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Why Writing Is The Most Important Skill In Design

Updated: Nov 20, 2019

We’re living in a very visual age, with decreasing attention spans. You’d think that visual design trumps all in advertising. Or even in tech companies, where you’d think efficiency and functionality take precedence.

But with chat bots and social media, we are starting to interact with technology differently. It’s not just billboard ads and flyers anymore. These 3 reasons show why writing is the real trump card you need.

1. Sensitivity to context

Context is everything – designers need to take into account how users feel when they’re using the product, where they’ll be using it, and how do others look at them when they’re using it.

This is where writers excel, because the context of a product is essentially its narrative. There’s a setting, a plot, a conflict – and it all boils down to the resolution that users are looking for.

Constructing all these details help designers to craft a product that’s best suited to the users’ needs. Much like how a story needs 5 W’s and 1 H, product design needs these elements too, to comprehensively cater to their users.

2. Understanding the audience

Good writers come up with great stories and copy, because they know what their audience is looking for. And that’s something designers need.

When designers make products, it has to be with the user in mind. To do that, they need to understand their audience. What is it that users want?

Writers know this; they know that the way to touch the audience’s heart is to empathise with them, and get them to empathise with the characters. To make them feel.

How does that translate to design? It’s not just enough to know what you’re making. You have to know why – and that ‘why’ is how it becomes relevant to the audience.

3. Telling a compelling story

More often than not, users want to connect emotionally to the product or service they’re seeing. Users want to feel like the protagonist in a story, hacking through monsters on the way to achieve their goal.

Centring the product around a storyline makes it more appealing to the user. It makes your design the key to overcoming obstacles and achieving their goal.


So if you’re still on the fence about writing, stash this skill into your utility belt. You’ll need it to level up your design game!