When you ask a Klooker about their typical day at work, you’ve got a 100% chance they’ll answer something along the lines of “There’s no typical day here” or “Each day at Klook is different”. And while that’s true, it’s also soooooo unsatisfying if you’re trying to figure out if Klook is the right place for you! So in this series, Klookers take us along on one of their (un)typical days at work — no excuses.
Today, Seb Smith shows us the behind-the-scenes of UX writing as a UX Writer in Shenzhen, China.
8:00 - But first, coffee
Not to be cheugy (read: uncool - a term popularized by Gen Z), but nothing starts until I’ve had a coffee.
Now’s a good time to set my daily intentions. Let’s go for “focused” today. Which isn’t very original because that’s my intention for every day. But hey, I’m not paid to write down cheugy stuff.
I’m in the office now. Let’s get down to business! And when I say business, I mean checking the news.
Right, so, the actual work.
Being in a lean team of just me, myself and I (two of which are lazy, good-for-nothings), I have a pretty high volume of UX writing requests to go through each day.
So I had better get them all out of the way first thing, right?
I love being a UX writer and I could happily write for UI designs all day. But then I wouldn’t learn anything new.
From 2 years of working here, I know that trying to get my regular day-to-day tasks out of the way first is like playing whack-a-mole.
That’s why I make my own projects and ideas the focus of every morning (along with the coffee). Otherwise, I’d never have time for them.
But anyway, ranting at you, dear reader, isn’t part of my day. So here’s what I actually do…
Where the magic happens
Each day, I like to spend about 30 to 45 minutes just browsing through Klook’s app and website to review the existing UX writing.
We’re always launching new features or making changes, so it’s vital to make sure everything’s up to date and looking spic and span.
Plus, we’ve got a UX writing style guide to enforce - that means making sure all of the copy follows the basic principles of being clear, concise and useful.
I’m looking through Klook’s Things to do pages and I come across some copywriting on a product card, “Available Tomorrow”. It definitely passes for “concise” but is it clear and useful?
“Available Tomorrow” sounds like tickets go on sale tomorrow - so don’t bother booking now. But after speaking to the product manager, I found out you can book now and go tomorrow. In fact, I once put off booking something on Klook until the next day because this phrase confused me.
Mustering all of my team’s brainpower, we come up with “Book now for tomorrow”.
We’ve now made this text into a call to action with a strong verb “Book”, added usefulness with “now” and made it both clear by telling them that they can book “for tomorrow”.
You might say it’s not as concise but being concise doesn’t necessarily mean using as few words as possible. It just means making sure all words have a purpose.
I then make a note to put in a request with the Data team to see if this copy change leads to an uptick in bookings for these activities.
10:30 - Spicing up Klook’s empty states
For my next trick, I want to completely revamp Klook’s empty states. You know when you’re shopping online and your cart is empty? That’s an empty state page. Or if you’re a new user on Klook and you’ve never made a booking, you’ll see an empty state in the bookings tab.
They’re not pages that attract much traffic or conversions. But I want to revamp them to show off Klook’s unique and fun brand voice.
Here’s the empty state that I came across during a previous platform review. It’s not just the UX writing but the whole page design that’s a bit flat.
I take a screenshot with my updated copy and paste it into Whimsical, a fun tool for drawing up UI mock-ups.
The page could at least have a homepage button so that the user isn’t at a dead end. Or if there’s tech resources, how about a recommendation module?
I want this project to be led by the UX writing, so I make it bolder and add a bit of humor.
I finish my mock-ups and arrange a meeting with the product manager to talk about what’s possible for this page.
12:00 - Checking emails
It’s noontime and I’m going to allow myself some distractions before lunch. I check my emails and reply to Lark messages. Most of this is just following up on ongoing projects with project managers and localization teams.
I especially like talking with localization teams because of their valuable insights for their own market’s users. Plus, they always have a lot of good gossip.
13:00 - Lunch!
A warm bowl of beef noodles to boost my energy for the rest of the day!
14:00 - Kick off meeting
We’re getting ready to launch something big and exciting on Klook, that’s gonna make our users jump up and down and share candy. Okay, maybe it won’t be great but I can’t tell you anything else about it.
What I can say is that there’s pretty much someone from pretty much every R&D team here - project managers, designers, engineers and so on. I’m here to see the draft UI design and troubleshoot early for any design choices that might obstruct the UX writing or anything that’s just not localization-friendly.
For example, a button on the draft design looks pretty small. It should be fine to write something short in English that’s still clear and useful. But other languages like Vietnamese and Thai tend to need more space for their translations.
Here’s a button on Klook’s homepage for example. Vietnamese uses more characters to say the same thing as the English.
15:00 - I do what I was hired to do
Okay, it’s 3 PM and finally time to start the job I was hired for. UX writing! I see what tasks are in the inbox and start with the most urgent.
Today I’ll write for a new feature on the hotel page that lets users search weekends, so if they’re not bothered about what weekend they can pick the cheapest for wherever they want to stay.
There’s some other tasks, but they’re mostly just requests for changing existing copywriting. I plow through these before I wind down for the day.
18:00 - It’s data time
When I was working from the UK, I used this as a backdrop to look smarter
I cut my teeth as a copywriter before I got into UX writing. There’s a lot of overlap between the two jobs, but copywriters tend to see themselves as poets - writing clever words that will spur the reader into action.
Of course, any decent UX writer needs to spur people into action too. But we can’t just write poetry - we have to be scientists, too. That means we don’t just write down some pretty words, call it a day and go home for dinner. We have to make sure that our words are measurable for success.
Otherwise, how else can we improve our craft?
To give you an overly simplified example, if I write “Check availability” under a hotel package rather than “Book now”, does that mean more people will click? And what about conversions?
I admit, data analysis has always been a blind spot for me. So I try to use this last hour of the day to do some research, see what tools are available and even ask other Klookers what kind of data is available already for me to look at.
19:00 - Home!
And that’s how I end my day at Klook!
Wanna work alongside Seb on UX Writing?
Posted by Seb Smith, UX Writer
Based in Shenzhen, Seb is responsible for Klook’s UX writing. When he’s not at work, he’s often reading, listening to hip-hop, and drinking coffee. No wait, he does those things at work too.