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You likely understand the importance of first impressions. Your initial encounter with someone can shape the relationship for the foreseeable future, especially how much you trust them.

It’s the same when you first open a webpage. After looking at a website for just 50 milliseconds, users make judgments. 

To make an effective impression that facilitates your business goals, you need good design across every element on the page. So why do people overlook user experience copywriting despite it contributing so much to first impressions?

In this article, we’ll break down what UX copywriting is, why it’s essential and how to optimize your website with UX copywriting.

What is UX copywriting?

On a website, UX copywriting is the crafted words that guide users, enhance navigation and create an intuitive experience. UX copywriters develop “microcopy,” including calls to action, notifications and labels — each essential for users to understand and navigate digital interfaces.

Typically, UX copy is seen across all elements of digital interfaces, taking the form of instructions, help text, error messages, calls to action (CTAs), menus, navigation labels, notifications, alerts, product/feature descriptions and other text users encounter during their experience.

UX copywriting vs. marketing copywriting

UX copywriting takes a vastly different approach than traditional marketing copywriting. Rather than persuade or sell, UX copy aims to guide users smoothly through tasks and accomplishments. It focuses solely on enhancing user experience through clarity and direction.

In contrast, writing copy for marketing is sales-centric — meant to promote, influence and ultimately convert visitors. It taps into our emotions like the fear of missing out and the desire for solutions. 

Here’s a marketing copywriting example from Gary Halbert:

Screenshot of a Gary Halbert newsletter, an example of marketing copywriting.

Although complementary, UX writers join product teams while marketing copywriters drive ad campaigns and content strategy. The former assists current users, while the latter attracts new eyeballs. This difference also highlights why user experience copywriting is so essential.

The importance of UX copywriting

According to WebFX, 94% of people’s initial impressions relate to your website’s holistic design, which includes your UX copywriting. 

UX copy gives users the information and direction needed at every touchpoint and interaction.

UX copy gives users the information and direction needed at every touchpoint and interaction.

For a minute, imagine being a new user of your favorite website but there’s no:

  • Concise instructions and explanations of the website’s usability
  • Error messages that dispel confusion and gently offer solutions
  • Contextually helpful tooltips that assist you with tasks
  • Clear CTAs that reveal opportunities like signups and purchases
  • Engaging product descriptions that build your interest and confidence

The impact of good UX copy becomes clear.

Furthermore, beyond the short strings of microcopy, UX copywriting builds the tone, messaging and personality that brings a digital product or service to life. Effective UX copy matches brand voice and conveys a charming atmosphere.

You now know what UX copywriting is. At this point, see it in action; try learning from the examples below to understand what great success looks like and how to employ microcopy in your websites. 

Examples of effective UX copywriting

You can find great UX copywriting across industries. Here’s a showcase of some of the most complex businesses and how they keep their interfaces intuitive. 


A screenshot of Klaviyo’s email marketing dashboard.

Klaviyo shines when it comes to onboarding users onto their sophisticated email marketing platform. Right from the initial setup, Klaviyo’s UX copy is focused on guiding users through necessary steps like connecting an online store and importing contacts. 

Klaviyo uses visual indicators to create a hierarchy, drawing attention to the most critical setup elements needing user input. 

The copy directly states what information is needed; it prompts you to “Enter your online store URL,” transparently providing requirements from the get-go. 

On Klaviyo’s dashboard, straightforward labels like “Flows” and “Analytics” allow users to navigate without confusion. This exemplifies how effective UX copywriting doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel.

Descriptive microcopy such as “Maximize Revenue with Flows” assists users at every interaction, guiding and encouraging them toward what will help get the most out of the software. 

Key takeaway: Be direct and concise. 


A screenshot of Stripe’s interface.

Stripe aims to incorporate ready-made analytics and data tables into its platform — but since finance often gets overcomplicated, the UX team approaches this with a simple and organized interface that allows users to complete payment tasks easily.

The dashboard uses self-explanatory headings such as “Payments” and “Home” for navigation. From a UX design and copy perspective, Stripe quickly communicates how users can accomplish goals. The ability to customize the menu bar provides flexibility and ease of use.

The descriptive and persuasive copy “Do more with Stripe” conveys the ability to accomplish financial tasks quickly and add features tailored to your business needs. 

Notably, if users can’t find a specific action, Stripe immediately suggests they search the knowledge base for an answer to their question. 

Between the thematically consistent layouts and focused copywriting, Stripe fosters positive and colorful experiences, especially compared to typical financial tools.

Key takeaway: Make the user’s task easy at all stages of their journey. 


A screenshot of Duolingo’s learning interface.

Duolingo is a popular language learning app that uses game-like lessons to build real-world language proficiency. 

True to Duolingo’s fun and mischievous brand, the app welcomes new users with a bright palette of greens, oranges and purples to set the stage for bubbly mascot characters. 

This playful design conveys an enjoyable, low-pressure experience, aligning well with the app’s uplifting UX copy.

As users complete bite-sized activities, motivating messages like “You’re on a roll!” celebrate progress. At other times, cheekily urgent reminders encourage repeated engagement. 

Duolingo also guides users with directional cue words and labels. Importantly, all their microcopy is easily understandable for all literacy levels. During reading, writing and listening activities, Duolingo’s copy immediately provides context to make comprehension intuitive. 

The brand’s friendly copy supports its vibrant aesthetic and generates Duolingo a fond reputation as users gain communication skills.

Key takeaway: Incentivize action through colors, animations and encouraging words. 


A screenshot of Canva’s main dashboard.

Canva’s goal is to democratize the design process. It makes sense that upon opening the minimalistic home dashboard, new users are immediately met with a straightforward call to action: “What will you create today?” 

Simple example images represent each template choice, including presentations, posters, documents and social posts. This way, initiating projects is intuitive with no design lingo needed, even when the user hasn’t fully decided on a desired outcome.

As users work on their design drafts, Canva employs instructional microcopy like “Drag photos here” and “Change text here,” explaining how to use its tools. In tutorials, the concise and conversational tone (e.g., “Size it right by dragging from the corners”) provides useful guidance without overloading. 

By sticking to common vocabulary and natural syntax, Canva generates a sense of empowerment even for novice design teams starting out.

Since Canva’s success relies heavily on offering a beginner-friendly, enjoyable user experience, the UX team’s copywriting must enhance content design, not hinder it. Put plainly, Canva’s intuitive and accessible design would be ruined by too much text or a pretentious script font. 

When reviewing your user experience copywriting, consider whether it accentuates your brand identity.

Key takeaway: If you were providing customer service to a confused user, how would you phrase your instructions? 


As screenshot of Typeform’s market research template.

As an interactive survey builder, Typeform can’t afford to use boring questionnaires. Instead, their iconic conversational forms feel like you’re sitting down with an insightful interviewer, including microcopy like “Tell us more” and “One sec…” — it injects personality between questions.

The platform guides survey creation through casual explanatory tooltips and field labels optimized for scanning. Even confirmation messages exude Typeform’s brand voice with a playful tone: “Boom! You are about to get loads of responses.” 

The distinctly human copywriting style imparts energy to users even while they’re completing a survey, typically viewed as a mundane task. Typeform recognizes that delighting audiences starts with a user interface (UI) that has as much fun as you should have. 

Key takeaway: Incorporate your brand’s personality into the writing. Be enthusiastic; it’s contagious.

How to write effective UX copy

You can achieve the best user experience copywriting with only six steps. Discover it for yourself below.

Perform market research

Thoroughly completing market research is the first step of all copywriting. Different businesses have different priorities, but market research is how you find your goal and its exact path. 

Useful types of market research include:

  • User surveys about workflows, pain points and needed features
  • Individual interviews diving into specific use cases
  • Analytics analysis to uncover behavior patterns like drop-off points
  • Customer service log reviews to highlight recurring questions
  • Competitor research on peer apprenticeships and differentiators

Research reveals specific customer challenges and motivations. For example, analytics can highlight a key user segment struggling with onboarding drop-off at a particular step. 

Interviews help uncover the nature of challenges; these insights should directly shape copy. For example, if the confusion is due to vague instructions, target the issue by writing replacement copy that’s concise and directional.

Lastly, market research is most useful when you define your target audience. For instance, Typeform’s target audience is aged 20 to 55, and a casual, witty tone of voice resonates with users. 

In contrast, a healthcare app that has an older ideal audience would likely benefit from direct and actionable UX copywriting.

Conduct UX research

While market research reveals broader audience insights, dedicated UX research digs into how people interact with your digital interfaces.

Here are some of the best UX research strategies to start with:

  • Testing usability to uncover confusing task flows
  • Prototyping alternative layouts and content structures to compare
  • Tracking eye movements to see what goes ignored on pages
  • Surveying customers directly on the comprehensibility of messaging
  • Reviewing analytics for dropout pages to fix poor user experience

For example, imagine the UX writing on a file-sharing company’s upload section. It simply states, “Add files here.” This confuses some users when PDFs do not upload properly.

After surveying unhappy customers, the company’s UX team updates the copy to be more specific: “Drag and drop images, audio or video files less than 10MB in size to share them.” 

By getting precise in tackling their user research insights, the microcopy eliminates many future support tickets related to upload issues. You can use a similar approach to improve your website’s UX.

Align copy with brand voice

Maintaining a consistent brand voice is vital for building user familiarity over time. Plus, a friendly tone can instantly influence someone to trust your brand. 

Before starting a new UX copywriting project, comprehensively review existing messaging across your digital touchpoints, including your website, product interfaces, support articles, marketing emails, social media and ads. Document the overall tone of voice, especially how your brand guides users.

How are features explained? Which wording choices are preferred? Are phrases short and punchy or long and descriptive? Does messaging tend towards humor or professionalism? What about visual style and structure? 

For instance, take a look at Typeform’s homepage copy: 

A screenshot of Typeform’s homepage.

A friendly tone is quickly established, and the product’s value is showcased immediately. 

Note that compiling UI writing tips in a style guide is the best reference for future copy.

Note that compiling UI writing tips in a style guide is the best reference for future copy.

Use clear, concise language

UX copy often means clear, concise language at an easily digestible reading level. In contrast, jargon-heavy information overloads users with complexity and confusion. The goal is crafting easily scannable copy that feels human rather than robotic and boring. 

Writers should pay close attention to the website and product’s crucial concepts and technical explanations — simplify those ideas down to their essence. Can visuals or examples be used as alternatives? Condensing concepts without losing substance is an art form. 

Sentences should be direct, using active voice and scrapping unnecessary words. Use a free tool to see what grade level your writing is; aim for a 5th to 6th-grade reading level. Furthermore, test copy with actual target users to reveal what works best. 

Structure copy strategically

Beyond word choices, clear UX copywriting includes the positioning and visual presentation of info. 

Lead with the most crucial information and user actions. For example, opening paragraphs on a features landing page should directly state benefits users care passionately about — and then include supplemental details below. 

Additionally, employing whitespace (empty space around copy elements) improves legibility and makes key details easier to find while skimming the page.

Try using contrasting sections with impactful and enticing colors for your UX and typography. Draw users’ eyes to the most important things: headlines, input fields and CTAs, to name a few.

Here’s an example:

An example of website elements used effectively.

Users determine key next steps faster when layouts adhere to established conventions like F-patterns and visual weight.

While words are important, user-friendly website design relies a lot on structure. Streamlining a person’s digital experience requires keeping interfaces organized and focused through selective positioning of copy from UX writers.

Continually test your UX to optimize

After crafting excellent UX copywriting and implementing it on your live website, celebrate — but don’t hang up your cape. Aim to develop an optimization mindset focused on gradual refinement. 

Testing is key to driving increasingly positive outcomes over time. Here are some tactics to employ when checking your UX copywriting for functionality and performance: 

Do an A/B test using slightly altered versions of the copy. This will determine which wording better convinces users to convert. Even subtle tweaks to button text and intro paragraphs will often impact results. 

For example, you can test a newsletter signup flow by checking whether a punchy button copy like “Sign Up” outperforms a longer option like “Join our List Today.”

Next, monitor analytics dashboards over time to quantify how copy changes influence metrics. For each page you changed, check for shifts in average time on page, scroll depth and CTA clickthroughs. In UX copywriting, these user experience-based metrics matter most. 

Lastly, conduct direct interviews or surveys with customers to get feedback. That way, you can see unexpected gaps where users get lost or confused. 

Final thoughts: User experience copywriting 

Now that you’ve learned what UX copywriting is and what success looks like, it’s time to implement it. Whether you’re aiming for optimization with your established website or you’re just starting out with a new one, note that great UX relies on a great web hosting provider.
A fast website goes hand in hand with satisfied users. Even with a content-rich website, Bluehost’s WordPress hosting is 75% faster than the largest WordPress hosting providers. Join today to ensure a smooth user experience for your audience — and an intuitive website editor to make your life easier.

  • Minal Agarwal

    Minal is the Director of Brand Marketing at Bluehost. With over 15 years of business experience in the technology industry, she strives to create solutions and content that fulfill a customer's needs. She is a dog mom and a stickler for calendaring.

    Masters in Marketing Management
    Previous Experience
    Strategic Partnerships, Customer Success, Events and Community
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