The top 50 UX writing resources of 2020

The top 50 UX writing resources of 2020

The UX writing, content design and content strategy communities grew a lot in 2020. We’ve collected the top 50 UX writing resources for you to enjoy.

Patrick Stafford
December 29, 2020


Ready to enjoy some UX writing resources?

2020 has been a challenging, difficult year for all of us. For UX writers, it’s also been one of the most interesting. We’ve seen the rise of “content design” as an industry-recognized term, new tools to streamline our remote work, and incredible virtual conferences.

This month, we want to celebrate our resilient community. We’ve collected the top 50 links you loved from this year. Let the content countdown begin!

50. How to mock up UX writing. Sick of just handing over Google docs? This primer from Dropbox Design includes methods for delivering copy that actually sit within the design itself.

49. Forecasting the future. Creative minds from the Airbnb Design team weighed in on their predictions. No one could have guessed COVID would shake up the way we work, but what do you think? Did their 2020 design thoughts come true?

48. Some UX writing guidelines from Adobe. It’s always good to brush up on the basics, right? This one checks all the right boxes.

47. How to get into UX writing (a field guide) from Katherine Karaus. A great starting point if you’re thinking of a career change in 2021 — or even now.

46. How to design with real content in Figma. Ah, Figma. The year you really started running. This article is a great resource for writers to do more.

45. How to be a successful UX writer at Netflix. Ben-Barone Nugent, a content designer, sat down with the Writers of Silicon Valley podcast about hypothesis-driven design.

44. Collaborating on copy with Ditto, the Figma plugin. This start-up really took off by letting design teams manage copy throughout the product process. Let’s see where they go in 2021!

43. Writing for onboarding. One of the most crucial tasks a content designer or UX writer can undertake = the onboarding flow. Some fantastic tips from Adobe here.

42. Five steps to an effective content strategy from Rachel McConnell. Self-explanatory, really! Rachel is one of the best in the business, and this article is a must-read. One that you can go back to again and again.

41. How to fix your broken error messages. These are some of the most important components you can write for and getting them right is crucial. Check out Shopify’s tips on how to make your errors as effective as possible.

40. Tips for your UX writing portfolio. Need to give your portfolio a boost? Not sure where to start? Andy Welfle (no intros needed) shares advice for designing a kickass UX writing portfolio to stand out in your job search.

39. The Daily UX Writing Challenge. Raise your hand if you’ve taken the DUXW Challenge. Great! If you’re new to this, even better. Sign up to get a new UX writing prompt delivered to your inbox daily. The result? Become a better UX writer in just 15 days.

38. How to succeed as a sole UX writer. UX writer, party of one? You’re not alone. As the sole writer on a design team, Kendra Ralson shares how to navigate this complex experience and advocate for your work.

37. How to write for voice experiences. What’s the difference between writing for reading vs. writing for hearing? In this blog, Anna Joliffe shares four key tips for voice experiences. Required reading for anyone interested in this growing field.

36. 5 ways to build your professional UX writing network. It’s not always just about what you know, but about *who* you know. This post from Alexandra Duncan offers community-building tips to expand your UX writing network.

35. Writing inclusive copy. As UX writers, we should aim to make our work available and enjoyable for everyone. Kaitlyn Luckow shares tips for getting started with inclusive and accessible copy.

34. Content first approach. What is the Content First approach? Why should you use it? This quote says it all. “If you don’t have time to do it content first, you must have time and budget to do it over.”

33. Articulating our role in the design process. Question: How and when should content designers be involved in the product design process? Answer: Every stage. Bookmark this informative piece (including a very helpful diagram) from Rachel McConnell.

32. Have you read anything written by GPT-3? This blog looks into what the heck GPT-3 even stands for and also what it means for content strategists.

31. The psychology of UX writing. It’s so much more than crafting button CTAs or editing error messages. Read on to see why UX writing has a lot to do with emotional and cognitive psychology.

30. The myth of brainstorming. We often think brainstorming ideas is just as easy as throwing as many concepts as possible on a piece of paper. This piece by Julio Martínez examines why that might not be the case.

29. Yes, you really do need a UX writer. In this great post, Sophie Tahran explores how copy is often an afterthought for digital interfaces. And why it shouldn’t be. Next time someone asks what you actually do at work, just throw this at them.

28. The UX writing process. How is the UX writing process similar to the UX design process? Sara Border created this great resource to help break it down. Good to keep in mind if you need a bit more structure to your work.

27. A handy UX writing glossary. This year, we teamed up with Strings to create the ultimate UX writing glossary. Keep this one in your back pocket. Forward it to your team. Print and hang it on your fridge.

26. How technical constraints shape microcopy. Ever tempted to just rag on a piece of microcopy? Not so fast. Yael Ben-David reminds us there are plenty of technical constraints under the surface that users can’t see.

25. How to incorporate content into your design system. A big trend this year has included more UX writers and content strategists introducing content principles into systems. Want to do the same? This piece from our very own Bobbie Wood is a great start.

24. Getting your first job as a content designer. We all have to start somewhere. Step one? Reading this article from Content Design London.

23. Nailing the content strategy interview. These interviews can be fairly difficult, so it helps to have some notes and guidance beforehand. Angelique Little provides just that.

22. How to maximize the impact of content design. Jonathon Coleman’s presentation has received a lot of good feedback this year, and rightly so. It’s one of the best primers for how to really make an impact inside wherever you work.

21. Verbs are hard. Sophia Prater digs into why verbs are hard and what this means for the UX writing process. Read on.

20. Atomic design needs atomic writers. What is atomic design? How can UX writers leverage it? Russell Norris shares insight in this excellent blog post.

19. UX writing at IKEA. In this interview with Amy Johansson, Senior UX Writer and Customer Journey Specialist, they discuss the rise of UX writing as an integral part of IKEA’s development process.

18. Intro to conversation design. This post is a transcript of the first-ever conversation design workshop at Cornell University, hosted by Cornell AppDev and Google.

17. What you need to know about UX + copywriting. What makes a UX writer different from a copywriter? Read on, my friend.

16. Crafting content experiences in a mobile-first world. How can you optimize your website for small screens? Erin Schroeder breaks down how to design content that’s mobile-friendly.

15. Looking for a technical writer? Follow these tips for success so you can be efficient and effective in this process.

14. Massive list of content design & UX writing resources. Do you look forward to content-packed listicles filled with UX writing goodness? Then you’re sure to love this. Plus you’ll see a few familiar faces in this roundup (hello, Bobbie Wood and Kinneret Yifrah).

13All you need to know about button design. Ah, the good ol’ button. AKA one of the main interactive building blocks for creating a user interface. This piece from Taras Bakusevych looks at the anatomy of buttons and how to use them wisely.

12. Writing inclusive copy. We can’t summarize this important topic in one single blog post. But Kaitlyn Luckow shares a few tips on how to get started.

11. Awesome technical communication. A curated list of awesome resources about technical writing, UX, content strategy, and content marketing.

10. What’s in a job title anyway? One of the biggest discussions in our community this year has been around job titles and responsibilities. Brain Traffic’s Kristina Halverson does a fantastic job of breaking each of them down. This is a great reference point for the industry moving forward.

9. Taxonomies and metadata 101. Expert in taxonomy and Image Librarian at Primark, Alice Walsh shares the fundamentals of metadata for beginners in the field.

8. Can’t get enough of Andy Welfle and Michael Metts? Neither can we. They delve into their Writing is Designing book as part of the Montreal UX Content Strategy Meetup.

7. Localization in UX writing is a big deal, and it’s only going to get bigger. In fact, we think it’s becoming a fundamental part of any UX writer’s toolkit. This is a great guide as to why you should care about it plus some things you can start doing now.

6. When and how should you be involved in the product design process? Rachel McConnell breaks it down on Medium, adding a content layer to the traditional design thinking framework. This one is worthy of printing out and stashing at your desk.

5. Why did Facebook change its content strategy team to “content design”? They break it down on Medium – a lot to ponder here, and we think this is just the start of what’s going to happen in 2021.

4. Roy West is one of the most experienced UX writers in the industry. He’s worked for everyone from NeXT to Google, Uber, and now, Apple. Design X Us has a fantastic conversation with Roy about his career and UX writing in general. Well worth checking out for newbies and experienced designers alike.

3. This one’s just simple and cool. Writers and designers at Dropbox got together to create a book that shows how digital tools are helping filmmakers create stuff. A great examples of writers and designers collaborating to make fantastic things happen.

2. Not specific to UX writing, but fundamental information. The hierarchy of interface design is crucial to understanding good design. As content designers, we need to know this well. The more you understand the fundamentals here, the better your writing decisions will be.

1. 10 lessons I’ve learned practicing UX writing. A great way to end the year and to start another. Some fundamental lessons that should ground all of us, no matter how experienced, no matter where we work. It all boils down to some basic lessons – so keep them close to heart.