The Indispensable Human Taste: Why Generative AI Cannot Replace UX Writers

Manasi Hukku
3 min readJul 12, 2023

As Generative AI continues to advance, there is ongoing debate about whether it can replace the role of UX writers. While AI has undeniably made significant strides in natural language generation, there are several crucial reasons Generative AI cannot fully take on the role of UX writers.

Human taste is the ability to identify quality

To understand quality we need to look critically at: materials that are fit for purpose, ergonomy that considers audience needs, effective use of affordances, usability, accessibility, harmonic color choices, aesthetic choices that elicit emotion, intentional visual hierarchy — amongst others. Taste is in the observer, quality is in the object. The concept of taste becomes more productive when framed objectively around quality, and in ways that are measurable or at least comparable.

Our discerning taste shapes our creative prowess and capacity to craft exceptional user experiences. This very taste serves as the bedrock of what makes us great at what we do. As we strive to impart this taste to AI, there exists a considerable gap to bridge before it achieves the level of expertise and refinement that we embody.

Empathy and Emotional Intelligence

Empathy lies at the core of UX writing, allowing writers to connect with users on an emotional level.

Understanding human emotions, cultural nuances, and context is a uniquely human capability that cannot be replicated by AI.

UX writers hold the ability to craft content that resonates with users, evokes emotions, and fosters a sense of trust and understanding. Generative AI, although capable of mimicking emotions, lacks the genuine human perspective and empathy necessary for creating truly impactful experiences.

Creativity and Innovation

UX writing is an inherently creative process that requires out-of-the-box thinking and innovation. It involves storytelling, and reviewing the content for messaging, tone, language, compliance, application, and consistency.

While Generative AI can generate text based on predefined patterns or prompts, it lacks the ability to innovate and bring fresh perspectives to the table. UX writers excel at thinking critically, adapting to changing contexts, legal constraints, and injecting creativity into their work, which ultimately contributes to developing memorable and engaging user experiences.

Contextual Understanding and Adaptability

Successful UX writing goes beyond mere words on a screen. It involves understanding the user journey, how a feature is going to sit on a product roadmap, sizing up a new ask, brainstorming, and realigning existing priorities.

UX writers excel at creating content that is relevant, informative, and contextually appropriate. Generative AI, although capable of processing large amounts of data, may struggle to capture the intricate details and subtle nuances required to provide truly tailored and adaptive user experiences.

Ethical Considerations and Human Judgment

UX writers play a crucial role in upholding ethical considerations and protecting user trust and safety. They carry the ability to make ethical judgments, navigate cultural sensitivities, and align content with brand values. Generative AI, on the other hand, lacks the moral compass and human judgment necessary to address complex ethical dilemmas. The expertise and human oversight of UX writers is essential for making sure that user experiences are respectful, inclusive, and adhere to ethical guidelines.

Collaboration and Iteration

UX writing is often a collaborative process that involves working closely with designers, researchers, and product teams. It requires effective communication, active listening, and the ability to iterate based on user feedback and insights. While Generative AI can benefit in generating alternative copy variations, it lacks the dynamic interaction and iterative nature that comes naturally to human collaboration. UX writers are adept at incorporating feedback, adapting content based on user testing, and continuously refining their work to achieve optimal results.

Generative AI undoubtedly has its strengths and can be a valuable tool that complements and enhances the creative process. However, the unique blend of empathy, creativity, adaptability, ethical judgment, and collaborative skills possessed by human UX writers cannot be replicated by AI alone. The human taste remains an indispensable element in crafting exceptional user experiences that resonate on an emotional level and meet users where they are.

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Manasi Hukku

I harbour a love for writing. From human connections, smart machines to great minds; you’ll find it all here. Find me - https://www.linkedin.com/in/manasihukku/