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Translate UX-copy

Translate UX-copy

When we say ‘UX’, what do you think that might stand for? Elon Musk’s love-child’s middle name? A snazzy new app for childcare? The new way of addressing non-binary gender forms? The answer is quite prosaic: UX stands for ‘user experience’ which generates a very unique type of copy.

What does a UX copywriter need to think about?

User experience (UX) copy is what people see when they use your website or app: they don’t usually give it much thought, but those buttons, error messages, forms, and other bits of text have to be word perfect. No matter how good-looking your app, poorly written copy will put the dampers on the user experience. Here are three points that a UX copywriter should always bear in mind.

Format

UX copy must be clear, correct, and easy to understand, and when used in apps and mobile websites, it must fit the layout. We mean this quite literally: one word too many, and the message may not fit onto the user’s phone screen.

Language

UX copy is usually written by the app developer or programmer; after all, they designed the buttons, so it makes sense for them to do the words as well. But developers and programmers are not copywriters, and sometimes make linguistic errors, so we recommend having your UX copy thoroughly checked by an editor. All too often, we see user experiences marred by messages such as “logon to site”, which should read “log on to site”.

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User experience

Some users will turn a blind eye to linguistic errors, unprofessional though these may be. But it’s really irritating when you don’t know what’s expected of you, or what to do when you get an error message. A UX copywriter uses words to steer users gently through the website or app.

For example, if you just write “Incorrect password”, you’re dumping the problem in the user’s lap. But if you say “Your password should contain at least one capital letter and a number,” and offer them the choice of trying again or resetting their password, this is a lot more helpful.

UX copy translation

If your UX copy is written and you have all your ducks in a row, it may be time to start marketing to an international audience. And that’s when it makes sense to bring in a professional translator.

Our UX translators are experienced at writing and translating user-friendly copy for websites and software, and can decide on the best approach in their language. We’ve already helped clients with challenges like these, such as the navigation app Flitsmeister, the electric scooter platform Dott, and the work instruction software SwipeGuide.

Need help with writing, editing or translating your UX copy? We can ensure your customers have the perfect user experience. Contact us for more details.

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‘Jullie hebben superwerk geleverd! Dit zijn altijd lastige teksten qua woordgebruik en vooral tone of voice. Ik ben er heel blij mee!’

Malu Knippenberg Brand Manager, Moët Hennessy

‘Working with Het Vertaalcollectief over a two year period has been a pleasure. They're quick, trustworthy and able to bring content to a next level. We relied on them for numerous occasions e.g. speeches, books and website. I would definitely recommend them.’

Loes Wijnstekers Head of Communications Amsterdam ART

‘Complimenten voor dit grondige werk! Ben onder de indruk. Mooi hoor hoe het collectief in een aantal jaar enorm is gegroeid in kwaliteit. Ook namens de redactie dank!’

Wim Amels Coordinator fonds- en sponsorwerving VPRO
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