It's no news that UX writing requires full design context. However, many writers end up writing copy in Google Docs or design tool’s comment system. This results in extra steps in the workflow, a lack of a “single source of truth”, and feedback falls between the cracks of the “comment hell” in the design tool.
Thankfully more product teams are recognizing the value of collaboration between writers and designers throughout the entire workflow, and they’re eagerly adopting any tools that can make the collaboration smoother and more efficient. Figma, for example, allows writers to create and edit copy, right inside the UX design tool.
Why does design context matter for UX writers?
Wireframes, text-only spec documents, screenshots, and view-only access are familiar to most UX writers. While these can often result in great copy, they also introduce a lot of challenges, including:
- Difficulty assessing design constraints and fitting text into them
- Errors when copying from word processing documents into design tools
- Communication carried out over a wide range of channels, rather than being organized and consolidated in one place, leading to confusion and inefficient feedback processes
- Delays waiting for copy approval
- Missing design problems that affect usability
No one on the product team should work in a vacuum. When involved earlier in the UX workflow, writers can often anticipate challenges users might face and improve the product's functionality.
UX copy is a design asset
UX design has a significant impact on usability and accessibility. The choice of images, text spacing, fonts, colors, and other design elements play a role in how users interact with the product and respond to messaging.
Likewise, UX copy determines how successfully users navigate the product and whether they achieve their goals. For the best possible user experience, UX writers and designers need to work together and continue to touch base throughout the workflow as the product evolves (which is natural!).
When UX writers can update copy in real-time, with full design context, teams can collaborate more efficiently to:
- Ensure copy fits the design – Writers can focus on writing effective copy without counting characters or worrying about line restrictions, and you'll eliminate endless rounds of back-and-forth communication.
- Update copy easily – Writers can make changes with a full understanding of the product’s evolution (where it started, how it’s changed, where it’s going), without having to dig through tons of previous versions, old feedback, and scattered style guidelines. Access version history if you need to undo changes or see how something looked in a previous iteration.
- Simplify collaboration – Teams can streamline UX workflows and eliminate the need to communicate across several different programs. Tag team members, leave comments, document changes, and interact more efficiently in a single platform.
- Prepare for localization better – Writers and localization teams can anticipate localization-related challenges, such as issues with length or the placement/order of strings that might not work in certain languages.
Full design context is a game-changer for everyone involved in creating and bringing a product to life.
Designers and UX writers can stay aligned even as the design and functionality changes and evolves.
Copy issues, whether related to UX or localization (or something else), can be identified early on. And the workflow becomes smoother and hiccup-free, so you can get products out into the world faster.
When UX copy is treated as part of the design and not an afterthought, and UX writers are given access to the designs and included in design-focused conversations, you’re more likely to end up with copy that leads to a great user experience.
"Designers and UX writers can stay aligned even as the design and functionality changes and evolves."
Frontitude offers full design context and collaboration within the design teams’ existing tools and workflows
Frontitude integrates with the team's design tool (Figma, Sketch, and Adobe XD), and lets UX writers work "on top" of the design without interfering with the designer’s work.
For teams that prefer to work outside the design tool in a separate environment, Frontitude provides a sandbox for copy editing, while staying up to date with the latest design and copy updates by simply pulling the changes from the design tool with a click.
And it's not just writers who need full design context during the writing process; Using Frontitude's shareable links writers can share their copy–within the design–with reviewers and stakeholders, so they are not just providing feedback on contextless lines of text, but they also have the complete design context to provide accurate feedback.