“AI will bring you a good first draft. Only humans can turn these drafts into world-class products.” —Dylan Field, CEO of Figma at Config 2023
AI won’t replace UX writers, but other writers will
The fear of AI in the UX writing community is increasing. I’ve personally noticed multiple voices that resist trying and testing AI tools. As a creator myself, I understand this fear, especially for those who aren’t early adopters of cutting-edge technology (most of us).
It’s inevitable that creative professionals will incorporate AI into their work. Currently, many product and marketing professionals already use ChatGPT and other agents to assist them in brainstorming, creating, and refining text, images, and design. And this is only the beginning.
Assuming that AI tools will become commonly used by designers and writers, we can conclude that this group will have an advantage in shipping higher-quality artifacts faster. This means that creators who do not use the power of AI will be left behind, outperformed, and eventually replaced by those who do.
Creative work will never be fully replaced by AI—at least not in the near future. Although it can be challenging sometimes, humans are still the best at understanding other humans, including their needs and requirements. AI can only assist us in completing tasks more quickly and efficiently.
AI will level up the game of design
On the other side of the design and product community, there’s a lot of excitement about the potential of AI to help create better user experiences. Here are a few ways UX writers can leverage AI to create better UX content:
- User research and data collection: AI models can squeeze huge amounts of text around a specific topic into concise insights. This can be used to learn about your target audience faster. Of course, we should always be careful of misleading information (or AI hallucinations), but it can bring us points that we weren’t aware of before.
- Generate content alternatives: Once given a draft text, AI can generate similar suggestions that might work better for you. LLMs are really good at phrasing and can provide good suggestions, particularly if they are provided with enough context. Then, writing becomes quicker by selecting the best suggestion, polishing it, and implementing it in the design. A tool like Frontitude’s UX Writing Assistant works like this and can be very helpful.
- Keep your content style consistent: You can always feed AI with more context to refine the suggestions. It understands sentiments like voice and tone and can be used to generate suggestions under a specified style. Think about sending your content style guide on each request/prompt. No need to think about all those rules for each text. That’s a game-changer!
The future of UX writing workflows, powered by AI tools
AI tools can shorten the time it takes to ship products once product specifications are completed. This allows teams to spend more time crafting the right features, gaining a better understanding of user needs, and connecting those needs with their business objectives. Taking the specifications down to the field will be 10x faster, especially when combining the power of AI with design systems.
Shipping a product will still involve the same steps as today but with an increased focus on the research and specification phase. Writers will be able to spend more time determining the best way to communicate with users throughout their journeys while utilizing AI to accelerate the writing phase.
Tools like Frontitude’s UX Writing Assistant already help designers and writers craft the best UX content by generating suggestions that follow UX writing best practices and their product’s content guidelines. Using Open AI’s LLM, along with advanced logic, the tool produces quite impressive results tailored for UX.
Having the entire team use such tools not only eliminates inconsistencies but also saves hours of work and allows everyone to focus on strategy and high-level initiatives.
What should UX writers and content designers do about the rise of AI?
During one of the AI sessions at the last Config, Kathryn Gonzalez mentioned that AI tools have the potential to eliminate hard skills barriers among product team members and turn them into generalists.
I agree with this approach, but I believe that each team member will still have their own unique perspective, which is an essential thing! With that being said, each member can concentrate on high-level work in their domain while delegating tactical work to AI.
It means that UX writers (like everyone on the team) will have to improve the following skills:
- Strategic thinking: Reducing the amount of time needed for tactical work will allow everyone to become a strategist, so UX writers will start to function as UX content strategists. Honing your strategic thinking, understanding the long-term vision for your product, and connecting with your company’s strategy, is something that not only will bring better copy and UX, but will also improve the impact of your work and connect it with the company’s business goals.
- Research capabilities: Understanding your users is the holy grail of product development. Knowing how to receive effective information about your users and their needs will allow you to write copy that better aligns with their mindset throughout their journey with your product.
- Communication skills: Dealing with strategy and user research will require more talking and working with people and less with text boxes and machines. This means that you’ll need to know how to communicate effectively as part of a team, how to listen carefully to others, and how to present your work. There’s nothing new about this, but there will be an increased focus on this in the future.
If you’re a UX writer, prepare yourself for the future by honing product and design thinking, understanding the entire product delivery process, and understanding how your work is connected to the business metrics.