A design's copy or content can make it break it. And no, a copywriter did not write this. So, take it from a UX designer!
The Main Idea:
Copywriters often are on the same time as designers - and knowing when to bring them on board to a design project can make life a lot easier.
The Chicken or the Egg dilemma
When I started working with copywriters as a freelancer, there was definitely a "discussion" about what comes first - the design or the copy. I would design something, and then the changed copy would be a headache. Additionally, the third factor was the stakeholder - "that doesn't sound right." Also, the new copy could sometimes come first, but then the functionality changes and the copy would be irrelevant.
The correct answer is neither. The answer is looping the copywriter synchronously with the designer.
Maintaining that relationship in an agile world
Keeping that relationship with your copywriter(s) is essential if you're in an agile environment. As you attend refinement sessions with your team, you'll find that functionalities change extremely often, and therefore copy must be updated in real-time. I have found using Invision's commenting system extremely helpful, but I also know these processes will become more streamlined as technology increases. I send the share links, the copywriter will write new copy in the new prototype, I place into Sketch, publish and resolve the comment.
Don't forget to make sure your copywriter is in contact with your stakeholder/product owner and/or business analyst. These members of the scrum team know your product inside and out, and those entities collaborating can ensure your copy is accurate for your users.
Handle the workflow differently if you're redesigning versus designing from scratch
Your copywriter's job's level of effort is relative to how invasive the redesign is. So, for example, if you're redesigning from scratch, new functionality and understanding is needed, but if you're just "reskinning" the page the copywriter may just want to reskin the copy too.
Visual language and written language are equally important
We all know that a great visual design with poor copy makes the entire design poor. And a poor visual design doesn't do justice for great copy. There needs to be a culture of equal importance to get to that level of success between the copywriter and the UX designer.
Copyright 2013-2021 Cooper Media Design. Some works in this portfolio were created during class time for educational purposes, and contain imagery that I do not own. I do not claim to own such imagery, but rather the layout and design principles applied.