UX Writing, UX Copywriting, Content Strategy, and Content Design are relatively recent terms. Hardly anyone is clear about what these jobs mean or what they consist of. The confusion reaches such a point that many online articles use these terms indistinctly as if they were synonyms.
They’re not synonyms.
Someone who works in UX writing doesn’t do the same job that someone who works in content strategy. Copywriting and UX writing are not the same either. I’m going to explain these terms:
A UX writer is someone who writes for user experience. UX writers write the words we read or hear when we use a digital product. Their texts must be clear, concise, and useful. Their goal is to help and guide the user.
UX copywriting is a term that some people use as a synonym for UX writing. From my point of view, it doesn’t make much sense. Copywriting means writing for advertising materials. Copywriting is about getting attention and attracting customers. It’s not user experience, it’s marketing. By this I don’t mean it’s neither better nor worse, it’s just not the same thing. UX writers don’t advertise or sell or market.
If it’s copywriting it’s not UX. The following graph explains the differences between both terms.
Content strategy focuses on strategy. Content strategy refers to planning and managing content—not just text—for websites, apps or digital services or products. Sometimes, particularly in small companies, content strategists may also create content. But their job is not to create, for that they rely on other professionals. Their job is to analyse and establish systems and strategies.
Content design is about design. It’s a work that sometimes mixes creation and strategy, but it’s not only about writing. Websites and apps include different types of contents: texts, images, animations, video, sound, etc. Content design is about creating all those contents.
The confusion around this term comes from the fact that a few years ago—before the term UX writing was coined—the British government popularised the use of “content design” to talk about the planning, writing, and management of online texts. I don’t know why they chose a term that was already in use for something else. Although UX writing is a more current, specific, and clear term, there‘re companies that still use “content design” instead of “UX writing”.