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How to Get the Writing Done

From product documentation to menu labels to onboarding flows, writing for apps and the web can feel challenging—even insurmountable. But it doesn’t have to be that way: let’s learn how to get the writing done.

A Google search for “writing for the web” yields scores of articles echoing the same old advice: clear headlines, scannable text, plain language over jargon, benefits over features. Good stuff, but it’s all about what to write … how, exactly, are designers supposed to produce that writing? We teach designers to code, to build interactive prototypes, to adopt increasingly complex and trendy project management processes, all while the design challenges themselves are becoming ever-more verbal, ephemeral, and, ultimately, grounded in writing and language. So … why aren’t we teaching them how to write?

From product documentation to nav labels to onboarding flows to chatbots, getting all the writing done on a design project can feel challenging—even insurmountable. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Let’s create designers who embrace, even love, that wonderfully flexible design material known as language.

This session covers the importance of separating design projects from writing assignments, of building efficient writing workflows, and of developing methods for productive editing, collaboration, version control, and delivery. Let’s stop struggling with writing and help our designers get the writing done.

Scott Kubie

I am the Lead Content Strategist at Brain Traffic and author of an upcoming book on design writing from A Book Apart. I’ve been leading training workshops on writing, communication, and content strategy since 2012. I’ve worked previously as User Interface Writer at Wolfram Research (makers of Mathematica and Wolfram|Alpha), as an independent UX designer, and as a UX writer at an iOS-focused digital agency.

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