Do you keep seeing UX everywhere and wondering what the *UX* it is? Yep me too. So I did some research.

There isn’t a single recognised definition of UX but it stands for user experience and is about making things better for the user. In essence it’s putting the user front and centre to make it (the user experience) meaningful and relevant. Meaningful and relevant is subjective though no?

TripAdvisor is well used and globally recognised yet in terms of user experience I find it a right clunky mess. I don’t get no UX satisfaction from using it and I avoid it like the plague. So, are websites that have been UXd (not sure that’s the right term) a more pleasant experience? I dunno, cos I haven’t seen one that has UX stamped all over. But what I do know is that when a website, in terms of design or copy, both of which can be UXd (see previous), makes you shout at the screen it probably hasn’t been UXd (as before).

UX to me then means COMMON SENSE. The design and navigation need to make it easier for the end user – not the designer, or site owner/business owner. The copy needs to be in the right language for the end user – so again, common sense no? Have you heard of people buying concert tickets twice? Thinking they’d booked a hotel and turning up to find they hadn’t? Buying 22 French sticks in an online shop (surely not just me?!) etc? Some of these will be user error, some will be UX fail.

How do you define a good user experience? A seamless transition from start to finish. Smooth, easy to follow, easy to navigate easy to understand, easy to make a transaction, easy to buy. When you submit a form online you want a message saying you have submitted a form. Ditto when you have placed an order. When you fill in a form online and you get an error message you want it to be obvious which bits you got wrong/ where the gap/error is and what you need to do next. The small bits of copy that aid the customer journey through a site based on logical thought. Clear, concise, precise, understandable language that explains the user flow and how they get from A to B

How do you define a bad user experience? Pop up anything – just naff off they are hugely annoying! See TripAdvisor above – no amount of UX copy could make it any better, it’s the design that needs UXing. Fancy words or too many acronyms that tell you nothing about the who, what, where, when and why. Tricky unsubscribe pages.

To sum up, unless you are writing for machines (which you never should do) then all copy is UX no? Writing for the end-user and making sure everything is in their language is certainly what I do. Ergo UX copywriting means dead good with words. That’s me.