Self-service tips and how to access UX Writer support from Caroline (London, GMT).
How do you know if your content is "done" or "good"?
The tone is appropriate to the scenario.#
- A stressful scenario is managed empathetically, with knowledgable and encouraging tone. Reassure and inform the user clearly.
- A win or success is managed genuinely, with a positive and encouraging tone. Celebrate with the user genuinely.
- A repeated interaction is managed efficiently, with a positive and conversational tone. Support the user's flow by reducing friction.
The content meets the user's immediate needs.#
- The user has enough information to understand the context and proposition, the impact of an action/decision, and clarity over what happens next.
The words and structure are as simple as they can be.#
- You've replaced jargon with a simpler term or explained technical language/acronyms.
- Sentences are short.
The message is clear and unambiguous.#
- Your content can only be interpreted one way.
- You've replaced any vague or imprecise language with precise, clear terms.
You've checked it. Twice.#
- Capitals, punctuation, and spelling all align with this guide.
- Tip: Read it out loud to yourself. If it doesn't "sound right", consider changing the wording or phrasing.
Someone unfamiliar with the project has read and understood it.#
- Ask them to read it out loud, then tell you what it means.
- If their understanding matches your intent, great! Your content is clear.
- If they stumble on words or don't understand, ask why. Use their feedback to iterate, then try again.
Reviewing content — where to start
This section is in development. You can use these questions either as prompts when you're self-editing or as a framework for reviewing others' content.
What is the user’s goal or need? What information do they need to make progress?#
- We rely on our limited short-term memory to read and understand.
- Long sentences packed with information are difficult to comprehend quickly.
- Don’t overload users with unnecessary information or things they’ll need to remember.
- Give the user the information they need when they need it, not before.
How can this content improve the user’s experience?#
- We can create positive responses by making the user feel supported, confident, and in control.
- Reducing friction and cognitive load makes a repeated flow feel effortless.
- Celebrating with the user makes infrequent successes (a first-time set up, for example) feel special.
- Communicating a clear action and outcome in an error or alert makes an anxious moment feel manageable.
Does this content clearly communicate what the user will experience or needs to do next?#
- Too much or too little information can cause anxiety.
- Set the user’s expectation with clear and precise words.
- If you feel you need to write a complex message to explain outcomes or exceptions, rethink the flow.
- Not sure what happens next? Find out.
- Don’t try to solve design or engineering problems with words.
How can any vague or ambiguous language be made more precise?#
- If we’re guessing at the content and its meaning, so will the user.
- Words like probably, might, could, seems, some, many, or a few indicate ambiguities.
- The user’s primary concern is "How can I do what I need to?" Answer that efficiently first.
- Only add details if the user needs them to understand or progress.
- If you’re not sure which word to use, ask or test variations.
Does this content give the user the information they need, even if it’s not positive news?#
- Be clear and transparent about the immediate effect of an error, the action required, and its impact.
- It’s very rarely appropriate to make jokes or be coy when delivering bad news — don’t.
- Inform and reassure. If the user needs to complete an additional step, adding "please" shows empathy.
Get content support#
Content office hours — sign-up only
Content office hourse are on Tuesdays @ 10am (PT) / 11am (MT)
Use the sign up sheet to register for a slot before the session starts. If there are no sign-ups and hour before the start time, the session may be cancelled.
Content Support Request#
Submit a Content Support Request to receive asynchronous or 121 support from Caroline, UX Writer.
- Asynchronous feedback focused on your priority areas to help you make your content more effective.
- Working session (30-60mins) to discuss specific challenges or tackle tricky feedback.
How requests are handled#
- Requests are reviewed, prioritized, and scheduled.
- You'll be notified when you can expect feedback or a 121 session.
- You'll receive constructive feedback asynchronously (as comments or notes onthe work you've linked to), or be invited to a 121 session.
- For 121 sessions, please submit the content you need help with and highlight specific areas for focus. This makes the sessions more efficient.
The earlier you register a need (even a future need), the easier it is to schedule in time for content support at the appropriate stage for you and the project. Reach out on Slack if you're unsure what you need.
Need support with non-product content?
Visit the Brand Writing Style Guidelines here.