Why I’ve changed from UX writer back to content designer

How I got to here

First, some background. When I first came into this industry, I was a content designer. I worked at the Valuation Office Agency, part of HMRC. My training began when I was introduced to the Government Digital Services (GDS) and GOV.UK. I trained on their early courses and moulded myself through their principles and enthusiasm.

UX writer or content designer?

Before I made any decisions, I wanted to see what the wider industry has to say on it. There were 3 articles I found particularly useful.

“There are similarities, but as you’ll see a content designer plays a much larger role in research, shaping the foundations of the content accordingly.”

Also, I found Why We’re Moving From Content Strategy to Content Design from Facebook. I was interested to see what a big, established company thinks on the matter. Although their article focuses on content strategist or content designer, the descriptions for content designer were really helpful:

“This new focus on the word “design” makes a lot of sense to us. After all, what we do is and always has been design work — from conceiving flows to creating information architectures to pairing the right design components with the right language. We want to be more open and direct about this to help others better understand both our function and value.

Our data confirmed that the broader job market is moving in this direction too.”

I also agree with what’s said about the job market. And speaking to friends in the industry, this was their perspective too.

“We proceed as content designers: people who design in words, concepts, systems and terminology, voice and tone, and who know how much these things matter in solving problems for the people who use our products around the world.”

By now, I’m feeling very strongly about content designer. But I just wanted to make sure this worked in comparison with UX writer. Then I found Yael Ben-David’s excellent UX writers, content strategists, and content designers — oh my! In her article she sums up content designers nicely:

“Content designers do everything UX writers do, and some of what content strategists do, but they are … more focused on the structure of the copy — how it appears on the page and how the content of different pages within the product relate to each other”

These articles were also really helpful:

Let’s change it

With all this information I found I was on the right track. UX writer has served me well the last couple years, but now it’s time to return to content designer. It better suits the work I’m doing right now.

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