UX Writing

How COVID-19 crisis inspired me to really understand UX writing

-Priyanka Joshi

What Can COVID-19 Teach You About the Most Important Skill in UX Writing?

I first stumbled upon UX Writing in 2018 through a LinkedIn post. It was for a remote role. Ironically, what struck me was the dollops of dollars it offered compared to the hardcore copywriting jobs that I was applying to!

Inspired, I searched for more UX writing profiles to see how I’d fit in. Some were technical, some were asking for a lot of experience. And then one word jumped out – Empathy.

What Did I Learn About Empathy From the COVID Crisis?

As I continued my journey, I started understanding the rationale behind every communication piece – be it visual or written. The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has nailed the empathy factor right on the wall. Over a few months, I’ve seen countless brands churning out resonating and inspiring messaging. So, what can you learn about empathy from them? Let’s look an example.

COVID-19 Preparedness Emailer From Swiggy

Swiggy effectively homed in that while people are skeptical of ordering in during lockdowns – for a section of the population like elderly or students – it continues to be a godsend. The brand also portrays the “contactless deliveries” option effectively through visuals.

See how it drills in on the empathy factor through its messaging. It offers handy protection tips to its users while tying in its primary business of collecting donations by asking for contributions for the poorest people affected by the lockdowns. I’m a marketing copywriter, and here are some differences that I’ve found in my journey so far.
COPYWRITINGUX WRITING
I’ve used sales-focused words to offer solutions.I’m learning to focus more on product-oriented words.
I’ve worked mostly with marketers and SMEs; designers only when it comes to graphics.I realize UX writing requires a different ballgame of collaboration as you need to define user flows and journeys to craft valuable messages.
I’ve often used attractive, enticing messaging
to get customers to buy.
I’m learning to use simple and clear messaging to get customers to use the product.
I’ve told stories to drive conversations.I’m learning to share conversations to weave stories.
Emailer

Final Thoughts: Why is Empathy Important?

If you want to understand your users, you need to “get into their shoes.” Poor empathy results not only in losing your customers, but it could also lead to people staying away from your brand altogether due to tone-deaf lack of awareness.

But strong empathy can work wonders for your brand, as we saw in the above example. So, how can you practice empathy in real-life? LISTEN, it’s really as simple as that. Not just with your ears but with your senses. Learn to observe what is being said and how it is being said. Pay attention to cues – both verbal and non-verbal.

Before drafting any message geared toward your customers, clients, partners, or vendors, don’t start with what you can do for them, rather what are their pain points and how you can help them get up and running.

As a UX writer, building empathy is very important, especially when feeling connected is more important than ever. All it takes is a token of understanding, appreciation, and sharing of struggles and fears.

About the Author

Priyanka Joshi is a storyteller and conversational marketer diving head-first into UX wrirting.

Priyanka
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