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The Dash: Designing for Voice 101

How do we gauge whether our content is hitting the mark? We analyze it, of course!

This is the published edition of our weekly UX writer and UX writing newsletter, The Dash. Sign up to The Dash to have these updates sent straight to your inbox!

It’s all well and good to be typing letters into a keyboard and sending it off into the universe to be enjoyed by users the world over. But how do we gauge whether our content is hitting the mark? We analyze it, of course! This week’s Dash covers just that.

So you want to be a content designer? If you’re new to UX writing, chances are you’re looking for your next big role in the field. Will it be as a UX writer, content designer, or strategist? Look, at this point, it could be any or all 3 combined… but one thing is for certain: you should definitely read this post by Sally Shafer on the Content Design London blog. This is part 1 of 2, so there’s lots of good nuggets of wisdom.

We feel seen. Big thanks to Jonathon Colman for sharing the slides to his new presentation. This one is about how his team at Intercom “redesigned content design” to increase focus and depth of work, have bigger product and business impact, and even accelerate professional growth and compensation—by working on just one product at a time.

Designing for voice 101. The field of conversational AI is rapidly growing… but the work of a conversation designer and what it takes to get started creating a voice chatbot might feel like a mystery. But not anymore! Check out this webinar featuring our Chatbot Writing & Design course author Hillary Black and special guest Jason Gilbert, an award-winning conversation designer, as they walk through designing a real, live skill. You may even hear a cameo from Liam Neeson. Keyword: hear. 

Are we really just animals in search of food? This piece compares our information-gathering human selves to predators seeking prey: how we Google things, search for something that stands out, and gather the bits we want to consume. It’s also why we need to be mindful of scanners when we design our content. Read more about it from J. Antonio Avalos here.

Do you use Google Analytics to analyze your content? Deborah Carver from Content Technologist shares some tips for getting the most out of Google Analytics 4 as a content person. There’s also some nice info about why learning analytics is an essential content skill. Lots of fun metaphors about horror stories, so there’s that.

SEER, not SNORe. According to David Hobbs, good content analysis should be Scalable, Engaging, Exploratory, Repeatable. This is an awesome, super helpful article explaining the process.

“Content people are brilliant”. Well, if Sarah Richards (who coined the term “content design”) says it, it must be true! Joanna Goodwin has re-shared Content Design London’s best explanatory pieces about the ever-expanding (and often-debated) content design discipline in this post on the Content Design London blog.

To A/B test or not to A/B test? How much does intuition play a part in your design process? Should we discount the creative side of our work for cold hard stats? How do we know when one should outweigh the other? This piece on the Invision blog by Eli Woolery takes us on the journey of how to use both.

UX career pathways galore. From freelancing to startups and corporate to agencies, there are many routes to consider on your career path. What a ride! Danny Sapio has written a piece (with excellent graphics) shining a light on your options.

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