After 40 hours of learning time and practice projects, it was time to put my skills to the test on a final project before earning my UX writing certification.
I recently completed the 'UX Writing Fundamentals' course through the UX Writers Collective. In this online class, I learned how to conduct a content audit, the role of a UX writer on a product design team, and the importance of this emerging field. Throughout the course, I worked on practice exercises where I acted as the UX writer during the development of an app. I was responsible for writing all content within the app and defending my content decisions.
At the end of the course, I was given designed UI screens and had to write new content for each screen. Since I worked on background tasks for the app throughout the course, like creating a content guide and doing basic user research, I was familiar with the objectives of the client.
Project: Write Onboarding Content For Handshake App
A new app called Handshake is being created to connect freelancers looking for work to business owners who need assistance. As the primary user, Freelancers can use the app to find work, connect with business owners, keep track of working hours, and collect payments. Secondary users (Business Owners) can post jobs, send payments, set project budgets, and approve work.
Defining Voice And Tone
Before writing any content, I completed a few exercises to define the voice and tone for the copy.
Describe the emotions your users might feel while they’re using Handshake.
Empowered: Confident: Efficient
How should the text in the app sound?
Helpful: Both audience groups should be able to seamlessly accomplish tasks Friendly: Remove the barrier of formality so both user types feel comfortable Conversational: Write like people speak, using contractions is acceptable
Should we write using a different voice depending on whether the user is a
Freelancer or a Business Owner?
While the overall voice for the product should stay the same, the tone can change
depending on whether the user is a Freelancer or a Business Owner. Our personas
indicate that our primary user (Freelancers) may be more younger and more tech
savvy. However, this user does not have a lot of experience working as a freelancer
and may appreciate copy that makes him/her feel more confident.
Our secondary user may not have as much experience using an online payment
platform, may be older, and likes simple experiences. This person may need more
instructional text or may appreciate more explanations for why they are being
asked for information.
Creating A Glossary Of Terms
After defining voice and tone, I was tasked with creating a terminology guide. I had to think of 8-10 words that should be consistently used in the app and define acceptable use cases for those words. Here are a few examples:
Sign in/Sign out: These terms tend to be more common than log in/log out now,
adds to the more conversational tone, and may be easier for less-experienced users
Request payment (vs. Send bill): Use a soft tone to kindly ask the Business Owner
to pay a Freelancer is more polite and less intrusive than 'send bill'
I also described terms that should not be used within the app because they did not meet the brand guidelines or were not terms that were commonly used by our user personas, like:
Subcontractor (vs. Freelancer): This term can make a user feel like they are
removed from the project or company. For a more inclusive experience, refer to
users by their names, not their title or role in the project.
Project Copy Examples
On the welcome screen, I thought it was important to welcome users to the app and let them know what they would be expected to do next.
The screen below is used in the Business Owner workflow when they are setting up a new project. Per the terminology guide, I changed '1099 workers' to 'freelancer'. I thought 'email address' was a redundant phrase and shortened it to 'email'. Lastly, I wanted to call-to-action button copy to match the actionable word in the headline copy.