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🔆3 un-hard ways to save 2 hours 💸


UX Writing Summarized

June 11 · Issue #7 · View online

Every busy UX writer can save time reading this.

I usually summarize 3 great articles about UX writing. 
This time, I wont. 
In this issue, I’m giving you the best of the best from a new book, a podcast episode and a talk from the Google i/O conference in May 2019.
It would have taken you more than 2 hours to go through all three. Yet here, you’ll get the premium parts in less than 5 minutes. 😮
At the end, I’ll tell you about a brand new book on UX writing.
Let’s get to it. 

Writing for Designers by Scott Kubie
Here’s the thing:
Quite often, designers need to write. Why? Because words are a crucial (and powerful) part of the design process. How? Well, that’s trickier. 🤔 That’s why Scott Kubie has put together this 65-odd-pages short e-book on how to write interface copy/UI copy/microcopy, product copy and marketing copy. 🤓
The take-aways:
1. In his book, Scott Kubie gives you a workflow to follow:
  • Prepare (to write): Set a deadline, decide the scope, collect all that you’ve got, and make time to write ⏳
  • Compose (the words): Write a quick draft, say one thing at a time, and aim for ABC (Accuracy, Clarity, and Brevity) 🔤
  • Edit (what you wrote): Keep versions of your edited words, make sure that every word serves a purpose, read it out loud (to a colleague) – and then stop! ✋🏾
  • Finish (the damn writing): Present your words to stakeholders, get their approval, and add links and metadata. You DID it! 🥇
2. Know your tools! Use Dropbox Paper or Draft to write together with others, open Marked 2 to preview, review and export plain text into rich formatting, and read the book The 10 % Solution (OMG … the cover 🤦‍♂️) to self-edit like a pro. 
3. Let’s go back to ABC. Accuracy is guiding your reader by writing DELETE instead of REMOVE. Brevity is to write concisely, to go from ”Click this button to submit the information in the form and also join our mailing list” to “Click and Join”. Clarity is using common words, to put things in a logical order, or simply delete them. ✔ ✔ ✔
The quote:
”Writing is always hard, yes. But it gets easier.”
Want to read the whole thing? Buy Writing for Designers from A Book Apart.
👀 Let’s Talk: Designing Quality Conversations for the Google Assistant (Google I/O'19)
Here’s the thing:
If you’re a UX writer, you might already be writing voice conversations for digital assistants such as Google Assistant, Alexa or Siri. If you are not doing it already, you probably will in a near future. Either way, this new Google Talk should pique your interest.
Cathy Pearl, Head of Conversation Design Outreach at Google, and her designer colleague Jessica Earley-Cha talk about how to design creative conversations, helping people to be understood, helped and happy. 😃
The take-aways:
  1. Set the right expectations when starting off the conversation. If you say, “Ask a question about animals”, people will go “Okay, are poodles smart?”. Instead, let your counterpart know what you can talk about. Narrow it down to something like “What type of animal are you looking for?” That way it’s much easier to match what people answer with their intentions, which is called intent matching. 🐩🐩🐩🐩🐩
  2. We all want to understand, and to be understood. In a real conversation, we repair errors quickly to get back on track. Your digital conversations must be smooth in the same way, using a so-called rapid reprompt (a rephrased question). Give people relevant information at the right time, such as “store locations” when they ask “Where can I buy your chocolate?”. This will save people from A LOT of frustration and they will not give up on you. 😖 > 👍
  3. Writing voice conversations is all about building actions (and fulfilling them). It’s crucial for writers, designers and developers to work together here. 👯‍♀️ Writers like Cathy Pearl use Actions on Google along with tools like Dialogflow and Cloud Speech-to-Text to combine machine learning and Natural Language Understanding (NLU) to create great conversations. Hello, new world! 👩🏻‍🚀
The quote:
“Don’t worry about getting your first sample dialogue perfect. The first time I write my sample is never perfect, and it’s never the thing I use in the end. There’s no such thing as good writing, there is only good rewriting.” – Cathy Pearl
Want to see the whole thing? Knock yourself out right here. 🥊
Before you move on …
Thank you for reading this. You’re among 1,300 bright people around the world who’ve signed up for this newsletter. You’re surrounded by folks from Capital One, Semcon, Zalando, BBC, Deluxe Stockholm, Universal Avenue, Knowit, Volvo Cars, ESS Group and Curious Mind (to name just a few).
Think of the one friend who will be happy to read UX Writing Summarized, and forward this e-mail to him or her, saying “Hi there! Check out this newsletter. I’m pretty sure you’ll like it. Take care.”
Then, sit back and wait for the grateful response. 🙏🏻
Episode #2 - Sophie Tahran, UX writer at Invision — Writers of Silicon Valley
Here’s the thing:
Patrick Stafford is among the brains behind UX Writers Collective, offering the UX Writing Fundamentals course, which has now more than 125 students. Patrick also hosts their podcast, where he meets with UX writers like Roy West, Kathryn Strauss – and Sophie Tahran, UX writer at Invision. For almost an hour, Sophie and Patrick talk about remote teams, how to get a foot in the door, and why voice and tone is key. 
The take-aways:
  1. Can everyone in a big tech company work remotely? Oh yes, says Invision, where Sophie Tahran leads up UX writing on the design team. Since Invision is not San Francisco-based, she could travel through Europe and now work from New York. Her team depends on meetings with Zoom, thorough documentation, and way more Slack than e-mail. In the mornings they do design jams (aka creative brainstorming), while Sophie enjoys more quiet afternoons, with time to focus and take a deep dive into stuff. Her great advice? Go for a walk before you go online. 🏃‍♀️
  2. UX writing is way more than writing. If you ask Sophie Tahran, she says that the role of UX writer is all about forming relationships, building up processes, and figuring out what works best for everyone. You get the context when you’re involved in the room as early as possible, when you understand the designer’s point of view, and when you as a writer are a part of it all. 🙌🏼
  3. UX writing is not copywriting. UX writing is a more consumer-faced kind of writing, where you say what the user needs to know. “You’re not looking for the splashy moments, not looking for the pun. You’re looking for clarity above everything else.” 💦
The quote:
“Your words determine your relationship with your users”. – Sophie Tahran)
Want to listen to the whole shebang? Do it, and do it right here. If you like it, leave a review wherever you listen to podcasts (this way, more people just like you will find Patrick’s podcast).
My wife Evelina and I with our kids Elis (4) and Ilse (1) at Gelaterian in Gothenburg.
My wife Evelina and I with our kids Elis (4) and Ilse (1) at Gelaterian in Gothenburg.
This is me 🍧
Hi! I’m Mattias.
Last Friday, I turned 37 (yaay!). I enjoy getting a bit older, since the alternative is way, way worse.
I’m a UX writer. 
I’m also a copywriter. 
That’s why I also publish a monthly newsletter about all things copywriting. I write about how you make time to write (get up early and split your time into boxes), why you should always call your clients, and how to write so the reader just has to engage. ✍🏻
My copywriting newsletters are all in Swedish. Japp, på svenska. 🇸🇪
The other day I had lunch with Robert 🧔🏽, a new-found friend of mine. He’s a handsome, well-dressed, bearded man who work with brands and film production. We hadn’t even sat down before he told me to “immediately stop writing in Swedish, and let the whole world hear what you want to say”.  
Do you agree with 🧔🏽? Would you like for me to do it all in English? If so, let me know. If more than 50 of you in some way tell me to do my copywriting newsletter in English, I will listen. 🇺🇸🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿🇦🇺
If not, I will stick to Swedish. 
My e-mail address is simple, it’s
PS One more thing. In the last newsletter, you were offered a concise online course (in Spanish though), put together by the warm-hearted Sergio Valero Notari, Lead UX Writer at Doctoralia. 🇪🇸
A LOT of people were immediately interested in taking the course, and I believe that a lot of you did. Still, I’m not 100 percent sure that the link included led you all to the right place. Would you do me a favor, and double-check this time? By the way, the course is just 11 USD = next to nothing.
New book on UX writing!
Until now, there hasn’t been a single book dedicated to UX writing.
Hooray for Torrey Podmajersky! 🍾 Her new book Strategic Writing for UX, coming out as paperback very soon, will be 202 pages all about “how and why to write strategically for UX, using practical tools to build the foundational pieces for UX voice and UI text strategy.” Among many other things, Torrey will teach you how to articulate the ROI (return on investment) to business stakeholders. 💃🏽
But you don’t have to wait. Over at O’Reilly Online Learning, you can sign up for a free 10-day trial, and read a summary of Podmajersky’s new book right now. 
Also, Torrey Podmajersky will speak at the Design & Content conference in Vancouver, BC on July 17-19, 2019. Her topic is “Words can work as hard as any other part of the UX”. You can also listen to her in the brand-new Content Strategy Insights podcast episode.
Summer’s here! Let’s take a break. The next issue will be out on August 27, 2019 (with a bonus inside) 🤪
Would you mind taking a second to answer this simple question below? Thank you! ⬇️
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