UX writing

The only UX writing terms you need to know

UX writing is full of jargon. Get a cheat sheet you can refer back to whenever a word has you going to Google.
ux writing terms
ux writing terms
In: UX writing

There are a buncha buzzwords in the UX content world.

Before they hit you like a swarm of flies on a windshield, I wanted to give you a cheat sheet you can refer back to whenever a word has you going to Google.

Without further adoโ€ฆ ๐Ÿ‘‡

A/B testing

An A/B test compares two versions of something against each other to determine which one performs better. One version is deemed โ€œA,โ€ and the other is deemed โ€œB.โ€ You can A/B test everything from the copy in a button to the organization of elements on the screen. But the key is to only test one variable at a time.

Disclaimer: As a UX writer, you wonโ€™t be responsible for setting up or programming A/B tests. But you might be responsible for coming up with ideas of different variations to test, forming hypotheses behind why the new version will move metrics.

a/b test example


The art and science of making user interfaces usable by people with visual, auditory, physical, or other differences.

Alt text

Secret copy that describes an image in a few words. Itโ€™s usually coded and not visible inside the product. Alt text is important for accessibility.

alt text example

Call-to-action (CTA)

A short command that directs the user to the desired action on a screen.

Learn how to write buttons (aka calls-to-action)

Cognitive load

Cognitive load is everything youโ€™re trying to hold in your head at once. Good design lowers cognitive load.


Content hierarchy

The process of strategically ordering the info on a screen, so the user understands the most important points first.

Empty state

Think of an empty box โ€” itโ€™s the same thing. Empty states provide context when thereโ€™s nothing to display just yet.

Error message

A message that shows up to tell the user something went wrong and needs to be corrected.


Mental shortcuts that allow people to solve problems and make judgments quickly and efficiently. Kinda like cheat-sheets.

Information architecture (IA)

Simply put, the skeletal structure of all your content.


Copy, but shorter and in digital experiences. Microcopy is mostly words and phrases, not paragraphs or sentences.

Push notification

Messages that are pushed to the user. Push notifications show up on a device, not inside the app.

push notification

Style guide

A rule book for how to write for a companyโ€™s products. A style guide includes rules for things like grammar, punctuation, and word choice.


User-triggered messages that provide extra info about a page, element, or feature.

tooltip example


The measurement of how easy it is for a user to get things done in a digital product.


You, me, and the guy next door ๐Ÿ‘‹ A user is anyone who uses a digital product on a phone, tablet, or computer.

User research

Interviewing users to uncover opportunities to improve digital products.

UX (user experience)

The experience a user goes through in a digital product.

UX writing

Using words to design helpful, usable, and informative product experiences to create a conversation between the product and the user.

UI (user interface)

All the visual stuff. UI design is what makes digital product "pretty."

Voice & tone

Voice is the product's personality and embodies how they talk. Tone changes based on whom youโ€™re talking to, but stays within the same personality, or voice.

Happy UX writing ๐Ÿ––

Written by
Slater Katz
As founder of The UX Gal, my mission is to make learning UX writing fantastically-simple and landing a job easy. I've held UX writing jobs at companies like Netflix, Fitbit, Verizon, Afterpay, & more.
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