You probably remember those days when the term “UX” was formed. It was around the early 2000s when product companies started to realize that not only should their products look good, but they should also be easy to use. Throughout these years, product companies embraced new terms and methodologies to fulfill this new standard: Design Components (or Symbols), Design Systems, Responsive Web Design (RWD), and more. A new title was formed – the UX Designer. As a result, a new wave of tools came up to support this transition: Sketch, Adobe XD, and Figma (among others) empowered UX professionals to fulfill the new requirements.
The rise of UX Writing
Until recent years, it was mostly about visual design. Another ingredient of the user experience, the textual content, was pretty much neglected. But not anymore. These days, product companies have started to realize the importance of it and its effect on the overall user experience and business performance. Just like the transition in visual design, this one is also forming new terms and methodologies: Microcopy, UX Copy, UX Writing, Content Design, Content Style Guide, and more. Also here, a new title was formed – the UX Writer, which is something between a Copywriter and a UX Designer. This new profession has led to new books (our favorite, Microcopy – The Complete Guide), courses (such as UX Writing Hub’s), conferences (such as UX Writer), and communities that came out to support the learning and training of these new professionals.
It’s all about the business
Both of the transitions mentioned above took (and are still taking) place for only a single reason: it’s good for business. The success of digital products (mainly websites, mobile apps, and web apps) is measured by a few metrics, which may vary from product to product, but are usually based on conversion rates, click-through rates, and retention. Good UX copy affects the aforementioned business metrics by effortlessly guiding users through an experience to an intended goal or objective.
To make this statement more concrete, we have gathered a few up-to-date real-world examples from the community, where better UX copy has significantly improved business metrics.
Case study #1: Increase user retention by speaking your users’ language
Preply is an educational platform that connects more than 100,000 students with tutors worldwide for personalized language lessons online. Viktoria Kosiak, a UX Writer at Preply, describes how they improved key metrics of their business by testing and changing UX copy at the heart of their product.
Viktoria: “A core part of Preply’s product is a system for scheduling lessons. Students have two ways of planning their learning: schedule individual lessons by choosing each date manually (One-by-one), or set up a recurring routine where lessons are scheduled automatically each week (Weekly).”
“We believe that learning is effective when it’s regular. Plus, students with a weekly schedule are the ones with better retention, so promoting weekly lessons has always been in the best interest of our business.”
“The problem was that the number of scheduled weekly lessons was lower than we expected. According to the Features vs. Benefits approach, Weekly lessons is focused on the way the feature works, rather than the user benefit.”
“To focus more clearly on the benefits of a weekly schedule, our solution was to change the copy from Weekly lessons to Regular lessons. We also knew from user interviews that our customers used the word regular to speak positively about forming a learning habit. Under this test, we also changed One-by-one lessons to Single lessons because we thought it would be easier to understand when seen next to Regular lessons.”
Using users’ language to name the lesson type has increased the number of scheduled regular lessons by 11% (Preply)
The Preply team reports a significant increase of 11%(!) in the number of regular lessons scheduled. Also, they’ve identified a significant increase of 7.8% in one of their key business metrics: hours bought on the platform.
Case study #2: Increase click-through rate (CTR) by adding clarity
Fundbox is a B2B fintech startup that offers a revolving line of credit to small- and medium-sized businesses in the US. Yael Ben-David, a UX Writer at Fundbox, describes how the company increased revenue with a few copy changes.
Yael: “In our product, the most important touchpoint for revenue, is the Draw Pane, which is a dialogue users use to draw funds. It can be opened through the user dashboard using a button with the label Draw Funds. It seemed like users were too scared to click it since it sounded very final. They thought it would immediately pull funds into their account and they wouldn’t have a chance to review the repayment terms first. They never finished drawing because of that.”
“To make it clearer, we changed the CTA from Draw Funds to Review & Draw.”
A call-to-action button that is more empathetic to the user’s headspace and better manages expectations led to a higher CTR (Fundbox)
One of the core metrics at Fundbox is whether users draw funds in the first 7 days after approval, which is a strong indicator of customer LTV (lifetime value). After the change in the copy, a significant improvement was shown in this metric, and in credit draws overall.
Case study #3: Reduce sales team calls by being more informative
It’s Fundbox again! This time, a few copy changes saved a lot of manual labor for their sales team. Yael is here again to tell us about it.
Yael: “As I mentioned before, the Draw Pane is a critical point in our product, which is where users draw funds. Many users didn’t understand the terms for repaying the funds, and so obviously, they didn’t draw. Reps would then reach out to explain the terms on the phone, and then the user would be comfortable drawing.”
“We ran an A/B test:
- We removed some of the copy from the tab headers to prevent confusion—users weren’t sure whether we were showing the weekly payment (principal + fees) or only the fees. The information appears lower down in a clearer way so we didn’t need it here, too.
- We added a tooltip to preempt questions and hesitations users had around the weekly fees.
- We added Max to total repayment since there is a way that users can save on fees and actually never end up paying the full amount of fees. Without saying Max it looked like no matter what, they would end up paying back this whole amount.”
The sales team reported a significant decrease in the time they spent helping users through this point of friction.
Case study #4: Reduce support tickets by giving a heads up
Gong.io provides a revenue intelligence platform created to improve calls and demos for sales teams. Naomi Papoushado, the Galactic Viceroy of Content Excellence at Gong.io, tells us how, by adding a piece of informational UX copy, they solved a technical issue that caused plenty of support tickets.
Naomi: “We got a bunch of support tickets where users were trying to associate a call with an account when they were a CRM Lead and not a CRM Contact.”
“People wanted to assign the call to a CRM Lead, but the option to associate the call was unavailable. They couldn’t understand why it wasn’t working. So they’d open a ticket for the Support team, thinking it’s a bug in our system.”
“The Support team appealed to us (the UX team) about this issue. We chose to solve this by giving users a clear message explaining which accounts can be assigned with the call, and how to resolve the issue.”
A clear explanation of the issue and a suggestion solution have significantly reduced support tickets (Gong.io)
A short time after this change was released, Gong.io’s Support team reported zero(!) support tickets opened for this specific issue. It’s amazing how a small piece of text can save users so much frustration, and the Support team precious time.
The rise of UX Writing, which is taking place these days, is not just a flash in the pan. It’s proven that investing in creating great UX copy is a positive ROI deal. The examples above show that great UX copy not only enhances the user experience, but can also release bottlenecks at the core of your product and move the needle when it comes to business metrics.