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The Dash: Get to work

We’re once again finding ourselves saying "wow, these certainly are uncertain times"... but one thing we can control is the good work we do.

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

We’re once again finding ourselves saying “wow, these certainly are uncertain times”… but one thing we can control is the good work we do. So this week we’ve rounded up some great pieces about getting to work—both in making the design and UX writing community more diverse but also in, y’know, doing the UX writing work we know and love.

On our blog, we’ve got a sole UX writer’s processes and framework for getting things done, a fresh transcript from the Writers of Silicon Valley podcast, resources for making our work more inclusive and diverse, and a breakdown of UX writing in Animal Crossing (we are as surprised as you are). Alright, let’s go!

  • Alone but not lonely! Every so often an article totally hits the nail on the head for current work situations. This is one such article. And it’s on our blog, hooray! We think a lot of you will resonate with Kendra Ralton’s piece about being the sole UX writer in a startup team. The best part is she’s documented her processes and outlined how to get the most out of the (limited) time you have.
  • Kathryn Strauss on Writers of Silicon Valley. We’re making our podcast episodes accessible so that everyone can benefit from our awesome guests… In the most recent episode transcribed, Patrick interviews Kathryn Strauss: Senior UX Writer at Square. She speaks about her transition into UX writing, how to do effective UX research and the future of the UX writing industry.
  • D4D (Design for Diversity). Project Inkblot generously share their framework for designing with diversity—something they’ve honed while building equitable products for other organizations. Seriously, the stuff they’ve included here is so helpful for anyone working on building products for human beings. A nice gentle reminder that big changes can happen when we do the work.
  • We’re with you. The great people who run the Content+UX Slack group have compiled a live list of resources to elevate the voices of our Black content strategist and designer colleagues (and the #BLM movement as a whole).
  • Influence is not defined by the numbers on a subscriber list. UX writer Annie Bacher shares some really helpful guidance on how we can use our influence as writers and designers to make fighting racism a regular part of our business.
  • Designing better systems (and futures). This is a short article about why the design community can’t stay silent about humanitarian issues. This sentence sums it up quite well: “As a designer, we refer to empathy, research, discovery, solutions, and success metrics in our day-to-day—but rarely is this methodology applied to the world around us.”
  • Content-first, accessible website project… but make it during a pandemic. Rachel McConnell is on the sofa again with another content designer: Amy Grinstead. This is Amy’s first-hand account of working remotely on a website redesign project for people who are Deaf or with hearing difficulties—and during a pandemic, too. It’s a super interesting interview, and Amy also talks about working remotely as a contractor with an established team.
  • And in this week’s edition of “Things We Didn’t Think Were UX Writing,” we’re looking at the encouraging, fun, and thoughtful messaging in the game Animal Crossing. As a non-gamer, this article is still full of useful lessons about making your users feel good.
  • 2 is better than 1. This article gives us the argument we didn’t know we needed to explain the user experience of forms. Why should we split the first and last name fields? Well, long story short: two fields are better for long-term usability.

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