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As a technical writer, I know about creating user-centred content.  But I’ve never worked as an out-and-out UX writer (although I have written microcopy for software as part of my tech writing work). I’d like to explore the world of UX writing, so I decided to do the Daily UX challenge set by https://www.dailyuxwriting.com.

With this series of posts, I’ll present the challenge and how I responded to it. Hopefully, it will show that technical writers are a great choice for UX writing work. Or perhaps you’ll think that I should stick to the long form copy!

Let’s kick it off with the Day 1 challenge.

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 max)
  • Body (175 characters max).

My answer

My thinking on this one is that it’s important to explain why the flight is cancelled. This will help people to understand the situation and realise the airline took the action for sensible reasons.

I also took the decision to include the flight number so that passengers could confirm that this really did apply to them and wasn’t a generic message.

There was no mention in the challenge about what the airline would do to help, so it seemed best to advise the customer to contact an agent. 

In the feedback, a group admin mentioned that using the word ‘sorry’ had seemed hollow to customers during testing. I can understand that, but feel it is better with it than without it. Maybe that’s a British thing though, as we sure love saying sorry. Apart from Elton John, he finds it the hardest word to say apparently .

Looking for a UX writer?

Do you need a UX writer for your project? I'd love to hear from you. I've worked in software teams for most of my career as a technical writer and have trained as a content designer and copywriter too. I know about user journeys, work flows, and user-centred content. Microcopy, long form content, I can do it all.

Techncial Writer, Craig Wright

Craig Wright is an experienced technical writer based in Chesterfield, UK.  He hates writing about himself in the third person, so I shall stop now.

Always interested in new content writing opportunities. Remote working preferred.

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