The One-Week UX Writing Challenge: Practice Your UX Writing in 7 Days | Dr. Katharina Grimm | Skillshare

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The One-Week UX Writing Challenge: Practice Your UX Writing in 7 Days

teacher avatar Dr. Katharina Grimm, Writer & Writing Educator

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

11 Lessons (32m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:01
    • 2. What This Challenge Is All About

      2:08
    • 3. The Basic UX Writing Quality Criteria

      2:36
    • 4. Day 1: Call To Actions

      4:47
    • 5. Day 2: Placeholders

      3:39
    • 6. Day 3: Success Messages

      3:44
    • 7. Day 4: Password Errors

      3:05
    • 8. Day 5: Empty States

      3:40
    • 9. Day 6: 404 Error Messages

      4:53
    • 10. Day 7: Time To Reflect

      2:01
    • 11. Final Thoughts

      0:43
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About This Class

Becoming a great writer is all about practice, practice, practice – and UX Writing is not exception to that rule.

However, many UX Writers have a hard time finding exercises to train their writing skills, let alone receive feedback for their writing.  

So here's a course in which you will learn the theoretical basics of different UX Writing elements, and how to actually write these elements. For this, you will receive a specific UX Writing exercise in each lesson. 

The best thing about this course? It is designed as a one-week challenge, so it will also help you to establish a writing routine by investing no more than a couple of minutes per day for one week. 

Who should join?

This course is the perfect match for all writers who want to train their skills, and all writers who would like to establish a writing routine.

It is also a great choice if you're about to apply for a UX Writer role and would like to enrich your portfolio or prepare for your job assignment. 

What you will learn

In this course you will learn 

  • how to write CTAs
  • how to write placeholders
  • how to write success messages
  • how to write password errors
  • how to write empty states
  • how to write 404 error messages

Sounds good? Then join this class and experience one week full of UX Writing practice! 

Still thinking about getting Skillshare Premium? 

If you want to take this class but have no premium account yet, feel free to use my referral link and try free Premium for 14 days:  https://www.skillshare.com/r/profile/Dr-Katharina-Grimm/8983068

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Dr. Katharina Grimm

Writer & Writing Educator

Teacher

I'm passionate about all things writing, language and communication. As an anthropologist, I specialized in the field of effective communication and how we, as humans, can build trust through communication. 

What I do

I've worked as a communication strategist for several years before becoming a full-time writer. Today, I support digital product teams by creating and editing all kinds of writing with them – from tiny microcopy in coffee machine interfaces to essays and blog articles. 

What I teach

My areas of expertise include

UX Writing  Copywriting Content Writing Technical Writing  Personal Writing such as Journaling. 

How I teach

I love making sense of all these forms of writing, discovering their simi... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: So hello everybody and welcome to this course, which is called the one week UX writing challenge. And in this course we will take your, your writing skills to the next level. Because this course offers you seven different lessons. And in each one of these lessons, you will learn about a different type of UX writing text element. And you also get a specific exercise to learn how to write this text element. And if you take one lesson per day, you've completed the challenge within a week. So this course is the perfect choice for everybody who would like to train their UX writing skills in general. But also perfect for everybody who would like to prepare for a job assignment. Or if you would just like to enhance your UX writing portfolio. And if you're interested in the practical part of UX writing, then this course is great because it actually only requires you to invest a couple of minutes per day, but helps you to build a writing routine. And if you're ready for that, I wish you lots and lots of fun with this course. 2. What This Challenge Is All About: So hello everybody and welcome to this very special course in which we will do a UX writing challenge. And I want to start this course by giving you some information on what this challenge is all about. So what will we do in this course? Here's the deal. In this course, I will introduce to you one classic UX writing text element per day. And you get one exercise per day with which you can train writing this text element. You can start whenever you want, and I recommend to do one chapter per day, so it's just a couple of minutes per day, but it will help you to establish a tiny little routing. And when you proceed and finish this course, you will be done after seven days. So how does this help us and how do our writing skills benefit from this? So first of all, it will help you to get to know the most important texts elements you will find in your writing and you will learn about them in theory and in practice. That might help you to prepare for your next job assignment. Because many writers who apply for a role in UX writing are asked to write something as a test for their skills. So this course right here, It's a great chance to improve these skills. Also, you can enrich your UX writing portfolio, especially when you are new to UX writing and you don't have a lot of real life projects yet, but you want to showcase your skills. You can take part and challenges like this and put your results into your portfolio. And last but not least, you know that writing is all about practice, practice, practice. Getting to know your strength and your potential, and learning more about your writing habits and shaping these habits intentionally. That is the basic task for every UX writer. And that is the key to success as a writer. If you asked me, now, what do you need to start this challenge? Actually, nothing really, but what might help you are the basic UX writing quality criteria, which I will quickly show you in the next lesson. 3. The Basic UX Writing Quality Criteria: So as promised, I will quickly introduce to you the basic quality criteria of UX writing that will help you to actually do the challenge and get your writing right. And I already showed them to you and my other class, the introductory class. So if you took this class and you're really aware of them, you can skip this part, but I think refreshing our memory can always help. So these are the quality criteria of good UX writing. We got six major quality criteria and I will tell you a little bit about each one right here. The first one is necessary. So make sure you really need text here and make sure that a certain problem cannot be solved by, for example, design. The second one is clear, right? Your texts in a way that makes it easy to understand an unambiguous so that users can scan it quickly and understand what your texts means. Third, be concise. So make your texts efficient. Write your text in a way that make it, that makes it short and easy to skin. So reading it doesn't require a lot of effort from the reader. And when you've got all that, makes sure that your writing is useful. And that means don't just tell users that an arrow cured, but let them know what they can do next. So make, make your text helpful and useful. And when you've got that, head over to the next quality criterion, which is conversational. And that means that you make your text sound natural and personal so that your users feel comfortable to interact with the interface because there's communication that sounds human and is familiar to them. And now let's look at the last quantity criterion, which is brand. It makes sure that the voice of your writing fits your brand personality. So decide whether you're writing sounds more funny or more formal, quirky, or down to earth and so on. So that the communication in your product represents your brand properly. So that's it. And if you want to learn more about these quality criteria and how they can help you to improve your writing. As I said, checkup, my introductory course about UX writing right here on Skillshare. And if you have done that or if you just want to start right away with this course right here. I'll see you in the next lesson where we will take a look at the first UX writing text element and also take a look at the first exercise of this class. So see you there. 4. Day 1: Call To Actions: So welcome to the first day of the next reading challenge. And on this first day we will talk about a real UX writing classic, which is call to actions. Very simple, very essential for every UX brighter. So let's first take a look at some examples. So in this example from Twitter, you see the sign-up button and the Login button. Both are classic examples for call to actions. However, call to action text elements do not only appear on buttons, as you can see in this example right here. The wonderful National Gallery in London. And if you happen to be in London, pay them a visit. One of the most beautiful art galleries in the world, I think. And as you can see, they are temporarily closed due to COVID and you can sign up to their e-mails to get updates. And this text element right here, sign up to your emails is also a call to action. Please note that of course, a call to action can also be used in copywriting, but it is mostly used in UX writing because it tells the user what to do next and it needs to be clear. Just like in the next example, Apple introducing the iPhone 12 on their website. There are actually a couple of call to action text elements right here. For example, this one, shop online and the upper part of the screen, or these to learn more and buy in the center of the screen. Now, when writing call to actions, there are some things that you should keep in mind. Let's take a look at them. So far as CTA, you don't need to tell the use of what is happening right now, but it is important that you tell them what happens when they click on the CTA, like open page or confirm password and so on. So keep in mind to keep things short, use just 12 or three words when your CTI is placed on the button and write no more than five or six words when your CTA is displayed as a link. And as always in UX writing, don't trade clarity for branding. People won't click on your CTA when they're not sure what the consequences of that action actually are. So don't try to be too funny to a witty, too bold, too humorous. That leads to misunderstandings are ambiguity. And in this exercise, we are talking about a car manufacturer that produces luxury sports cars. So let's get some inspiration for that. You might want to think of Porsche, for example, when you write that, they use really short texts, for example, for all the copywriting and UX writing. Very clear, sleek, elegant, timeless, brand voice. In here. You've got the CTA that takes you to the car configurator for each model and for Porsche at SAS, build your Porsche. So they put that strong brand name until the CTA. Edit a personal possessive pronoun to make sure that it's your Porsche. So very personal. And overall, you know, staying very clear, very, very short. Let's check out another brand for inspiration. Lotus. They use an extensive introductory text. And then there's the CTA down here. Configure my lotus. Again, they use a personal pronoun as well as the brand name. So there is some of the top portion that regard. We can take a look at a third example, which will be the last example. Aston Martin, again, express elegant, sleek, modern, clean, and down here, you've got the CTA style, your own, which you can click to put together your very own est and Martin. So this is desperation for your daily exercise and also your inspiration for becoming a very good UX writer, grep, a great salary and not only write these CTAs, but click on these CTAs to put together your very own Aston Martin sometime soon. But that's another story. So again, this was your inspiration. He is your exercise. Again. I wish you lots and lots of fun with the first exercise of this challenge. Good luck. Enjoy the process. As always, feel free to share your results with the community because everyone appreciates it. And if you're done with that, I'll see you tomorrow on day two for the next UX writing text element and exercise. 5. Day 2: Placeholders: So welcome back to day 2 of your UX writing challenge. And today we will talk about placeholders. Placeholders appear in input fields and they are here to help users understand what to write in those input fields. And here are some examples for that. The first one is from Instagram, it's the lock and form. And these input fields, the placeholders read full number, username or email, and password. So here instagram tells us those right away what to put in these input fields. And let's look at another example from Facebook. And here facebook uses a question and you can answer that question and the input field. And with that, it guides the user in using this input field. And you've also seen the following example before. I think it's from Airbnb where the placeholder on the left is asking a question and the user can just answer it to use the input field correctly and the placeholder in the sender and on the right of phrased as CTAs. So they tell the user exactly what to do with the input fields. And I also want to show you one last example. And this one from HIIT, you can see in the input field on the left they use the call to action. So try New York City. And the other two input fields are examples for dates, actually the ones from this day and the next day. And the triangle, York City sounds super conversational and personnel just like some useful advice from a friend. So when writing a place holder, this is where you should keep in mind. You can choose a question, a CTA, or an example of what the user can write in that input field. Please make sure to keep things short and scannable. So don't just write thousands of examples for things to put into this input field and that aligns. But the next one, use very simple language and avoid ambiguities so that the user knows exactly what to write and feels confident to fill this input fields. And you can support the user by using formative placeholders. For example, when you ask for a telephone numbers or dates, because that helps users to leave their input and the right format. Now, let's take a look at your exercise the day and today. I kindly ask you to please write a place holder for an update input field for a business related social network. So imagine you want to make a post to all your followers to keep them updated. And there's an input field in which you can write that post. And that would be the placeholder inside this input fields. So what would that placeholder sound like? Like in the last lesson, I will give you some inspiration, like this one from LinkedIn. Of course, they keep it very, very simple and just write start a post. Let's look at another example. The second one that I brought for you today. Don't know if I like it or not. It's from zinc. They say, what's new with you? Rather informal, very conversational and personal sounds kind of unusual. So this is your inspiration and here's your exercise again. So just like in the last lesson. So just like in the last lesson, I wish you lots of fun with this. Feel free to share your results with the community and if you're done with it, I'll see you tomorrow when we hit the third day of our challenge. 6. Day 3: Success Messages: So hello everybody and welcome to day 3 of the one week EX writing challenge. And on this day we will take a closer look at success messages. And these messages confirm that the user has completed a certain task. So it's time for the user to celebrate. And here are some examples for that. The first one is from mailchimp of famous example that I've also shown you in one of my previous classes. This success message pretty much covers the whole screen and is very informal, very fun, and quirky in the headline where it says high-five. And then we got a very clear, focused sublime that says, campaign is in the set Q, and we'll go out shortly. So this is a big celebration for the user. However, success messages can also be very subtle, like in this example from LinkedIn. And maybe you can spot it. Take your time. It is exactly here. Hidden and a drop down menu. And this is when you remove a connection and just get the confirmation that the connection has been removed successfully. And there are also other very subtle ones that you might be familiar with. Like this one from Gmail message sent subtle, neutral and clear. So okay, what should we keep in mind? Of course, create a feeling of achievement, reward the user for completing this flow of actions and make it clear to them that this flow now is completed. As always, keep things short and clear so the user instantly knows what the situation is all about. But what you can do here is involve brand tonality. As you've seen in the examples here, Mail Chimp is very enthusiastic and personal, and Gmail is very neutral, very matter of fact, leaf. So here, let your brand tonality decide how to communicate success, and if applicable, tell the user what they can do next. So the user completed a flow of actions like, congratulations, you've successfully signed up. You can now check out this or that feature that will be very helpful for the user to stay in your product and to continue the journey. All right, let's take a look at your exercise of the day. And for this exercise, I kindly ask you to please write a success message for a successful purchase at a home decor online shop. And this on the previous days, I will give you some inspiration. Now, I don't have a confirmation message for you, but you can take a look at the following websites to soak up their voice and tone and get inspired. So you might want to take a look at Pottery Barn for example. They have a very modern and clear writing, very nice, as well as ikea. Of course, there are a little more informal, a little more personal than Pottery Barn. And to get inspired, you can also check out their website as well as anthropology. There are more subtle, but also very friendly, very modern. And you can just take a look at these brands. Pick one and imagine you write the success message for them. So he's their exercise again. And I wish you a great fun with this. As always, feel free to share your results with the community. And when you're done, I'll see you tomorrow on day four. 7. Day 4: Password Errors: So hello everybody and welcome back to day four of this one-week you exciting challenge. And today we'll talk about password arrows. So messages that appear when you have entered the wrong password or something else is wrong with the password you entered. So whenever there's a sign-up or luck and feature in your product, this is something that you have to write. So this is also a very important UX writing text element. Let's look at some examples like this error message from strappy that appears when you enter an incorrect password. It just says passwords do not match. Very efficient, very clear, not too friendly, but at least easy to understand. All we got this one from Instagram, which is much longer, more useful and more friendly. It says, sorry, your password was incorrect, please double-check your password. As I said, not as efficient as the previous one, but a little nicer. And last but not least, we got Skype pouring a lot more brand voice into this by saying, oops, that wasn't the right password. Try again. Much nicer, much more informal, much more conversational, so it fits the Skype brand voice. Now let's get the facts straight. What do we need to keep in mind when writing password error messages? First, tell the user what went wrong and be as specific as you can. Second, especially for these tiny little error messages within Logan forums, we don't have that much room to write a lot, so keep your texts as short and as clear as possible. Of course, what's your brand's personality? So if you have a friendly, cool brand that usually communicates very personally and very kindly, then don't make your error message sound dull or even unfriendly just to keep it as short as possible. And of course, as with all error messages, tell the user what they can do next, like check your entry, check your password again, or try again. Now with that being said, let's head over to your exercise of the day. And here it is. Please write a password error message for a login forum on an online learning platform in which the user enters a room password. And of course, what else can our inspiration of the day b then our beloved Skillshare? So take your time. Click your way through the website if you haven't already check out their voice and tone because it's very interesting and try to see what happens when you enter the wrong password. And then you can try your own luck with your exercise shared with the community if you're like, and when you're done, I'll see you tomorrow on day five of this UX writing challenge. 8. Day 5: Empty States: So hello everybody and welcome back. Welcome to Day 5, about one week you X writing challenge. And today we will talk about empty states. Empty state texts appear at a place that can be filled with items like photos or contacts, or chats or messages or whatever. But which is currently empty. Just like this one here from Google Photos where you can create a collection and put photos in there. And this is the empty state of the overview of such collections. And the empty state tells the user that they can make albums, stories, and more with the plus button at the top. So it fully focuses on what the user can do. Next. Slack takes a different approach and celebrates the emptiness of the section. And that's because this is about work and reading messages for work. So if you've read all the messages, that's something to celebrate. Now, what do we have to keep in mind when writing an empty state? First of all, tell users what they would actually find here. And when you do so, don't be negative. So for example, if you're writing for a social media app and you need an empty state for the friend list, then don't tell the user, Hey, you have no friends. But make it sound a little more positive, you know, and inviting and encouraging. Next, of course, give users the option to do something. That's just what we have seen in the Google example. So always tell users how to fill that empty space. And last, adjust the tone to your brand and products. So celebrate when you have 0 work-related messages, but don't celebrate when you have 0 friends. And now that we've learned all that, it's time for your exercise of the day. And that is, please write an empty state texts for a contact list in a dating app. Really nice exercise. And 11 me give you some inspiration to show you what that might look like. The first one is coming from one of the most famous dating apps, I guess Tinder. And they say, get swiping in the headline. And then it says, when you match with other users, they appear here where you can send them a message. So an animating headline, but the rest of the text is really down to earth and focuses on how to fill the empty space. And another example from love UX at SAS, a couple of things actually really pragmatic says how to fill your inbox, give out likes, sent icebreakers, be active. And then there are two CTAs, one SAS play match now. And another one says get premium now. And now last but not least, we got 10, 10. And in their header they say it's quiet in here, putting a little bit of brand voice in here. And the long paragraph, it says keep swiping to get matches. Once you've matched, you can start chatting here. So again, a very clear instruction of what the user can do. So three examples of how to do it. Now it's your turn to get creative and tackle this exercise. As always, I wish you lots of fun with it. Feel free to share it with the rest of us. And when you're done, I'll see you in the next lesson, which will be about day six. So it's almost the last one. See you there. 9. Day 6: 404 Error Messages: Welcome to almost the last part of this challenge day six. And today we will talk about a very famous UX writing element, which is 404 error pages. Let's take a look at some examples. The first one comes from ikea. Really simple, really clear, friendly tonality. It says 404 page not found. The page you're looking for, it might've been removed or temporarily unavailable. Then a CTA in the form of a link which says go back to home. And the second one comes from the NFL, SAS fluorophore flag on the play. Nothing more with the CTA that says back to an eval.com to meet not a 100 percent clear with a flak on the play, but it's very interesting how they involve their brand into their writing. However out with preferred to have, you know, a little bit of explanation what's going on here. But as I said, it's really an interesting example on how to involve brand into your writing. Just like then next exampled it from Marvel. They have a very clear headline for a four page not found, then a sublime that makes a reference to one of their movies or Comics, which is also closely connected to this big illustration on the right side. And then the longer paragraph, they go back to being super clear and useful because they tell the user what to do next. They say, check that you type the address correctly, go back to your previous page, or try using our site search to find something specific. Unfortunately, there is no CTA on a primary button here, which I would prefer. But other than that, we see that they pulled a lot of love into this. Now, having seen these examples, what do we have to keep in mind when writing a 404 message? First, of course, just like we said for the passport errorMessage, involve information about what happened and explain to users what's going on. Then tell users what they can do next. So how to get out of that situation to continue their user journey and preferably do that with a CTA. It also helps to use very simple language to build trust with users and give them comfort and the feeling of safety. And be careful with tick vocabulary. Don't just say for 40 server requests era, and expect everyone to understand it. And last one, take your time and sprinkle some brand voice over your writing because this is the place to do so here you've got the space, you've got the time, you know, just make your brand happen here. Because especially in ERA situations, the user journey gets interrupted. And it's nice to have some branding in it because it helps users to reconnect with the brand personality in such a situation. But as always, don't compromise clarity. So with that being said, it's time for your exercise of the day. For this day, I would kindly ask you to please write a 404 error message for a large international supermarket chain, which is focused on natural and organic foods. And if you need some inspiration, no problem. I got some for you. The first one is from a blunt coal playing with words a little bit in the headline. Because they say, oops, looks like there's a leak in the system. And then it says, the webpage you're looking for does not exist. We might have taken it down or changed its name. Please use the search bar above, I'll click one of the below. So very clear, very helpful, very useful. And down below it has four different buttons that allow the user to navigate. Now, if you want to be inspired a little more, you can also take a look at Whole Foods. They don't have a proper 404 page, but maybe you want to look at their voice and tone and right one for them. And the same goes for planet organic, a great example for an organic supermarket, but it only has a very, very simple for full message that is actually not worth mentioning here. So if you want to, you can pay them a visit, check them out and rewrite their 404 error message. So he Assyria exercise again, enjoy writing it and feel free to share the results with the rest of us. And when you're done, uh, see you in the next lesson, which will also be the last one. 10. Day 7: Time To Reflect: So, uh, welcome to the last lesson of this one-week UX writing challenge. And if you stuck around this long, this is great because the finish line is already in sight. Now in this lesson, we want to take some time to reflect. And that means your exercise for today is take some time and reflect on what you've learned in this one week. And I put together some questions that may help you to do that. And here they are. The first one is, which of these exercises were hard for you? Which ones were easy? Then? What was your favorite exercise? And y? And the third one, what were your proudest moments doing the challenge? And I think this one is very important because it's always important to acknowledge our learning successes and celebrate these successes. And last but not least, which skills which you like to further improve. Now these questions will help you to get an even better learning experience. And it may, and they may also help you to continue your learning journey in the most effective way. And you can choose whether or not you would like to write down the answers for these questions. If you would just like to sit and think about them for yourself. However, I personally would recommend to write them down, take notes because that will support the thinking process. And you can also take a look at your notes later on. So this is an important task and I would like to encourage you to take your time to do this. And when you're done, that is the moment when you officially finished this course. And if you would like to, and if you want to, you can join me on some final thoughts and my altro, and if not, I wish you lots and lots of fun with your journey. Always remember to enjoy the process, and I hope to see you sometime soon. 11. Final Thoughts: So that's it. Congratulations on completing this challenge. I hope you enjoyed it and hope that you've learned a lot of things that are helpful to you. Now if you've done all the exercises, but you haven't shared them with the community. I would really like to encourage you to share your results. Because not only is it Much appreciated by the community, it also allows me to give you feedback. So be proud of your writing skills and be proud of your learning journey, and don't be shy. And except for that, as usual, there's nothing left to say for me except for keep writing, enjoy the process, and hope to see you sometime soon.