Simple UX Writing Style Guide to Achieve Better Results

The UX writing process can be very complex depending on the instructions and editorial guidelines they must follow. But what are these guidelines, and how do they impact the overall project?

Whether you’re aiming to enhance the interface of an app or streamline navigation on your website, UX copy plays a crucial role. Style guides provided by companies are key in ensuring consistent and cohesive communication throughout these endeavors.

If you don’t know what a style guide is or how it impacts the life of UX writers, you have come to the right place. Here we will show you everything you need to know about them and even how you can create your own guide for the UX and marketing department to follow. 

Make sure to follow all steps and tips carefully to ensure the best results for writers and users who use your digital products. Here’s everything you need to know for creating a solid content style guide: 

What Is a UX Writing Style Guide

image showing multiple versions of an interface layout and with different texts

As expected, the writing style guide, also known as the content style guide, is a document that UX writers rely on to navigate various aspects of the writing process. It includes guidelines on how texts should appear and the language that should be used to effectively communicate with the audience.

The content style guide helps everything to look more uniform and professional. This way, you ensure that the whole communication is unified, especially if your company has two UX writers working simultaneously.

These guides exist for almost every digital product, both in copy and diverse aspects, like content design and many others. Having a solid document of this kind can optimize the project and help avoid multiple changes in the end.

Many people think that creating this documentation is a waste of time and money, but the opposite is true. According to UXCam, every dollar spent on UX, whether design or writing, returns $100

Now you know what should be featured in a UX writing style guide, read also about n UX writing best practices.

image showing a paper sheet along with the text UX writing guide

Now, we will show you how to create a simple guide to help all writers stay on the same page when developing the copy elements of your UX and all the other text pieces regarding the company. Make sure to take a look at each item to understand what you need to do to apply these writing principles to your business and create better communication.

Notice that different business might have their exclusive needs. This basic version contains the most essential elements these documents should have.

Here are the main items in the UX writer style guides:

Brand Voice

image explaining what brand voice is

One of the most important aspects of any brand construction, regarding UX writing and numerous other marketing aspects, is your brand’s voice and tone. It refers to the kind of language you use and how you want the users to feel when they read your content.

Every content section needs to align with your brand’s voice. For example, you can use a conversational tone or a professional one. Everything will depend on your business type and how you want your customers to perceive your brand.

The words and communication style you choose also have a crucial role in what you want to convey about your company and the values you want to be known for. Sometimes, a friendly and informal tone can be much better than a professional one when developing game apps, for example. On the other hand, health-related digital solutions require a much more straightforward approach due to the nature of the business.

Netflix's are you still watching as an example of UX writing

For example, Netflix uses an informal, user-friendly, easily understood tone. When you binge-watch a TV show for too long without pausing or using the interface, the app will automatically pause the show after some time and ask if you’re still watching 

Instead of saying, “You’ve been watching for too long without pausing, press OK to continue,” the platform uses UX writing that is closer to the company’s voice and asks, “Are you still watching?” This way, the experience becomes more enjoyable, and the user doesn’t get frustrated, even though the platform is pausing the content they’re watching to ask the question.

Don’t forget to adapt your text pieces to mobile devices and not only desktops. UXCam states that mobile users are 5x more likely to abandon an app or task if it’s not optimized for that kind of device.

Brand Identity

image showing the multiple elements that compose a brand identity

You can say that everything in the guide contributes to the brand identity, but in this topic, we will specifically discuss the visual parts of the process. Your company’s visuals can also impact the text part of it. 

You need to consider how the copy will behave on the interface and look alongside the color schemes used during the project. The style guide is a breathing document constantly adapting to the company’s beliefs, so your text should be aligned with all these aspects. The error messages need to look like your brand, and so do your websites and every other aspect. This part of the document becomes even more critical when the UX writer is also responsible for other parts of the design, like the UI and graphic elements.

Logos, labels, platform icons —everything needs to look like part of the same visual identity and remind people of the company behind it. This way, you increase brand awareness and make it top of mind for all users who download or use your digital product.

image showing the multiple elements that compose a brand identity

Apple is a great example of a solid brand identity that everyone instantly recognizes. Along with its logo, which is known by the entire world, it has a minimalistic way of communicating and creating media that reflects in all other aspects of the company.

It uses clear and straightforward UI and gives an easily understandable communication through its writing. It doesn’t need colorful assets or shiny interfaces to catch people’s eye, and these simple insertions provide a great experience for anyone using their products. When an error appears, straightforward texts guide the user through the possible solutions and help them understand what went wrong and how to solve it. The identity of Apple is based on minimalism and functionality, providing a seamless experience that promises to be the best solution for all of its users’ problems. 

Brand Values

illustration of a hand holding multiple brand values

This is another common element of any style and communication guide and regards the company’s values and beliefs. Even though they don’t impact as much as the voice or identity, the texts you write should always reflect these values and be cohesive with the rest of the communication.

Some people think these values are external elements for the customers, but most of the time, they are internal aspects of the business. They primarily reflect the beliefs of the leaders and team members.

It will impact how you work as a writer and what the company praises for in its operations. It tends to be overlooked sometimes but is an important aspect that needs careful consideration and strategic thinking.

These values will hardly change over time and will stay the same even though you create a new guideline for your company. It is mainly used to deal with internal resources and matters and will be crafted by the first UX writer, the business owner, and all the relevant parties.

Competition and Their Tactics

illustration of a person comparing multiple profiles

This is something that some companies include when creating the writing style guide. They feature a brief description of their competitors and their UX writing. Elements like competitors’ tone and text clarity can be extremely helpful when creating your copy, whether for the web, app, or any article.

Analyzing the competition in terms of writing, marketing, interface, products, and other aspects is crucial as it helps you draw inspiration from their successful strategies and identify their mistakes or poor choices, which you can learn to avoid.

Moreover, this also serves as guidance for new UX writers entering the company and saves a lot of time they’d have to spend on company and user research. It’s the best way to compile information about the competition and analyze how you can use that in your favor.

Images and Visual Assets

illustration of a person creating a document with text and images

This is another optional element that can help your document look much better. Adding images and other visual alternatives can help the team understand the items pointed out in the document and optimize everyone’s work. 

For example, when talking about the company’s logo and visual ID, it is always a good idea to feature an image of the logo along with examples of the color and their HEX code. This way, everyone using the guide can find the elements they’re reading about more easily.

It is not an obligatory documentation part, but we highly recommend including it. This will help everyone and make work much more accessible for UX writing tasks and any other related roles.

This doesn’t mean you should fill the document with images. Not every item needs them, so make sure to be objective and clear, using these visual assets only as support tools for what is being said in the paragraph.

Where to Create a Writing Style Guideline

illustration of two people creating the same document on different formats

There are numerous platforms available to create a style guide. Actually, you don’t need a specialized platform or fancy software to craft such a document. 

One of the most common options, and also one of the best, is Google Docs. Creating a Google doc is free, offering infinite tools to personalize your file. It also allows you to add links, images, and different assets directly to the document without needing extensions.

Along with that, Google also features cloud saving and lets you access the document on a variety of devices. You can easily send the document to all the team members involved and access it from your computer, laptop, smartphone, or anywhere else.

But Google is not the only option. You can also create a style guide on Microsoft Word, Canva, Notion, and many other platforms.

The ideal platform for your business depends on your specific needs and expectations. Explore each alternative to determine which platform best aligns with what you want to create and how you envision your document to appear.

Need Help With Your UX Writing?

image from GamerSEO showing the services provided by the company

UX writing can be tough, and it’s not something you learn from day to night. Having a professional agency taking care of your project can optimize the work and help you reach the next level quickly.

Whether you need help with UX analysis, SEO consultation, or anything else, GamerSEO is here to help. We have the best professionals on the market with years of experience to help you reach your goals and objectives.

We work side by side to develop solutions that aim directly at your pain points to ensure efficient and easy solutions for all your problems. Moreover, by having a professional working with you, you can focus on the tasks that really matter to you while the professionals take care of the rest.

Wanna take your business to the next level right now? Join us, and let’s create quality marketing together.

Time to Start Creating Your UX Writing Style Guide

illustration of multiple people crafting a document together along with the text UX writing on the side

UX writing can be very challenging, and the best way to make this task easier is by having clear guidelines on the aspects of your company and communication. This document can generate valuable insights on enhancing your communication and creating the best experience for your users.

This way, you ensure solid unified communication in every copy you make. It will also help new UX writers easily understand how each action should be done and what the company praises when designing their texts.

Now that you know everything you need, it is time to start developing your own company guide for writing. Follow all the steps above, and you’ll have the best results and deliver a great user experience for your customers.

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