The Comparison Between UX Writing and Visual Communications

UX Writing is a form of writing that’s purpose is to make convenience and a pleasurable experience for users. There are certain aspects of it that allow for it to be considered similar to, yet also different from visual communications as a whole. Whether you want to go into illustration, graphic design, typography, UX/UI, it’s crucial that when deciding to be a visual communications major, you are able to adapt to all different types of design, and be open minded about what direction you want to go in.

The difference the two face is that of what the purpose of each is. UX design is very human needs centered. As a UX writer you are working to serve the people using your product or service, and the decisions you make for your developments are very specific and intentional to what humans need. Visual communications isn’t so human needs centered, but is more for visual appearance and tells stories through graphics. As a visual communications major, you’re designing anything from posters, album covers, etc. All designed with intention as well, but more focused on personal style.

A connection between UX writing and visual communications is the broadness of each of them. UX design can be anything from the signs you see on the freeway, a push or pull door handle, or the way a phrase is said on the home screen of your favorite app. It all has to do with steps we take to navigate through something. Visual communications is broad in the sense that you can get a career in a wide variety of fields within the degree.

The second and main connection between UX writing and visual communications, is that UX writing is essentially a form of design, and visual communications is just an umbrella in which many different forms of design fall into. UX writing is a (large) component that contributes to an overall design. The point of these two types of design and a lot of other forms of design is to communicate a message. When you open an app, what’s the first thing you notice? Is it the color scheme, icons, or typefaces? Or is it the illustrations and graphics that are grabbing your attention? In order to have a successful design, your work needs to be able to reach the people who are looking at it or reading it, it needs to be able to connect from technology to a human, which is ultimately what UX writing does. In some situations, the combination of visuals and words is the perfect solution for a clear and concise message to be communicated, and while “Users perceive images fast, but those images should transfer a clear message for a positive user experience. Without words, there’s always a risk of double-meaning, wrong associations, stumbles in attempts to get the idea what’s going on at the page, etc. And that’s where text can transfer the idea clearer and make design more UX-friendly.” (https://usabilitygeek.com/how-ux-writing-can-help-create-good-design/)

Lindi Reka stated, “The visual communication designers work on the interpretation, organization, and visual presentation of messages. The user experience designer works on how to make this message useful, easily reachable to the user, interact in such a way that the final action is a pleasurable one. So, they both have a message to communicate.” (https://medium.com/@lindireka/what-do-ux-and-communication-design-have-in-common-b913ea30c143) Being able to communicate messages through visuals and design elements is the future of our world. With the increase in interaction between humans and technological content, it’s important to continue to adjust and improve the content in which users are being provided with. Combining the visual elements with user experience makes it so that the message is clear. They interwork together in order to provide the strongest content for users.

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Jordan Davies

Fourth Year Visual Communications Student at Seattle Pacific University