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  • mdjeffrey

Alerts & Errors

Pricing did not have a content strategist (UX writer). Thus, there were a lot of inconsistencies in the copy across Pricing due to not having anyone to provide oversight over all the written content. A senior designer and I sought to remedy this with a long-term writing project.

This writing project would have to be a collaborative effort that took place over a long time, so one of the first things we did was to gather every resource on digital content style guides and copy editing that we could find within the organization and make them available in one place for our fellow designers to have access to.

We advised with content strategists across the organization in order to come up with a plan for addressing all the content across Pricing, which we mapped out.

Our first order of business was to focus specifically on alerts and errors. This decision came about due to a major push by our team to raise our System Usability Score (SUS) with our users. Fixing alerts and errors is an excellent way to increase SUS as error messages and alerts are usually encountered when something goes wrong or if the user strays from the so-called happy path.

The first alerts and errors that I decided to focus on were those in the product group where I was assigned. First, we catalogued all alerts and errors by pulling data on them with the help of our software developer colleagues. Then, we gathered pertinent information and screenshots of each unique instance of a alert or error and put them in spreadsheets. Using my knowledge of Lowe's online content style guide, I wrote out possible instances of copy not being in compliance with corporate standards. I then wrote out drafts of what the copy should look like if it adhered to corporate standards. After, I would send the copy to the Lowe's copywriting desk, which are copywriters who perform quality assurance on written content to make sure it meets guidelines.

In addition to rewriting the copy, I would also redesign the alert and error messages themselves. For example, in the errors directly below, the errors at the left are the older version while the errors at the right are the redesigned versions, which use components from the current component library as opposed to the now-retired components that the error messages to the left are comprised of.

The next step was to revamp the copy in the rest of the errors and alerts, which was a gargantuan undertaking as there were over 150 unique alerts and errors across the rest of Pricing. Unfortunately, the majority needed some sort of revision in order to be compliant with corporate standards.

I wish that I had more time to revamp the written content across Pricing. Unfortunately, doing the jobs of 2 people by being both a designer and a writer means that time was at a premium for me.

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