UX Writing Challenge Series

The Daily UX Writing Challenge delivers different UX scenarios daily. It was an excellent opportunity to sharpen my UX writing skills and try writing for different audiences, plus it gave me a chance to try my hand at UX design.

Day 1: Failures and canceleations

Scenario: A traveler is in an airport waiting for the last leg of a flight home when their flight gets abruptly canceled due to bad weather.

Challenge: Write a message from the airline app notifying them of the cancellation and what they need to do next.

Headline: 45 characters
Body: 175 characters max
Button(s): 25 characters max

My Approach: When delivering bad news, it's important to be direct and sympathetic. I used a short headline to get the news across upfront, then explained why the flight was canceled and what to expect.

 

As a disappointed user, not having any next steps can feel like the airline is telling me to "deal with it". To make the user feel valued, I included links to more details and an option to speak to someone.

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Day 2: Promo screens

Scenario: A user is a working parent, and a big sports fan, in the midst of their favorite sports season who can no longer attend games.

Challenge: Write a promotional screen for an app that lets a user choose teams, sends game reminders, real-time score updates and highlight videos.
 
Headline: 40 characters max
Body: 175 characters max
Button(s): 25 characters max

My Approach: I wanted to inject some fun and creativity into the copy while prioritizing the actual message. First, I decided what type of information I wanted to deliver in the headline and body, then I brainstormed a list of sports-related words and phrases that fit the message I wanted to communicate. The result conveys the important details at a glance in a tone that's on brand.

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Day 3: Error states

Scenario: The user entered the wrong email address to sign in to their account.

Challenge: Tell the user to enter the right email.

40 characters max

My Approach: I began this challenge by thinking about why a user might enter the wrong email during login. Without any user studies or background, I used my own experiences as a user encountering this issue. In the past, I've mistyped my email address or mistaken the login page for the signup page. With only 40 characters to work with, I opted to focus on the problem itself (the email isn't correct) without placing blame on the user (i.e. "You've entered the wrong email address"). For users who don't have an account, I included the option to create one.

Day 4: Promo screens

Scenario: A user is in their favorite supermarket. They open the supermarket’s app on their phone to see what’s on sale and are greeted by a promotion.

Challenge: Write a promotional home screen for a subscription service that delivers groceries to the user once-a-month for a flat fee.
 

Headline: 45 characters max

Body: 175 characters max

Button(s): 25 characters max 

My Approach: Signing up is the goal here, so I wanted the copy to be both engaging and useful. I put the benefits in the headline and allude to heavy bags of groceries with a clever idiom to make it memorable. In the body, I explain what the service is and how it works, wrapping up with another benefit (saving time). The call-to-action tells the user what happens next, and there's a friendly way to opt out and return to the app if the user isn't interested.

Day 5: Loss aversion

Scenario: The user works in graphic design. While critiquing a design in a mobile app, their phone abruptly turns off. When they restart the phone, they reopen the app.

Challenge: Write a message that the user will read immediately upon opening the app. What do they need to know? What steps (if any) do they need to take to recover their content? What if they can't recover the content? 
 

Headline: 40 characters max

Body: 140 characters max

Button(s): 20 characters max

When project can be recovered

My Approach: When an app crashes in the middle of a project, the user returns to the app worried and unsure what to expect. I took a more lighthearted and reassuring tone when their work is recoverable, making sure to apologize for the interruption.

 

When their work is not recoverable, I put the apology front and center. I explain that their unsaved changes are lost, which gives them an immediate idea of what was and wasn't saved. At this point, the user is likely pretty upset, so I assure them that we're on top of the issue and working to resolve it. 

When project can not be recovered

Day 6: Negative alert

Scenario: It’s Monday. A user has just gotten into their car to drive to work. They plug their phone into the car and start driving.

Challenge: How would you let the user know there’s a fire happening in a nearby town that is causing road closures? The effect on their commute is unknown, but there is a definite danger if the fire gets closer. How do you communicate this to them? When? Write it.
 

Headline: 30 characters max

Body: 45 characters max

My approach: Since this alert would likely appear as a push notification with strict character limits, it's important to get the message across as clearly and concisely as possible. I used the headline to tell the user exactly what's happening, where, and why. In the body, I tell them the helpful information they'll find when they open the notification.

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Day 7: Positive alert

Scenario: A sports fan is at a wedding while their favorite team is playing against their arch-rivals. Their team scores.

Challenge: How would you, quickly, let the sports fan know about the latest play, the current score, and the key players? Write it.

Headline: 30 characters max 
Body: 45 characters max 

My approach: In this scenario, the user needs the important details at a glance, so I use the headline to tell the user who scored and the number of points. Not only does this deliver the important information upfront, but it also prevents the headline from being repetitive whenever the score changes (as opposed to a static headline like "Touchdown scored!"). The body includes the current score to provide extra context, then invites the user to open the notification for more details.

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