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Episode Info: Andy Welfle and Michael J. Metts are on a mission to empower word people. Specifically the people who craft words as part of product design teams. Their new book, Writing Is Designing: Words and the User Experience, shows UX content creators how to apply design principles to their writing craft. Andy Welfle Michael J. Metts We talked about: their backgrounds at Facebook, Adobe, and Allstate how their collaborations on workshops at Confab and other conferences led to their book the book's origins as a voice-and-tone project and its quick evolution to a comprehensive UX writing book their mission to to empower content people no matter where they come from to become accomplished UX writers the importance of going beyond UX writing tasks to a broader interest in the user experience the importance of having an owner of the content in any product or project companies' tendency to underestimate the need for UX writing talent the challenges of creating a smooth, consistent user experience when so many people are contributing writing to digital products the need to be more intentional about the words in products, to not think of them as inconsequential things that anyone can write how to work with teams by building relationships and contributing along with everyone else the importance of seeing problems that arise as teaching moments, not errors to be fixed or an opportunity for rules to be applied the use of words as design material how pushing to integrate writers as early and as deeply as possible in design projects is a worthy struggle how writers can contribute to design teams, but also how hard it is for writers who are new to the design world to feel like they can jump in how older companies with legacy staffing issues may have more trouble adopting new practices like integrating writers in their design teams than newer startups how writing can be practiced by anyone on a design team, not necessarily a dedicated writer how writing is an important skill for any designer to develop the importance of integrating writing into the design process, not treating it as an add-on the benefits of valuing writing skills as much as visual design skills when hiring UX designers how UX writing is a distinct type of writing, different from business correspondence how the current role of the UX writer, while challenging, is uniquely rewarding the importance of highlighting the differences between writing interface copy and other types of copy (marketing, advertising, technical, etc.) Andy's Bio When Andy was eight, he wanted to be a poet and a paleontologist. Twenty-seven years later, he is neither, but he uses those skills in his day job as a content strategist on Adobe’s product design team — writing under huge constraints, and uncovering artifacts from big, old software interfaces. When he’s not working, he’s creating podcasts and zines about one of his favorite topics: wooden pencils. Find him in San Francisco with his wife an...
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