What Is UX Content vs UI Copy? And Why Does It Matter?

Publish date:

Often, I'm so focused on traditionally published forms of writing (nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and script writing) that I overlook some more professionals genres. Recently, I came across the term "UX Content," and I didn't know what it meant. While researching, I found there's often confusion in UX content vs UI copy. So, I want to share what I've learned in this post.

Image placeholder title

Defining UX Content vs UI Copy

Here are the basic definitions:

  • UX Content = User experience content
  • UI Copy = User interface copy


Break Into Copywriting!

Image placeholder title

Writing is your passion. Why not make it your day job too?

Learn how to do just that in the Breaking Into Copywriting 101 writing course. In 4 weeks, writers will discover how to write a creative brief, the 4 copywriting guidelines, utilizing emotional triggers, the call to action, getting work as a copywriter, and more!

Click to continue.


But What's the Difference in UX Content vs UI Copy?

Fair question. And it can get confusing quick, especially since one expert will say one thing and another will wander in a different direction. But here's my best understanding: UI Copy is the labeling of buttons, tabs, and other common usage messages (like terms & conditions or error messages). On the other hand, UX Content helps users solve problems from a customer experience and/or avoid experiencing problems at all.

Another way to come at this is that UX focuses on creating a structure that creates a positive user experience. UI focuses on the look and feel.

Or one more: UX creates a vision of the customer experience. UI gets into the practical nuts and bolts of making that vision reality.

Why Does It Matter?

Another fair question. The one thing that UX content and UI copy have in common is that they're forms of writing for technology and software companies. I want to demystify the jargon and help you understand these terms, whether you're interested in pitching yourself as a freelancer or taking on a PT or FT writing/content job opportunity.

The great thing about writing is that there are so many opportunities available to writers who don't get hung up on writing in a specific genre. And UX content, in particular, is a newer and growing field of writing.


If you're interested in learning more, here are a few resources I found especially helpful:


Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community, specifically working on the Market Books, WritersMarket.com, and maintaining the Poetic Asides blog. He loves all forms of writing. Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


Plot Twist Story Prompts: Without a Trace

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character leave without a trace.


Vintage WD: The Truth about True Crime

In this article from July 2000, true crime novelist and former New York Times correspondent Lisa Beth Pulitzer shares with us some key insights for breaking into the true crime genre.


New Agent Alert: Barb Roose of Books & Such Literary Management

New literary agent alerts (with this spotlight featuring Barb Roose of Books & Such Literary Management) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.


Evoking Emotion in Fiction: Seven Pragmatic Ways to Make Readers Give a Damn

Evoking emotion on the page begins with the man or woman at the keyboard. Dustin Grinnell serves up seven straightforward tactics for writing tear-jerking stories that make your readers empathize with your characters.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 546

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a spooky poem.


Learn Better World-Building Strategies Through World of Warcraft and the New Shadowlands Expansion

WD editor and fantasy writer Moriah Richard shares five unique ways in which writers can use World of Warcraft to better build their worlds—without playing the game.


Seven Tips for Intuitive Writing: The Heart-Hand Connection

Award-winning author Jill G. Hall shares her top tips for how to dive into your latest project head-first.


Bearing vs. Baring vs. Barring (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use bearing vs. baring vs. barring on with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.