How do designers collaborate with copywriters?

almost 5 years ago from , Designer

Hey there, I wanted to ask how do you manage copy in your workflow and collaborate with copywriters?

For instance, do you have your finalised mockups in InVision and then create a doc where you collaborate with copywriters and gather all the copy?


  • Ron SwansonRon Swanson, almost 5 years ago

    When I do it really poorly (and believe me, sometimes I do) - I do it like you suggest.

    When I do it good I work side by side with the copywriter from day 1.

    "Content is king" someone said - and that's the thing. You should start with content, not end with it. I love the approach with "Priority guides" for that - https://alistapart.com/article/priority-guides-a-content-first-alternative-to-wireframes

    5 points
  • Andrew CiobanasiuAndrew Ciobanasiu, almost 5 years ago

    We're in the process of evaluating GatherContent: https://gathercontent.com/

    Our biggest trip up is handling changes and edits that are made in the middle of any given process (design or development). 10+ page google docs (in some cases) quickly become aggravating for everyone who needs to work on them.

    We're most intrigued by their API. Fingers crossed.

    1 point
    • Ryan Hicks, almost 5 years ago

      Thanks for that link. Didn't know they existed. Going to look into this for our process.

      If you get a consensus on it let me know.

      1 point
  • Ryan Hicks, almost 5 years ago

    I asked this same question a while back and no one replied to it. I'm also curious other people's workflows with their copywriters.

    Currently our flow is to get the PO to write requirements for whatever it is we are working on, we assign a task for the design team to work on the feature and a task for the copywriter to start writing copy, we work in tandem on completing the design sometimes getting a few things done before she is completed or she gets it done first (which is the best case scenario!) and then we design around her copy. She writes copy in google docs and then shares the doc with the appropriate people that need the copy.

    There is new app that I've wanted to try but I don't think it really fits into our workflow very well.


    What I would love is a service that is a lot like INV but for copywriters. Where their info is stored online, we can leave comments, categorize copy, and all those copywriters and designers need to work together better.

    1 point
    • Vipul. MishraVipul. Mishra, almost 5 years ago

      Hey Ryan, good to see you here on Designer News.

      Yeah, I remember our email conversation and Scribble does exactly what you are expecting - store copy info online, leave comments, changelog, approval process, notifications and everything else you need.

      Would you mind telling what's stopping you to try Scribble and I promise, I'll add it to the product as soon as I can.

      Hoping to hear your feedback soon.

      Cheers! - Vipul

      0 points
  • Adam Brock, almost 3 years ago

    Hey there, if you're a Figma user, we've released a plugin called CopyDoc which allows you to easily manage your text via CSV or JSON import/export. Hope it helps someone coming across this thread!

    0 points
  • Ayala Jones, over 4 years ago

    That's why currently in my team, the designers are responsible of the interface and the copy. I used to work with product copywriters and I always saw them as designers who use words instead of interface components https://itunesadvisor.com/itunes-account-login/.

    0 points
  • gta files, almost 5 years ago

    https://gta5files.com/ free version for android download

    0 points
  • Benedict Harris, almost 5 years ago

    Most of the time for my projects (annual reports) there is no copywriter present. A proofreader might do one pass on the 'front end' text – the more designed, less technical section – at some point, but their corrections and suggestions are reviewed and very often go unused.

    0 points
  • Stacey Peter, almost 5 years ago

    I also had this question in my mind. I wanted to know the procedure of designing and all the norms that are followed to collaborate with the copywriters. please guide me! Mobdro thanks

    0 points
  • juhi sodanijuhi sodani, almost 5 years ago

    My experience is to involve the content writers early on in the process especially when you are building the information architecture. But obviously they'll be needing atleast the first wireframe to start working on the copy just so they understand the context, character limits and the flow of the product.

    0 points
  • Vipul. MishraVipul. Mishra, almost 5 years ago

    Hey Andrew, glad you care about designer<>copywriter collaboration in the process. Makes it two of us.

    We built World's first design/copy collaboration tool - Scribble for designers to share their designs, invite copy folks to replace dummy text with real ones and sync back final copy in local design.

    Scribble is being used by 40,000 design teams around the world to save hundreds of hours every month and, I'd love to hear what do you think. You can get your free trial here.

    Disclaimer: I'm one of the co-founder of Scribble.

    0 points
  • Nick MNick M, almost 5 years ago

    Obviously every case is different, but in our team we use Figma and share full comps with the writers. They can drop their copy right in a design.

    there are draw-backs though. We still need to have a copy doc for governance and localization, so we haven't removed the need for Word. but seeing Copy in context of a design is fantastic for design reviews.

    0 points
  • Jennifer Nguyen, almost 5 years ago

    When it's a small project, I do what you mention: just handoff the high fidelity prototypes. Quite frankly, our copywriting team is also busy writing documents and articles - not just product microcopy.

    When it's a bigger project, we work together since Day 1. It helps them because they have better context and understanding about what needs to be written. To avoid the inconvenience of back and forth, I highly recommend using collaboration tools like Balsamiq Cloud or Figma. Multiple people can work on the same document at the same time (essentially, as you design, the document gets automatically updated so you never have to worry about pushing/syncing things manually). I use Balsamiq for low-fidelity wireframes, and Figma for high-fidelity wireframes.

    0 points
  • Emir BukvaEmir Bukva, almost 5 years ago

    What kinds of things do you typically design?

    When I’m working on multi-step flows (say a checkout flow for example), I typically lead the effort. Meaning, I will first sketch out the flow to decided on all inputs that are required, what kinds of status I need to communicate back, figure out a sensible number of step for the interaction, and figure out what kinds of different states a user might end up in along the way. Then I’ll take that flow and make rough wireframes out of it. I’ll be the one that writes out the initial, crappy version of the text for all status messages, headlines, buttons, and occasional paragraph or two of instructions. Then I’ll share the wireframed flow with the editor/copywriter. InVision or Zeplin commenting features work well for that for me. Heck, sometimes I even print out the flow on paper and the editor marks it up. (Note, this doesn’t mean that I am not involving the editor from day 1. Day 1 happened before I started sketching the flow, when the team gathered to discuss theme, goals, and scope for what we’re doing. It’s the output of that meeting that serves as the input for me to begin work.)

    When I’m working on features that are light on flows and heavier on content (like a two-step process for example that’s a point of conversion, or a single page that provides a report for new data that’s available), the editor and I might agree that it makes sense for that particular feature to be content-driven. In which case they’ll write out the headline and copy that communicates the value prop of the product or of doing something within the product. They usually write that out in Google Doc (our org runs on G Suite), and I’ll take the draft of the content, lay it out and format it before sending it back to them for review. There’s usually a little bit of back and forth. Seeing their content on a actual page makes them tweak the length or structure more often than not.

    Sometimes it’s hard to tell which of us should take the first crack and it becomes clearer to both the editor and I only in retrospect. And there may be better ways of working that I haven’t tried.

    0 points
  • Cory MalnarickCory Malnarick, almost 5 years ago

    There isn't a great way of doing it that I know of.

    Currently, I just ask for their time and we jam on words while he sits next to me looking at sketch.

    0 points
  • Julien Pelletier, almost 5 years ago

    I always believed that the copy was part of the solution to the problem you're trying to solve. That's why currently in my team, the designers are responsible of the interface AND the copy. I used to work with "product copywriters" and I always saw them as designers who use words instead of interface components. So they were there from day 1 on a project.

    0 points
    • Christopher MurphyChristopher Murphy, almost 5 years ago

      This is 100% how we address this in our studio workflow. John Maeda’s Dedign in Tech report (2017, I think) listed ‘writing as the new unicorn skill’ and I totally agree with this.

      I was trained as a graphic designer, I left school with an E in my A Level English. When I started working on the web I taught myself to write, because it was a skill we really needed as a studio.

      In our studio design and writing go hand-in-hand. There’s no major division. I teach my students at Belfast School of Art about the importance of writing as a design element, so hopefully that message is getting through.

      0 points
  • Klark Dollson, almost 5 years ago

    When I do a design, I don’t always cooperate with a copywriter, and it’s not always good, since you don’t see the amount of information. It’s possible to make a cool design and there’s so much text that you don’t have anywhere. And it happens that you don’t even need a copywriter, https://777score.ph, did the design, and the data themselves pull out without interacting with the copywriter.

    -3 points