known for his Apple music case study, is also the cofounder of MakeSpace, a new way to be together online. Inspiring stuff! Unknown
Gabriel Valdivia Gabriel Valdivia designs software, writes about design, and plays music. His portfolio is full of essays definitely worth checking out. Webflow
David Lim Sleek, minimalist portfolios are the best. Instead of cluttering things up with unnecessary information, why not just give people a simple, clear introduction? David Lim’s portfolio does just that! Unknown
Zoshua Colah The proud founder of uxlibrary.org also has a fab portfolio. Currently a product designer at Pathrise, a YC startup empowering job-seekers in tech, you’ll also find examples from Google, Uber and other companies on his site. Unknown
So-Hee Woo So-Hee Woo is Head of XR Design at Encore Music Technologies. She works across platforms and mediums to experiment with the balance between the physical and digital world, which is super exciting. Her portfolio is available upon request. Squarespace
Hiroo Aoyama Hiroo Aoyama, currently a designer at Facebook, has a great case study on how to make Playstation more social. He also offers 30 minutes free UX consulting sessions for small businesses—smart initiative to get in touch with potential clients! Squarespace
Julia Kulbaczewska Julia Kulbaczewska is a digital experience creator and multimedia design student. It’s so inspiring with people who know how to write, design, and code! Unknown
Toby Trachtman Toby Trachtman is a UX designer with a background in theater and a passion for human-centered design. Love to see how people of various backgrounds bring different approaches to UX. WordPress
Gloria Lo Sydney-based Gloria Lo designs, writes, sings, and paints. Check out her stylish portfolio with three killer case studies. Webflow
Cory Richert Cory Richert is a UX designer, problem solver, and web developer with a strong focus on user-centric solutions. Unknown

Portfolio-building resources

Become a (better) UX writer

One way of gathering material for your portfolio is to do a course. In our certified six-month UX Writing Academy course, you’ll get tons of practice, including a one-month project placement at a real company.

The post The ultimate UX portfolio resource: 70 best practice examples appeared first on UX WRITING HUB.

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Top 3 tips to set up your team for success

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Listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4n6icHZbDEcXRX4DafjtPw

Listen on Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/writers-in-tech/id1467160757

Short intro

Aladrian Goods, Product Content Designer at Intuit and I had a great chat about the buzz of UX writing on Clubhouse, why a customer service background can be perfect for UX, why you don’t have to be technical to make an impact in tech, and how to find your feet as the first content designer in a team.


Episode summary

For this episode of Writers in Tech, I had a great chat with Aladrian Goods, a Content Designer at Intuit and the driving force behind the UX Content club on Clubhouse. 

When Aladrian discovered content design in 2019, she realized that she had been doing UX all along – in customer service and digital communications.

As the first content designer in her team, she had to find ways to set up the team for success. Overwhelmed by the opportunities to revamp and revise each product, one of her biggest challenges was knowing where to start. To deal with numerous content requests from her new colleagues, she came up with her own methods which helped her to prioritize her workload effectively.

Tune in to hear Aladrian’s thoughts on

  • Why a customer service background can be perfect for UX
  • How she found success in tech without a technical background 
  • How to find your feet as the first content designer in a team
  • How to set up a product team for content design success
  • The future of content design

Episode notes

Our free UX Writing and content design course: https://course.uxwritinghub.com/free_course 

Weekly UX Writing newsletter by the UX Writing Hub: http://uxwritinghub.com/newsletter 

Aladrian Goods on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aladriangoods/ 

Intuit: https://www.intuit.com/ 

UX Content Club on Clubhouse

Mario Armstrong https://www.marioarmstrong.com/about-2/marios-bio/ Smartsheet: https://www.smartsheet.com/

The post Top 3 tips to set up your team for success appeared first on UX WRITING HUB.

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How much do UX writers actually make? Salary survey report 2021

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757 people all over the world completed UX Writing Hub’s recent salary survey. Thanks everyone! Over the last few weeks, we’ve been digging into the numbers and found tons of fascinating insights. 

Good times for UX writers

Before we dive in, it’s good to know that there has never been a better time to become a writer in tech. The interest in the role has been growing in line with increasing demand for digital products that truly resonate with the users. Not surprising then that Google Trends reveals a massive increase in web searches for UX writing over the last few years:

Shortcuts

Jump straight to:

Global average UX writing salary 2021
UX writing can be a six-figure salary job
What’s in a name? $$, it seems!
Company size (and type) is a big deal
Experience counts
Writer:designer ratio
Gender insights
Negotiate your salary
An average UX writer’s profile
Limitations of this survey
Become a UX writer

🌍Global average UX writing salary 2021

The global average salary for writers in tech 2021 is xxxxx USD. But as you can imagine, this figure alone doesn’t say much in itself as it varies enormously across countries, age groups, and years of experience, to name a few things. Let’s look into some of the most important points that affect salaries for writers in tech.

💰UX writing can be a six-figure salary job

In some places in the world, UX writers earn six-figure salaries. Here are the top 10 countries based on median salary:

Country Median annual salary for writers in tech Average income
(data from worlddata.info)
Switzerland $117,500 $85,500
USA $105,000  $65,850
Australia $88,000  $55,100 
Ireland $86,500 $64,000
Germany $72,600 $48,580
Norway $71,400 $82,500
United Kingdom $69,000 $42,220
Denmark $66,600 $63,950
Israel $66,3400 $43,110
New Zealand $66,000 $42,760

We can see that UX writers, content designers, and other writers in the tech industry are earning significantly above-average incomes.

Check the median salary for your country here.

Of course, it’s good to remember that the gross salary is only one piece of a person’s actual income pie. There are many things to take into account, for example the general tax rate and cost of living. It doesn’t include things like overtime pay, bonuses, and other benefits either. Plus, there are big differences within each country.

Still, who’s not curious about how high we can go in our profession? Here are the 10 top reported salaries:

Country Max reported annual salary Job title
United Kingdom $376,895 Content Designer
USA $360,000 Content Designer
Sweden $240,479 UX Writer
Germany $194,085 UX Copywriter
Switzerland $168,527 Content Strategist
Netherlands $163,759 Content Strategist
Canada $146,000 Content Designer
Ireland $133,640 UX Writer
Australia $116,912 UX Writer

This table brings us to another interesting point, which is that certain job titles earn significantly more than others.

💡What’s in a name? $$, it seems!

We all know that the job titles in our industry are a mess. There is zero consistency and there can be a lot of overlap between roles such as content strategist, content marketer, and content writer. 

The salary survey results revealed that UX writer is the most common job title, but it only accounts for just over ⅓ of the responses — 34.6% to be exact. 

This is followed by content designer at 14.3%, content strategist at 11.2%, and technical writer at 11%. And we had a whopping 64 different job titles submitted through the survey!

You often hear that the job title doesn’t matter. Well in terms of salary, that’s not true. There is a clear tendency for some job titles to earn more than others. Check out the median salary for these common job titles:

Job Title Median annual salary (USA)
Content Designer $117,500
UX Writer $110,000
Content Strategist $105,600
Conversation Designer $105,000
Content Director $100,000
Technical Writer $93,000
Content Marketer $80,000
Content Writer $70,800
Content/Copy Editor $70,000
Copywriter $65,449

As you can see, the top 3 high-earning titles are Content Designers, UX Writers, and Content Strategists

What does that tell us? That as a writer in tech, you should consider re-branding yourself if you want more money in your pocket.

💼 Company size (and type) is a big deal

According to the survey, there’s a mahoosive difference in pay depending on the size of the company. You can expect a significantly higher salary at enterprises of over 1,000 people, compared to both medium-sized companies and smaller startups. And when it comes to company type, governmental organizations are the most generous employers:

What size company do you work for? Median annual salary (USA)
Government $128,000
Enterprise (more than 1000 people) $117,000
Medium-sized company (30 to 200 people) $80,000
Small startup (up to 30 people) $80,000

Not that salary alone says anything about job satisfaction or quality of life – some people are simply happier in a smaller company. In general, there is often more scope to take on a wider variety of tasks and roles in smaller companies, and it may be easier to get involved in and affect how the company develops on many levels. For a large enterprise, your role and tasks are probably more clearly defined, and you’ll have to get used to corporate rules and processes.

Experience counts

Not surprisingly, work experience is another biggie when it comes to salaries. Those with 10 years of professional writing experience report that they earn around twice as much compared to those who have worked for 1 year or less. This pattern is more or less consistent across job titles.

✏:🎨 Writer:designer ratio

As for the writer:designer ratio, around 60% of those who answered this question confirmed that there are up to 5 designers for every writer in their company. The rest reported 6-10 designers or 11-30 designers. Their answers reveal two other interesting points: The higher the ratio, the more people earn, but the lower the ratio, the more writers feel that they have a seat at the table:

Writer:Designer Earn Count Seat at the table
1:1 $68,584 77 3.35
1:11-1:30 $79,575 76 3.37
1:2-1:5 $69,827 275 3.52
1:6 – 1:10 $77,393 147 3.34

In terms of salary, the survey shows that the golden ratio of writers and designers in a team is 1:3.

👩🏽‍💻🧑‍💻Gender insights

A positive insight from the salary survey is that there is hardly any salary difference between men and women. Over 70% of the respondents identify as female, and the median salary is pretty much the same for guys and girls

What’s your gender? MEDIAN of Annual USD
Female $105,000
Male $105,000

Responses for non-binary, trans, genderfluid, and others were too few to be of statistical significance.

🚨 Negotiate your salary

52% of the respondents stated that they negotiated their salaries. Interestingly enough, the data shows that those who did don’t just earn up to 5K more per year, they also state that they are happier with their income. If that’s not an incentive to negotiate your salary, I don’t know what is! Having that salary conversation with your boss could give you enough of a raise for an extra vacation in Mexico every year.

🕵️‍♀️ Average writer in tech’s profile

Based on the salary survey numbers, what kind of profile does the average writer in tech have?

Suzannah Andrade (not a real name)
Location: USA
Age: 29

Earns: $72,000 per year
Title: UX Writer
Employment: Full time, Enterprise
Experience: 2 years
Tools she uses: Slack, Zeplin, Figma, Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides
Skills to develop: UX Research, Ethical design, New design tools

⚠ Limitations of this survey

We are confident that the survey gives a good overview of the current salary landscape for writers in tech in the world today. Still, it is a good idea to be aware of a few limitations of this survey:

  • It is based on self-assessment. There is no guarantee that all submitted answers are entirely accurate. 
  • We asked everyone to confirm their annual gross salary and hourly rate. As mentioned above, it is good to remember that a person’s salary has to be evaluated in relation to the local tax rate, cost of living, etc. A person’s gross salary does not indicate things like overtime pay, bonuses, and benefits either.
  • In some countries, we only received a handful of answers.
  • For more info, check out the full report here

✏ Become a UX writer

Thinking about transitioning to UX writing or content design? That’s an excellent idea, and we’d be happy to help you on your journey! Start by taking our free course.

The post How much do UX writers actually make? Salary survey report 2021 appeared first on UX WRITING HUB.

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Peanut Butter Tricks for Freelance Writers

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Listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4n6icHZbDEcXRX4DafjtPw

Listen on Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/writers-in-tech/id1467160757

I had the great honor of interviewing the well-known UX writer, Leo Smits. Leo transitioned from being a copywriter to a freelance UX writer. We talked about how to land new clients and get more projects, how to charge more, how to work better with clients, and how to manage your time.

We also talked about how to break a creative block, and Leo shared a simple peanut butter trick for freelance UX writers.

Don’t miss it!

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Improving products’ health through UX Writing

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https://player.simplecast.com/256f79e6-3287-4b36-9e8a-7408d5e0152c?dark=false

Listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4n6icHZbDEcXRX4DafjtPw

Listen on Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/writers-in-tech/id1467160757

The digital revolution helped us to create accessible health systems all over the world.

Zara Fishkin mastered the way to communicate digital products in the healthcare industry after working in different health care companies and also at Facebook for 4 years on localizing different platforms.

When it comes to UX writing, Zara’s resume is MIND BLOWING.

Through here experience writing for tech companies and ad agencies, she has built a content strategy skill set that spans internationalization, accessibility, copywriting, research, design, process development, terminology, having an opinion about Oxford commas, and making non-exhaustive lists.

You should definitely check out this episode if you want to learn:

  • How to write a healthier product
  • How FB are localizing their platform
  • The challenges of making health care accessible to people
  • UX writers face challenges after being acquired

The post Improving products’ health through UX Writing appeared first on UX WRITING HUB.

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Content

ADHD as a content design superpow… look a squirrel!

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The last episode of Writers in Tech is a bit controversial. We had a conversation about inclusive design, sexuality, ADHD, and more.

I had the pleasure to chat with Danny Harrop-Griffiths, content design lead at Mojo about:

  • The differences and similarities between writing for the government and for difficult topics such as sex, sexuality, relationships, gender
  • Why ADHD people make good content designers
  • When should we ask for the gender of the user 
  • How content design can help people with ADHD
  • A step-by-step guide to procrastination
  • Why you should delete all social media apps from your phone (or at least remove all notifications)

Listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4n6icHZbDEcXRX4DafjtPw

Listen on Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/writers-in-tech/id1467160757le

The post ADHD as a content design superpow… look a squirrel! appeared first on UX WRITING HUB.

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Careers

UX Writing Salary Survey 2021 Results

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Content

A Step by Step Guide to Content Strategy in 2021

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Larry Swanson hosts the excellent podcast Content Strategy Insights. In this episode, we chat about what content strategy is, what kind of events are organized for writers in tech (hint: we’re sponsoring the UX writer’s conference this month), and much more. Join us if you want to learn:

✅ The different flavors of content strategy

✅ What the differences are between product content strategy and other types of content strategy

✅ The overlap between content design and content strategy.

PLUS! Listen to Larry’s step-by-step guide to content strategy in 2021.

Listen on Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/writers-in-tech/id1467160757

Listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4n6icHZbDEcXRX4DafjtPw

The post A Step by Step Guide to Content Strategy in 2021 appeared first on UX WRITING HUB.

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How I Got Here: From Copywriter to UX Writer

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This will be an ongoing series where we interview a different person each month and discuss how they got their start in the UX field. We hope that this will shed light on what can seem to be a mysterious process and also showcase the varied paths that aspiring UXers can take to find a position in the UX field. 

Today’s UXer: Meg Long, Content Designer.

I got started in UX in 2018 when I was working for a small start-up that made mobile games. Since then, I’ve written content for branding agencies, e-learning companies, and other website projects. I currently work as a Content Designer for Wells Fargo. 

1. What are your background credentials? Did you take any courses to prepare you for a UX role? 

Funnily enough, my education background is not even remotely related to UX: I have a teaching degree and taught secondary school for eight years before I decided to switch industries.

But, I will say, that teaching lessons everyday is great practice for UX writers because if something in my lesson or directions was unclear, the classroom would delve into chaos.

Which is not what any teacher wants to happen. I learned the hard way how to write more clearly and concisely so that my students could learn without confusion. 

Now, I did some light web design and copywriting on the side while I was teaching.

I helped a few friends build websites and did some marketing copywriting here and there.

When I switched industries, I actually got hired at the mobile game startup as the HR coordinator, not the content person. But I was lucky in that it was a small, tight-knit working environment and I was able to help them with content tasks as well and eventually transition into writing content full time.

Once I was responsible for the writing tasks, I educated myself as much as I could through UX workshops, through newsletters, through joining communities and discussing topics with other writers. I learned wherever and whenever I could.

I still do!

2. What sort of lessons did you learn in your early days of UX writing?

Always work with developers and designers in tandem when you can. Because I was so new to UX and programming in general, I would make suggestions but then get pushback because of the limitations that existed in the programming that I didn’t know about.

So, I ended up asking a lot of questions about how the game engine functioned and what the developers could or couldn’t do within the parameters of the program.

We built up a rapport and began to bounce ideas off of each other whenever the UX microcopy needs would come up.

I learned to say “Can you do this?” rather than “You should do this.” And that really made a huge difference in how my role was received. They viewed me as a partner, not a disrupter.

And while the developers were teaching me about programming, I tried to make sure they understood how language choices affect users and usability.

UX does not get built in a vacuum, neither do the words we write. Teamwork is imperative to make better products for users. 

3. Are you full time, part time or do you work freelance? How do you find UX jobs?

I am currently in a full time position but I do and have worked part time freelance gigs alongside of that as well.

Other than my first content job, I’ve found every other opportunity through LinkedIn or through the Microcopy group on Facebook. I’m active on LinkedIn regularly.

I try to connect with other UXers and content people.

I keep myself open to opportunities because you never know what might land in your lap one day. 

4. When or how did you end up making a full transition from a previous or different role into UX writing?

So, technically I was in HR at the startup, but I was also the go-to person to edit pitch decks and the odd blog post or email.

I began doing more content development across the board because I was fast and I was good at it. (We also didn’t have another writer on staff so all of those things ended up getting pushed to me.) Luckily, I was really into it and started researching more about content related roles.

Then, about the same time that the company started building their mobile games, I stumbled upon UX writing and joined the Microcopy group on Facebook. I got really into UX writing and theory and when my company needed tutorials for the games they were developing, I wholeheartedly volunteered to help.

After that went really well, I became the unofficial person for all word-related endeavors in the games until finally, I switched from HR and became the official content developer.

5. How did you get your first UX project? What was it? How did your team receive your work?

My first UX project was a tutorial for a mobile game that was a 4 person version of tic-tac-toe.

It was a lot of fun breaking down the familiar concepts and having to explain something fairly complex in a really short amount of words.

It was a good challenge because I also got to use some of my teaching background since I’d written directions for classroom activities hundreds of times.

It was a great introductory project to UX writing and I’m really lucky that it worked out that way.

Like I mentioned above, the team was really open to my work because I also made sure to take their suggestions into account.

Not everyone can be a writer but everyone is a user and as such, they can offer edits or suggestions that I might’ve overlooked.

They were also really happy that someone else was taking care of the words and making sure that the tutorial was easy for everyone to understand.

I’m sure that I made some extra work for them from time-to-time by suggesting more popups with less text but overall, we worked really well together.

6. What has been your most challenging project? Or what’s the most challenging aspect of your projects?

I think the most challenging projects are the ones that push me outside of my current limits, not just with skills but with words.

Usually, it’s because the client requires certain voice and tone parameters that I might not be used to.

I went from a game company to e-learning companies that were writing trainings for onboarding enterprise employees so there was a big tone shift I had to adjust to.

There were a lot less chances to have fun with the words. But once I got used to it, I learned a valuable lesson.

That not all UX writing is fun in tone and that the majority of it is to serve a very specific purpose for users.

Once I realized that, it changed my perspective. I didn’t see the writing as boring anymore but rather as having its own challenges and I had to learn how to meet those head on.

After that, the writing became fun in a different way for me but just as rewarding as writing light, entertaining game microcopy. The clients that UX writers work for in general are usually going to be varied and it’s important to recognize that all writing has it’s unique challenges and each client will have different goals and tone in mind.

Plus, it’s universal—no matter the tone or brand, every UX writer will have to juggle that balance between client stakeholders and product users. And that’s the other biggest challenge of my job.

7. How do you go about setting up your portfolio? Do you have any tips for resumes?

The dreaded, scary portfolio!

Mine has gone through many iterations. When I first started out, it was screenshots on a templated Word doc that matched my resume.

Then for a while, I uploaded screenshots and sample documents into a Google drive. And then eventually, I started putting them online in a more web-friendly format. I think the most important thing is to showcase your range (if you’ve done a range of projects).

If you’re new, that’s totally understandable. Focus instead on how you solved problems for the client or project, who you worked with on the team, and what your contributions were. (You can always find great examples of portfolios here.)

My resume tips are pretty standard: keep it up to date, keep the formatting simple but have some flair somewhere (we are considered designers after all.) In my experience, the most important thing is to list out your skills near the top or somewhere easy to find on the first page.

And I don’t mean skills like “organized” or “team player,” I mean skills like programs or apps you can use.

As a former HR person, the first place I would look was to that list to see which programs or applications the job applicants were fluent or functional in.

Hiring managers will give that list to HR so they know what to look for. Make it easy on them and put all your relevant skills on that first page.  

8. If you offer your services outside a full time job, how do you set your freelance rates? How do you find freelance clients?

This is a really tough question as rates tend to vary based on experience and project lift. Some writers charge a flat rate for the project, others bill hourly. I generally bill hourly.

When I first started out, my rate was around $25 an hour. As I got more experience, that rate went up. Depending on the client, I might charge double that.

Now, sometimes I might adjust the rate to a lower number if I really want to work on the project but I know the client doesn’t have a big budget. In the end, it’s your time and your expertise.

Ask for what you think your time is worth and what YOU are worth. UX writing skills are specific and not everyone’s got them.

Don’t be afraid to ask for a high rate. If they refuse and you still want the job, you can always negotiate. But we deserve to be paid as the content design experts we are. 

9. How do you stay up to date with UX best practices?

I mentioned the Microcopy Facebook group earlier but it’s such a great place to have discussions with other writers.

They’ll bring up examples of good and bad UX and we all rant about what we love or hate. People always bring up angles that I might overlook so I really love that about the group.

I also follow a lot of fellow UXers on LinkedIn and I’m always on the hunt for workshops or articles that focus on a particular topic.

There are also a TON of UX and various writing newsletters that clutter my inbox but every single one is worth it. I highly recommend: UX Writing Events (updates and events in the UX community), the UX Writers Collective (which sends great content posts and job posts), Ann Hadley (who’s more on the marketing side of things but writes very compelling copy and has great anecdotes for all writers), Very Good Copy (which has great articles and interviews for writers across the spectrum), and of course, our very own UX Writing Hub (great for industry developments and advice!)

10. What is some universal advice you’d like to give to aspiring UX/Content writers?

Never stop learning. It may sound cliche but it’s the truth of our job. UX best practices are always changing and updating in order to be inclusive to ALL users so there is always something new to learn.

It might be about research, or localization, or accessibility, or diversity.

Our job is to be inclusive and the best way to do that is to learn from everyone possible.

From your teammates, from strangers, from people who look different to you, people from across the globe.

Never stop learning from as many different people and places as you can. Our title might say “writer” but what it should say is “includer.”

We need to include and incorporate all users into our words, into our designs, and into our products. And the best way for you to do that, is to never stop learning.

The post How I Got Here: From Copywriter to UX Writer appeared first on UX WRITING HUB.