The UX Writing Hub Academy is a 7-month certificate program for individuals coming from copywriting, journalism, technical writing or other writing backgrounds, designers looking to expand their UX skill set, or anyone interested in broadening their understanding of the field. I received practical feedback and guidance through 1:1 mentorship, group discussions, written feedback, and group-work on a real industry project.
Here are some of my assignments from the course, starting with the earliest. I love seeing the progress I made in this program!
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You’re a UX writer at WingScanner, a new low-cost airline. They’ve just developed a new feature where customers can pay an extra $20 to use special security lanes and skip long lines at security. Turn the designer’s copy into a well written and well-designed screen that appears right before the user gets to the checkout. Remember what you’ve learned about headlines, subheaders, body copy, and CTAs. Give it a basic mobile device design using a design tool (Whimsical, Figma, or Miro), or even pen and paper.
Encourage the customer to pay extra for the feature
The feature will be the last screen before the check out screen on the mobile app
It costs an extra $20
I focused on competitor analysis, and looked into easyJet, Wizz Air, and Ryanair.
easyJet calls this service “Fast Track”. They use simple icons (fast forward arrow, ticking clock, check mark) and frame the service as a convenient hack for moving through the airport more quickly. The word “dedicated” suggests that this is an exclusive service.
Wizz Air offers the “Security Fast Track” service through their “Airport comfort services” page alongside access to their “Exclusive Lounge.” These services are framed as relaxing and luxurious, and while time-saving is mentioned, it is not the primary message on the screen.
Ryanair’s “Fast Track” is similar to easyJet’s, right down to the name of the product. The phrase “Add Fast Track” appears in both the subheader and the CTA. Overall, the screen emphasizes the time-saving benefit and the word “priority” does for Ryanair what “dedicated” did for easyJet: a hint of luxury. However, the button copy could be clearer on the cost and time sensitivity of enrollment.
Exclusive icons created by Freepik - Flaticon.
Airplane icons created by Freepik - Flaticon.
Beach icons created by Good Ware - Flaticon.
Skip the line!: I wanted to wait on revealing the cost and emphasize the “life hack” angle.
Vacation starts early with QuickPass: I chose a product name that was similar to the other companies’ because I wanted it to be instantly recognizable.
Exclusive security lane (etc.): I named clear, concise benefits, and tried to make it sound like an exclusive, luxury service affiliated with leisure. I opted for a less familiar tone and skipped the bit about shopping, as it seems presumptive.
Add QuickPass for $20: I mentioned the name of the product and the price in the CTA. The companies I researched avoided naming the price right away, probably in an effort to win the customer over first. Including the price in the CTA makes it clear that the user will be charged $20, preventing any confusion about cost.
Proceed without QuickPass: The original button was too snarky. Spending money can be a sensitive topic and I didn’t want to demean the user for not choosing this option, in case they change their mind in the future. I also wanted to make the two options a little more distinct.
You’re a UX writer at Clixflow, a WYSIWYG [”What you see is what you get”] website builder that lets users drag and drop to create websites—no code required. Similar companies include: Wix, Webflow, Squarespace, Elementor.
After signing up, the user is ready to start creating their first site. To help them get started, Clixflow wants to present users with a quick form that will customize the user’s experience and help them build the type of site they’re interested in.
Feature info and requirements:
Create a 4–6 step form (multiple screens) that collects user data to help customize the product to the user’s intended use. The platform will set users up with different layouts, features, etc., based on their answers.
Data we need:
Who they are and what they’re building their site for (business, company, clients)
Prior experience in creating websites
What kind of website they are going to build (e-commerce, personal portfolio, blog, business site, other)
What is their role (designers, developer, entrepreneur, something else?)
Any other data points you think would be relevant in this situation. (Give your explanation.)
All of the examples used simple questions to address the user (”What are your goals?” “Have you created a website before?”) and assess the amount of support they’ll need from the platform. All examples broke down the registration process into chunks on separate screens to avoid overwhelming the user. They used check boxes, multiple choice questions, and search bars with pre-populated options. Largely, these examples avoided visually busy graphics, animations, bright colors, or otherwise distracting elements, likely to reduce cognitive load.
Lots of choices to explain here, so I'll just share a few highlights.
Customize your experience with five quick questions: Large header catches the user’s eye and lets them know how many steps are ahead of them. It also explains why we’re asking them to do this.
What is your role?/Have you built a website before?: Helps the platform know how much support this user might need or if we should offer advanced options.
Almost there!: Lets the user know they have just one more step ahead of them, enabling conversion.
GuerillaBox is a new service that centralizes a person’s or business’s communication channels with their customers. This includes SMS, emails, WhatsApp messages, Intercom on site messages, Facebook/Instagram messenger, and more, all in one place. Each channel is referred to as a box; hence, GuerillaBox.
Your job: Create new error messages for the scenarios below. Use GuerillaBox’s brand voice.
Brand voice guidelines: GuerillaBox’s voice is that of an experienced and compassionate business partner. We use a conversational voice and play with language to bring joy to the workplace. We are plainspoken, genuine, and a bit quirky. We prefer subtle, dry humor.
Guerilla Gorilla: GuerillaBox has a mascot, a digital/guerilla marketing gorilla (get it?😜). Feel free to incorporate the mascot into your design. Remember that you can describe visual elements as part of the design.
GuerillaBox needs five error messages for their signup screen:
Email already exists
Invalid password (passwords must be a least eight characters long and contain at least one number)
Username already exists
Your job: Write error messages for these five occurrences. The messages will appear below the field in question. Explain in your copy doc what should trigger each message and the rationale behind your design and copy choices.
GuerillaBox gives users up to three boxes on the free plan. (Remember, communication channels are called ‘boxes’ at GuerillaBox.) When a user on the free plan has three boxes in use and tries to add a fourth, they get a pop-up/error message explaining that they’ve used all of their boxes on the free plan.
Your job: Write/design a pop-up error message that explains the situation to the user.
Mailchimp doesn’t show helper text until you begin using a field. This keeps the onboarding page from looking cluttered on first sight. [screenshot] Mailchimp auto-populates the username field with whatever you typed in as your email, even if it’s an obviously fake one, which may be a security feature. [screenshot]
Box.com starts showing error text as soon as you click their text fields, and the error messages overlap and clutter the screen. [screenshot] Franz also doesn’t seem to screen email addresses for validity, but their error message for the name field has strange capitalization and a harsh tone. [screenshot]
Miro’s pop-up offers me two approaches to dealing with their limited free boards—I can make more, but they’ll be view-only (no co-editing), or I can upgrade to have private boards. The pop-up is wordy and hard to understand.
Admittedly, up until this project, I thought this pop-up meant I could only have 3 boards total, because I didn’t read all the body copy. This is a good reminder to avoid burying the lede in body copy. [screenshot]
Box icons created by ibrandify - Flaticon. Gorilla icons created by juicy_fish - Flaticon. Folder icons created by Good Ware - Flaticon. Close icons created by ariefstudio - Flaticon.
Invalid email: Error message clarifies text field requirements and models correct format.
Email already exists: Explains why the error occurred and offers two potential resolutions, one for users who forgot they already made an account, and one for new users.
Invalid password: As soon as first password character is typed, helper text is triggered to provide guidance. Added a text field visibility toggle to help users troubleshoot their password problem.
Invalid username: Error message explains character restrictions. Humor is dry and in line with brand voice.
Username already exists: Error message explains problem and offers a clear solution. Humor is dry and in line with brand voice.
Need more storage?: Informs user about the problem they’ve encountered.
Get unlimited boxes with GuerillaBox Premium: Provides more context and offers a solution.
Table: Implements dry humor while outlining clear benefits and costs.
CTA 1: Explains what clicking the button does
CTA 2: Lets user continue working with limitations of free account without guilting or shaming.
You’re a UX writer at Lingual, a leading mobile app for language learning.
Duolingo Babbel Mondly
Your job: Write microcopy for the scenarios below. Decide how to deliver the message using a toast/snackbar, standard pop-up, or as part of the flow of screens. All copy should be written according to the guidelines in Lingual’s content style guide.
In Lingual, users earn badges that they display on their user profiles. The user earned the Word Wizard badge for adding their first 500 words to their word bank. This is shown after the user completes a lesson.
The user tries to exit in the middle of a learning session. All session data will be lost if they exit.
The user chose to unfollow a fellow learner.
Next lesson can’t load because the user lost internet connection.
Users have daily word bank goals based on their daily target of new words. For example, a user can set their goal as adding 10 new words per day to their word bank. During a lesson, a user has just met their daily word bank goal and earned a reward: 10 Ling-gems, for use at the Ling-shop.
Scenario #1: The lesson is over and the user is being rewarded before moving onto the next section. A pop-up or toast would be insufficient reward. The new page adds breathing room to the user’s workflow and reduces visual clutter.
Scenario #2: Good friction aims to prevent user from making a mistake and make it easy to backtrack.
Scenario #3: This is good information for the user, but not a seriously irreversible action—they could just click “follow” again.
Scenario #4: A blank state shows the reader the error’s scope and solution.
Scenario #5: A pop-up might distract the user from their learning. Waiting to reward the user allows them to finish the lesson without distraction. Putting this information in their profile only could go unnoticed, defeating the point of the reward.