Diploma in UX Design & Writing
The Blackford Centre
Break into UX design and
And get hired.
writing. And get hired.
- Are you a designer who wants to understand the world of user experience better?
- Maybe you want to write 'micro copy' (the tiny but essential phrases found in apps)?
- Perhaps you're a writer who want to get into UX writing?
- Or you work for a company that wants to improve its users' experience?
If that's you, read on.
The demand for people who understand User Experience (UX) is growing. But there's a shortage of skilled professionals.
This combination of big demand and limited supply makes it an attractive role for anyone who has the right skills to succeed.
And right now you can get a foot in the door - because UX design and writing is still in its ascendancy.
Massive corporations such as Facebook, Amazon, Uber and Google are hiring UX people.
And the opportunities to work at prestigious companies will grow as more businesses realise that great copy contributes to a good user experience.
So what does a UX designer/writer do?
If you’ve ever admired the clever copy in your favourite app, laughed at the quirky welcome messages in your software, or grimaced at website error messages, then you’ve already seen UX in action.
UX stands for 'user experience'. And the goal of a UX designer is to help people get the best out of an app or website. A UX writer uses words to help users navigate their way through their apps, software, websites or phone.
UX writers craft the copy for all user interfaces, but that’s not their only job. It also often falls to the UX writer to put together user 'personas' and tone of voice guidelines. We write help manuals and FAQ sections, and we create the copy for transaction emails such as order confirmations and shipping notifications. And design is an essential part of that.
Sometimes UX writing is described as 'micro copy', but it also involves more detailed content such as user guides or FAQs.
What's important is that your content must work with the overall design and layout of all user interfaces.
Principles of UX Design
Principles of UX writing
Why do companies need UX designers and writers?
Getting users to adopt your travel app or cookery website is essential to its success. If people don’t use it consistently your program will fail, no matter how good you think it is.
That’s why great product design and user experience UX are so important.
UX people use design and words to improve the user's experience and make them fall in love with the product.
Our aim is to help people understand how to use the product, to point them in the right direction when they have a problem, and ultimately to make that product so important they can't live without it.
What product do you use regularly? Fitbit? Amazon? Dropbox? Uber? These apps make your life simple. We hardly notice the words, because they meet our needs. And that's due to the structure, design and words.
Every screen and each word needs to be consistent with the company’s brand identity. Is the company quirky and fun, or should it be as solid as the Bank of England?
Your words need to be in line with the language that will resonate with the target user. Are the users young or elderly? Are they Twitter users? You need to understand their lifestyle.
You get a role in product development
As a UX person you'll have a major role in the design of the product. Why? Because you will get into the reader's head, like no one else. Coders and designers sometimes focus too much on beauty or technical issues. UX people understand humans.
The UX person plays a big role in the success of any product. That applies whether a company is only just launching their software, they want to improve their onboarding messaging, or they want to understand what improvements users are looking for. It’s a tough task, but it makes the role of us UX folks important.
UX writers can sit in different departments
As a UX writer you may work in the marketing or content department, or within product management and design department. It depends on how the organisation is structured and on the responsibilities involved.
You may work mainly on either design or writing . Or you may be in a graphic and web design function. Perhaps your role will focus on product development and user testing and research.
Whatever department you sit in, you have to work with multiple different functions. You're at the centre of product design, and will collaborate with marketing, content, product, and even sales.
The most important, focus, however, will be on getting to know users, understanding what they like and dislike, how best to communicate with them, and how you can make things easier, smoother, and more enjoyable.
Who moves into UX?
You may come from design, writing, content marketing or journalism. Your skills at crafting copy for different audiences will come to the fore here.
Alternatively you may have started life as a product manager or designer before moving on to UX. Many companies still don’t employ UX people. And few UX writers know how to write UX copy. That means the job of writing often falls to the UX designers or product management.
As a result some designers rightly feel the need to upskill themselves, so they feel more at ease when called upon to write copy.
Getting used to data analysis
IT businesses, where many UX people work, are focused on data. It tells them whether their users are growing in number, and what the average revenue per user is.
So you'll have to deal with data. You'll track the performance of your copy to gain insights into what resonates with users, and what is likely to lead to a page bounce or churn ('churn' is where people discover a product, try it, and then stop using it).
What skills do I need to succeed?
To be a UX designer / writer you need to be passionate about two things: words and design. That's because you’ll be working with web and graphic designers, as well as UX writers and marketers, to create the ideal online experience for your users.
Take our course and you'll gain an understanding of product design principles, how to apply UX design principles, and how to tailor copy to suit your target audience.
We can teach you everything you need to know. Painlessly. And in a fun way.
What can I expect to earn?
Most companies don’t state the salary of the jobs on offer. But on the Indeed recruitment website you can see posts advertised at: £35k - £45k, £40k - £60k, and £70k - £120k. Go check it out.
If you lack experience you may have to work 'down in the weeds' for a couple of years. But it will be fun and challenging. You will learn huge amounts. The pace will be fast. And you'll have a great team of smart people around you.
From then on you can brag about your experience and negotiate with major companies when the time comes to change your job.
Expect to get calls from head hunters looking to fill difficult-to-place roles. At that point you're looking at serious money.
Why learn with the Blackford Centre?
At the Blackford Centre, we've been delivering writing courses to students since 1994.
We're accredited by ABC Awards, a certification body authorised by OFQUAL, the UK's qualifications body.
You'll be able to hang a printed certificate on your wall, and add a 'Certified UX Designer / Writer' logo to your CV and website. These prove your skill in UX and will help you get noticed by employers.
And we're flexible. You can start the course whenever you want. You study at your own pace. And you can take as much time as you need to complete the modules.
All the material you need
We provide a wealth of learning materials to support you with the course. There are 19 videos and 27,000 words of content included in the course. You can study the course online, and get the content delivered straight to your door.
The course includes an online edition with videos, checklists and guides, plus an optional printed edition delivered to your door
Friendly, personalised support
You'll have lots of support. We provide you with your own personal tutor who will be working as a UX writer and will mark all your assignments using their industry experience and knowledge.
You'll also have the phone number of a named Course Advisor who will help you with any questions or uncertainties you may have.
We're also there for you when you complete the course; we provide all our students with advice on how to get a job or set up as a freelancer.
Course modules: What you’ll learn
The Diploma course covers everything you need to learn to make the transition into UX writing.
The course is structured into 13 modules, which introduce you to the concept of UX design and writing, explain writing tone and style, and go into depth on UX and UI design and principles. This course will also help you:
- Understand your users and target market
- Learn how to tailor your design and content for different channels and platforms
- Use data to explain your decisions
- Effectively collaborate with other departments
Once you’ve learnt the main principles involved with UX writing, the final two modules will provide practical advice on how to find both freelance and in-house jobs as a UX writer.
Time to get startedDoing the Diploma course will give you a qualification in UX design and writing, as well as practice in design and, professional reviews of your work, and advice on getting into the profession. Now is the time to sign up for the course.
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