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.
They need to be warned about a potential problem ahead …
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?
- Headline: 30 characters max
- Body: 45 characters max
For this one, my main priority was to make sure that people are averted from danger. So I went with “Fire!” in the headline and “Danger” in the body to make the threat obvious. There’s not much of a word count, so it is blunt and to the point.
In the feedback on the facebook group, it was mentioned that if people are driving they might become unnecessarily alarmed. Someone else said it might be better to phrase it in a more guiding way. Personally, I’m a little uneasy with that softly-softly approach with a health hazard and such a tight word count. This is one that I would definitely want to user-test to see how responses went. The priority has to be to stop people becoming oven-crispy, right?
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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.
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.
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