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Back in 2021, Sessions—an online meetings platform—had never had a dedicated product writer on the team. Many people had been involved in creating copy, meaning it lacked consistency and a unified voice. They knew that their UX copy and flows would benefit from the attention of a trained UX writer.
So they decided to join the UX Writing Accelerator, a program where UX Writing Academy students work on a real project with a real company, led by an experienced mentor. Before the project, the students had spent six months learning the UX ropes through a mix of group and individual assignments. The real project at Sessions was a chance for them to put all their skills into practice and experience what it’s like to work as a UX writer. Students gain valuable experience, while companies get assistance improving their product copy. It’s a win-win for everyone involved!
The students who joined the project were Carla (who was hired as the company’s first UX writer after the project), Charles, Lenore, and Shanyn. They did a stellar job and worked as a team despite being spread out across the world, from the US to Finland. The company representative Robert (Head of Design) is located in Romania while the UX Writing Hub’s Project Manager (Anja Wedberg) is based in Poland.
Sessions is a remote meeting and collaboration tool, oriented towards professional users. It was built to enable people to organize and hold online meetings in one and the same place, without having to access documents and tools outside the meeting platform.
Sessions integrates all features needed for an online meeting, including video conferencing apps, instant messaging apps, calendar apps, cloud documents and drives, and virtual whiteboards. This means you can access everything on the go without having to jump between different applications.
Check out this short video about Sessions on Product Hunt.
For this project, UXWA students focused on the so-called Designer feature of Sessions, which allows you to plan your meetings in advance around a clear agenda and organize all the content you need for the meeting. Specifically, their task was to improve the onboarding flow, orienting users to the software when they use it for the first time.
Sessions communicated their challenges to students to help them gauge where there was most room for improvement:
- First, they were concerned that their onboarding flow is too complex, especially the second half of the flow where users set up their first session.
- Second, Sessions was curious to see how the onboarding flow for the Designer feature could be merged with the main flow of the product to help users better understand how to optimize their workflow.
- Third, some of the existing copy in the app was written by non-native English speakers, and Sessions wanted to ensure that the copy was consistent, clear, and positively reflected their brand image.
Over a period of six weeks, UXWA students worked diligently to understand Sessions’ business goals, evaluate their current product copy, perform user research and ultimately produce recommendations for improvements.
Students began by learning about the product and using Sessions for themselves to get a first-hand understanding of the product. They reviewed Sessions’ own user research, including their personas and statistics from their onboarding funnel. After getting a good understanding of where the product currently stood, they conducted competitor research, where they evaluated other companies offering similar products compared to Sessions’ offerings at the time.
The next step in the process was to carry out conversation mining, a UX writing research technique pioneered by the UX Writing Hub.
By seeking out publicly available conversations related to Sessions and similar products, for example on social media and reviews, the UX writing team can glean how people talk about the product and its features. It’s a great way to gather insights about words and phrases that are likely to resonate with users and also to understand users’ needs and pain points.
The students then conducted stakeholder interviews, getting input from Sessions’ staff and working closely with the Head of Design at Sessions so that senior team members’ insights could help them better understand areas for improvement within the onboarding flow.
Students also conducted usability testing with the help of the Sessions research team. They wrote a testing scenario and tasks based on their prior research, and asked the research team to test how the copy resonated with users.
Another task was to review Sessions’ existing content style guide. After gaining an understanding of how Sessions hopes to communicate with their users, the students reviewed the voice and tone of the product and came up with improvements to the style guide based on the insights from their research. Then they shifted their focus to crafting copy suggestions. Specifically, they made recommendations to improve the second part of the onboarding flow, where users set up a new session.
The work culminated in a research report, summarizing the insights from their stakeholder interviews, conversation mining, and usability testing.
Overall, the project was a big success. Working closely with Head of Design at Sessions Robert Gavrilescu, the students implemented their copy suggestions in Figma. Afterwards, Gavrilescu expressed, “I’m super grateful to have met everyone here. The project had a great impact not only on the product copy, but on the user experience as a whole.” In September 2022, they decided to join the UX Accelerator for a second time (a work in progress at the time of writing this article).
The students who worked on the projects gained a lot from the experience. Carla Kargaard (who after the project was hired as Sessions’ first UX writer!) wrote, “Thanks @Robert Gavrilescu, you trusted us with a lot and gave us an amazing opportunity. We spent many late nights together on Figma, but it was such a rewarding process 🍾”
If you’re looking to start a career in UX writing, there’s no better place to start than the UX Writing Academy. Not only will you be guided through innovative UX writing and content design curriculum and develop a variety of portfolio projects, you’ll get the opportunity to work on a project for a real UX writing project like this one, and make a real impact on a company along with gaining valuable experience.
And if you’re looking to introduce UX writing to your company, the UX Writing Accelerator is a great place to start. You’ll collaborate with a team of UXWA students led by an experienced UX writer as a mentor to build a content style guide and improve the copy of your product.