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Ux writing. Building experiences with words

The presentation I gave at Meet Content meetup in Cracow, on January 10, 2017.

Is UX writing about writing only? What’s necessary to support design with the right words? Insights that will help you build foundations for your writing in the GUI (graphical user interface). You’ll discover:
• Why your brand’s voice is the core for building experiences.
• How to create messages that don’t stress out anybody.
• How to ensure your GUI labels are clear and complete.
You can also count on some proven tips for wordsmithery.

Polish version: https://www.slideshare.net/dr0dr/ux-writing-tajniki-i-techniki

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Ux writing. Building experiences with words

  1. 1. UX writing building experiences with words Wojciech Aleksander Meet Content, January 2017
  2. 2. Content strategist Product content manager at GetResponse UX writing & tech comm Usability consultant Interaction designer Technical writer & information architect DTP Author and editor Dynatrace, Compuware, Speednet, Polish Academy of Sciences, Strefa Startup Gdynia, SWPS University Hello, my name is Wojtek
  3. 3. UX writing? Creating of an intuitive and a clear bridge between users and your page, app, brand, product, or idea. The opposite of the marketing waffle. Getting to the point. Writing that is purpose driven, it’s helpful, and facilitates communication. The making of a usable dialogue between the user and the system. When the user understands what the system is saying, then they’re getting along. Using language to help our users understand the product, to enhance their experience with the product, and to communicate the brand voice. It's a kind of writing when you help readers accomplish their goals while having in mind their emotions, vocabulary, and their way of thinking.
  4. 4. The magic formula doesn’t exist ¯_(ツ)_/¯
  5. 5. Writing is easy
  6. 6. Writing is easy not
  7. 7. 1000 minutes – 2 work days – non-stop A mix of art, words, and insight 100 messages 5-10 minutes each
  8. 8. A mix of art, words, and insight 15—35 strings or even 80 per single element
  9. 9. source: Designthe Web A mix of art, words, and insight
  10. 10. If you don’t know what you need to communicate, how will you know if you succeed? Margot Bloomstein
  11. 11. Who we are, who we aren’t brand voice This, but not that
  12. 12. Dating app • Simple but not shallow • Positive but not overdone • Empathetic but not overprotective • Welcoming but not pushy • Giving hope but not buttering up Handy men inc. • Approachable but not desperate • Experienced but not worn out • Honest but not naive • Confident but not patronizing Who we are, who we aren’t brand voice
  13. 13. Your friends at Slack
  14. 14. Your friends at Slack
  15. 15. Match your message to context tone of voice message reaction thinking feelings context specific situation
  16. 16. source: voiceandtone.com Match your message to context tone of voice
  17. 17. Lead, instruct, correct microcopy Don’t be afraid to use more than 3 words in the GUI. It’s about user task and goal. Ditch the artificial limitations
  18. 18. Lead, instruct, correct microcopy
  19. 19. Lead, instruct, correct microcopy
  20. 20. Rescue, explain, don’t blame error messages
  21. 21. Rescue, explain, don’t blame error messages
  22. 22. Rescue, explain, don’t blame error messages
  23. 23. The best error message is the one… you don’t have to write
  24. 24. • Course of knowledge, the silent sense killer • The road to hell is paved with jargon • Lorem ipsum is pure evil. Amet • Mind the gender • Mind the plurals (0, 1, many) • Just say no to passive voice • Consider using plain language (forget everything they taught you at school) • Say first, sketch second • Practice brevity • Don’t trust your first version (the fourth one might be the best) • Always check yourself (read aloud) UX writing axioms
  25. 25. Lorem ipsum to hell (bonus dolor) Event title Time and date Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Sed at pharetra sem, ut vehicula felis. Sed convallis, mi et tempus aliquet, tortor turpis volutpat turpis, et laoreet lorem tellus nec erat. Nullam tristique lacinia porttitor. Vivamus sit amet metus porta, pharetra elit sit amet, tincidunt elit. Sed cursus vestibulum augue, eu ultricies nunc interdum ultrices. No content, filler text Uchwała Krajobrazowa Gdańska - konsultacjespołeczne 7 czerwca, 17.00 - warsztaty dla mieszkańców ; EuropejskieCentrum Solidarności sala 5 8 czerwca, 17.00 - warsztaty dla przedsiębiorców; EuropejskieCentrum Solidarności sala 5 9 czerwca, 17.00 - warsztaty dla rad dzielnic; Zarząd Dróg i Zieleni w Gdańsku, ul. Wyspiańskiego 9A Serdecznie zapraszamy Państwa do aktywnego udziału w konsultacjach i pomocy przy tworzeniu Uchwały Krajobrazowej Gdańska. Real text, case IIReal text, case I Festiwal Gdańsk Dźwiga Muzę 2016 August 29, 2016, 09:00 Scena Muzyczna Gdańskiego ArchipelaguKultury w dniach 29 - 31 lipca 2016 rokuorganizuje ósmą edycję Festiwalu Gdańsk Dźwiga Muzę! W programie wydarzenia są trzy dni i trzy noce prawdziwego muzyczno - tanecznego święta! W dniach festiwalowych Plac Zebrań Ludowych (znajdujący się w samym "sercu" miasta Gdańska), przekształca się w miasteczko festiwalowe ze Strefami Tanecznymi, Muzyczną Sceną Główną, Graffiti, strefą chillout i wieloma innymi przestrzeniami różnych aktywności. Jest to jedyny festiwal o takiej formule w Polsce, a drugi w Europie.
  26. 26. Design for real life, 2016, Eric Meyer, Sara Wachter-Boettcher The content strategy toolkit, 2015, Meghan Casey Nicely said, 2015, NicoleFenton, Kate Kiefer Lee Read more…
  27. 27. UX writing, content first, microcopy, product content strategy, UX narrative, GUI text, content strategy, plain language Learn more…
  28. 28. John Saito (Dropbox), Alaine Mackenzie (Shopify), Kate Kiefer Lee (Mailchimp), Amy Thibodeau, Abby Covert, Kristina Halvorson (Braintraffic), Tomasz Piekot (University of Wroclaw), Government Digital Service (GDS), uContentowani, Meet content Jonathon Colman - The Epic List of Content Strategy Resources http://www.jonathoncolman.org/2013/02/04/content-strategy-resources/ …and more Ryan Bigge - The Super List of Content-First UX Resources https://medium.com/@biggeidea/the-super-list-of-content-first-ux-resources
  29. 29. You should follow me @inherentq uContentowani
  30. 30. Thanks(-: all background photos: unsplash.com

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