Why I’m Making the Transition from Copywriter to UX Design
I can hear my super traditional Filipino mom criticising me for making yet another career “transition” at this point in my life; wishing that I would stick to one thing and be really great at it, and staying with one company for the rest of my adult, American, privileged life.
Well mum, I’ve spent the past five years or so developing my copywriting craft…attending school, following blogs, working at agencies…all to further my development. And guess what? It’s time for me to evolve.
(Also, please let me know when you’re making some sinigang again.)
I made the decision that, last autumn, I will be attending classes at General Assembly in Seattle to study UX Design.
Why? Well for one, dad needs a little more money. UX designers make over 100k in Seattle, according to Glassdoor, and I like the sound of that. I like that a lot.
It’s also a pretty common industry to get into for people my age or slightly older.
Most importantly though, it’s because I don’t believe it’s actually much of a career change at all. There are quite a few similarities between the two career paths (graphic designers are in this boat as well) that make it seamless.
What similarities you ask? Well here’s a few for starters:
‘Know your users’
Copywriting, as well as UX design, graphic design, and many other disciplines, starts with knowing your users/customers. By narrowing your field of focus to a target set of users, and not just everyone, you’re solving a specific challenge to a specific set of people. This involves both quantitative and qualitative ways to looking at research to determine root cause.
Techniques of persuasion
This may be more of a copywriting thing, but knowing how to position your products/service is the core tenant of copywriting. You want X, we have Y as a solution to your problem. Knowing which emotions/logic to invoke is part of what makes an effective copywriter. UX can be similar, but I would say UX focuses a little more on how to make the experience easier for the user to find what they want. Either way, they’re both about improving experiences.
I get this question a lot as a copywriter; “Don’t you just write words?” No, Mr.Condescending tool bag, we don’t just “write words”, we develop ideas and concepts to effectively convey a product/service. A lot of times that means developing the right imagery/illustrations to highlight the point. UX also involves visual aids, and a proper UI designer will boost that point even further.
Mapping the journey
Every user goes through a customer journey map, which is the 2019 way of saying that marketing is a series of decision points. People don’t just see an ad and buy anymore, there’s a whole in between process that we must account for. Both copywriting and UX design play a key role in fleshing out the details of that path. It involves content, and discoverability, knowing where your customers consume information, and knowing how they expect to find more if they need to.
I can’t wait to start my formal training and I’ve already started the usual rounds of YouTube, Skillshare, and textbooks to get me started.
If you’ve gone through a similar transition or have some helpful tips (and not “don’t you just write words”), then I’d love to hear ‘em.