The Dash: How would a dog write error messages? 🐶

The Dash: How would a dog write error messages? 🐶

This week’s Dash includes error messaging tips, Confab announcements, and more exciting updates about AR with Apple!

Katie Szymanski
April 2, 2021


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!

Important reminder: If the ship can get out of the Suez canal, you can get through your content design conundrums. We don’t want you to miss the boat on this week’s content goodness, so we’ll get right to it. Sorry, we had to.

  • How would a dog write error messages? How would a bird use punctuation? Jane Ruffino is at it again with this tabletop exercise to help develop your product’s voice, tone, and style. Check out the Miro file and get to writing.

  • 404! Issue 2. What happens when error messages read more like poetry? This is probably the zine you were looking for. Grab the second issue, handmade and assembled by Andy Welfle. Discover an existential error in the wild? Submit it to be featured!

  • We are all this ship now. We’ve never identified with anything more before. The 1,300+ foot-long boat is one big metaphor for how a lot of us have been feeling lately, in life and in work—stuck. Just this week, Ever Given broke free and is back on track to continue its charter. The mighty ship is also a great reminder for how we can end up stuck in our projects, processes, or workflows. Moral of the story? Keep that momentum and keep chugging along. Great reads from Prototypr.ioUX Collective, and Interaction Design Foundation.  

  • Are your words working? Well, content research and testing is the best way to find out. Come hang out with us at Confab to hear from our very own Patrick Stafford. You’ll learn at least five different testing methods and how to present your findings to stakeholders. See you there!

  • Invite everyone to the interface. Good UX writing does just that. In this piece, Nick DiLallo explores how to write inclusive, accessible digital products. Key to this includes writing clearly, using inclusive language, and respecting every use case.

  • AR at Apple WWDC? Apple Worldwide Developers Conference will take place this June—and it looks like they’re gearing up for some fun announcements. In true Apple fashion, their event teaser hints at what’s to come—with a memoji wearing sleek glasses. Smart glasses? VR headsets? Taking bets…

  • Speaking of AR… We hosted a webinar last week that we think you’ll enjoy. Carly Gray, UXWC instructor and content designer, walked through best practices for immersive writing and what we can expect from this field. Watch the recap on your own time here!

  • What’s in a (content strategist) name? Job postings are like snowflakes—it seems there are no two alike. Our friends at WorkingInContent.com help take the guesswork out of crafting high quality content strategist job descriptions by analyzing trusted brands like SurveyMonkey, TikTok, and Amazon. You can even download a handy job template here.

  • Experience consistency is key. And the key to consistent experiences is asset mapping. This article from Nielsen Norman Group breaks down how to use asset maps vs. customer-journey maps, plus the benefits of doing so in the first place. Let’s see those maps!


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