Status and Error Messages5:12 with Dan Gorgone
In this video, we’ll explore how personality and voice could be applied to simple pieces of website and app messaging - such as status and error messages - to improve UX and understanding.
Once you've defined your personality, you can confidently begin to create 0:00 UX content that reflects who you are and improves the experience for your users. 0:04 One way you should apply your personality is with status and error messages. 0:09 Like when you submit a form, you'll either see a confirmation message or 0:14 an error message asking you to fix something. 0:18 Another is when users hit a broken link, like on the Olive Garden website here, 0:21 and users need to figure out where to go. 0:26 Why are these short little pieces of content important? 0:28 They provide valuable immediate feedback for the user, and 0:32 keep the user experience intact when interruptions occur. 0:36 But without these messages, 0:40 users may not understand if something worked or how to fix it. 0:42 So these messages have become integral parts of user interfaces. 0:45 But a lot of times, designers and developers will go with most generic 0:50 version of the message simply to make the interaction work. 0:54 But on the other hand, let's say you're browsing on Threadless for 0:58 a designer t-shirt. 1:02 You spot something you like and add it to your cart. 1:03 Suddenly, like magic, your shopping cart appears, a smile on its face, 1:06 and tells you One item added to my Carty Belly! 1:11 I'm still hungry. 1:14 And this is adorable, I mean, who wouldn't want to keep feeding this cute little guy? 1:16 At it's core, 1:21 this is a form confirmation that tells me I was able to complete my desired action. 1:22 But with a healthy dose of personality in the form of a cute image and 1:27 little character, I can see Threadless wants me to enjoy this experience. 1:32 So as you've seen, UX content takes many forms, text, images, 1:37 video, even little characters. 1:42 And when it comes to these status and error messages, they're essential for 1:44 keeping the user experience intact when users need instant feedback. 1:49 But there's another reason why these messages are a great way to impact UX. 1:53 It's because your users won't expect it. 1:58 A lot of people expect generic messages like form complete or 2:01 success when they do stuff. 2:06 But not a smiling shopping cart hungry for more business. 2:08 When you return a message with unexpected personality and 2:12 a personal touch, it's more likely to make a positive impression. 2:16 So if Threadless is a fun brand, what kind of brand are you? 2:21 Think back to the personality trait exercise you completed, and 2:26 you might start to have some ideas how to apply your personality traits to status or 2:30 error messages. 2:35 What would you say if a user messed up an important form? 2:36 Or if they completed a purchase on your site? 2:40 How would you warn them or thank them? 2:44 Here are a few strategies to think about. 2:47 First, consider the context of the interaction. 2:50 Why is the user doing something that requires feedback? 2:53 If they're trying to submit a help ticket, you don't wanna return a status 2:57 message that's out of touch with their current attitude. 3:01 A message like, super duper, we got your help request. 3:05 It might make them feel like they're not being taken seriously. 3:09 Stay true to your personality, but use the right tone for the situation. 3:11 Help requests should generally elicit a more serious and measured response. 3:17 But confirming a purchase or event sign up could be an opportunity to 3:22 provide a more positive and celebratory piece of feedback. 3:27 Another important tip. 3:31 If you're going to inject your feedback with personality, 3:32 make sure you keep the meaning of your message intact. 3:36 Confirmation or warning messages are there for a reason. 3:39 Users must know what's happening. 3:43 Don't muddle the meaning by making your messages too clever or confusing. 3:46 Like if someone registered for an event, tell them exactly what they need to know. 3:52 Don't go overboard and say hurray you're on the list, bruh. 3:57 Did I just get added to a list? 4:02 Did I do this right? 4:04 Inject just enough personality so your voice is familiar, but 4:06 don't force your users to wonder what you're trying to say. 4:10 Make sure the message is clear without any confusion. 4:14 And while these injections of personality can be helpful, 4:17 don't start inventing new places where messages pop-up. 4:21 You don't want to reinvent how normal interaction or processes should work. 4:25 Find the places where information needs to be given, and 4:29 then add a dash of fun, seriousness, or whatever traits make you you. 4:34 Focus on the interactive spots you already have in place, and work with those. 4:40 So when it comes to error messages or status messages, 4:45 use the appropriate tone for each situation. 4:49 Make sure the meaning is always clear. 4:53 And inject your personality into logical spots where that immediate feedback will 4:56 be helpful and welcome. 5:00 When your users run into these spots, their experience won't be disrupted. 5:02 It'll be improved because of the care you took with your UX content. 5:07
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