Op-Ed by Sarah Selcer
Before this summer, I never thought about how much content writing went into running a high-tech company, let alone creating a single webpage. Turns out, it’s a lot! As a university student from the United States, my writing experience is limited to research papers. When I was given the unique opportunity to intern at the Wix Headquarters in Tel Aviv, I was exposed to many other forms of writing, particularly content writing. Since my major is International Relations, my internship with the Writers’ Guild at Wix HQ was a step out of my comfort zone, but it’s been an incredibly rewarding and beneficial learning experience.
In my journey at Wix, I have been tasked with shadowing different writers to learn about all the moving parts that go into writing for a high-tech company and, more specifically, at Wix.com.
There are 6 main writing teams that make up the Writers’ Guild:
Web Content writers
Knowledge Base writers
Internal Branding writers
These 6 teams are comprised of over 75 people who create the content for Wix, and the work they do covers a wide range of writing styles and purposes. Here’s a brief look at what each of these writing teams does at Wix:
Marketing is perhaps the most well-known form of professional writing. (Who hasn’t seen one of the ads that pop up on YouTube when you're just about to watch something?) After shadowing the marketing team, I now understand how those ads get there — all the way from the start of production to the end result on your screen. Tons of those brief promotional clips are written by people here in the Writers’ Guild at Wix. I learned that one of the tricks of writing good marketing content is to understand and then write just what the viewer wants — or at least what you want them to want! Marketing writers try to get inside the head of viewers and show them what they want to see — and then suggest a few extra offerings that might be a good match. At Wix, the marketing team targets people who’ve shown an interest in creating a website or people they think might benefit from the product. Without writers, you might still have ads, but you wouldn't get ads that are informative, memorable and fun to read and watch.
For those of you who are wondering, UX stands for User Experience. Those are writers that write the text you see on your screen while using the Wix editor and Wix products. UX writers create everything from welcome screens and popups to error messages and notifications. This text is essential and ensures that users have a great experience, meaning that everything on the website flows and makes sense for them.
UX writers conduct research and often speak with users to help them develop the best possible language for their audience. For example, if a UX writer must decide whether a checkout button should say “Place Your Order” or “Complete Order,” they might investigate which phrase users prefer and respond to best. Done right, UX writing helps users succeed and have an enjoyable experience using a product. This writing internship has taught me that the most effective writing is all about the details, and that those details make all the difference in creating a great experience for readers.
Web Content Writers
The third team I shadowed was Wix ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence). This team uses AI to automatically create websites for users. With just a few questions, Wix ADI learns about the user and their business and then instantly creates a one-of-a-kind website, completely customized to their needs. Wix’s super-smart algorithm takes everything the user shares plus any information available on the web to create the personalized website. Whether you're a pottery designer or someone making craft beers in your basement, ADI tailors the site to you and or your industry. The talented ADI content team uses extensive market research to create unique sites across hundreds of industries. Now that you know how ADI works, go try it out for yourself and see how magical it really is!
The Localization team is in charge of localizing or translating text on the Wix website so users across the world can comfortably build websites in their native language. As someone spending time abroad for my internship, I definitely appreciate the importance of giving people information in the language they know best! And of course, each language has its own nuances and implications, meaning localizing text — translating the words while preserving the intended tone and information — is more interesting than direct translation sounds. (Spoiler: Google translate doesn't really cut it!) Wix is currently available in 17 different languages and is adding more soon.
Knowledge Base Writers
Speaking of foreign languages, have you ever read an instruction manual and felt like you were deciphering text in a strange tongue? Too often, knowledge base or help sections are impossible to understand. This summer, I’ve learned that — especially in the tech field — high level and industry-specific language has to be translated for general audiences, just like foreign languages do! (Remember when I told you what UX stood for?) Knowledge Base writers are the people who write the Wix Help Center. When a Wix users is a little confused or stuck, they can check out the Wix Help Center, learn how to fix the issue and then go happily on your way? (You can thank a Knowledge Base Writer later.)
Internal Branding Writers
If all this talk about the writing for the outward face of Wix didn’t already convince you why high-tech companies need great writers, think about what happens internally! Not everyone who is well-versed in websites and computers has had time to develop their writing skills and at a global company like Wix, the employees come from dozens of countries of origin. The Internal Branding writers are tasked with writing presentations for company updates, drafting company-wide emails and reporting on internal affairs that need to be communicated to the all Wix employees.
Websites and Beyond
I might never look at a website the same way again, just like a baker can’t look at a cake without thinking about all the steps that must have gone into its creation. Thanks to my summer at Wix, I (and, hopefully, you) now know that a lot of different kinds of content writing go into a single website — and even more goes into a company. And while this critical part of the tech industry makes so much sense, professional tech writers are often overlooked.
I’ve talked here about just 6 of the major teams that play a role in writing at Wix. Wix also has blog writers, social media mavens and more. I learned how MUCH text there is at a company like Wix — and how much thought goes into choosing each word. I also got to see first-hand how significant this text is to the success of the company as a whole — in marketing the product, in helping users know what to do and in building a strong base of loyal, happy customers. As you can see, writers are pretty integral to the high-tech world. Without writers, you have no content and without content, you have no business!