You pitched. You were picked. Now, you prep.

Rehearse first

My husband taught me this trick. It seemed counter-intuitive until I tried it.

Here’s what you do:

Stand in an empty room and start talking. Yes, even before you have an outline, script, or deck. This gets you to a verbal outline while testing how the words feel in your…


How a best practice in software documentation helped me be vulnerable and build trust

Image credit: Frank Abgrall

When I joined my team in 2020, I had not stepped foot in the office let alone met a co-worker in real life. I was having a difficult time feeling connected, reading people, and opening up. …


Originally posted as a Medium Series on September 10, 2019

Day 1

Scenario

A traveler is in an airport waiting for the last leg of a flight home when their flight is canceled due to a severe storm at their destination.

Challenge

How does her airline app tell her this and what does it…


16 “best practices” I hate

I collect pet peeves. And none bother me more than questionable UX writing.

Every time I come across bad product copy or misleading advice, I add it to my collection. Each one proves how vital and subjective writing is. (And why it should be left to the professionals.)

To borrow…


Hard-won wisdom from the product trenches

Though in its infancy, UX writing has been thoroughly vetted. Hundreds of articles cover what it is, how to do it, and why it matters.

And I consumed them like a box of Thin Mints: one by one until I had a throbbing headache.

Now that I have some experience…


It’s easier than you might think

Words are fundamental to communication — on and off the web. And because a significant component of digital accessibility is about making all content available as text, writers have one of the most substantial impacts on creating accessible experiences.

Basics

We’ve all experienced frustrating — or even debilitating — experiences online…


An easy-to-follow guide to AA compliant content

Written content

Avoid referring to content by sensory characteristics:

  • Shape
  • Size
  • Screen location
  • Orientation
  • Sound
  • Color

Label form fields.

Structure and formatting

Write headings and labels that explain or describe the content that follows.

Navigation

Provide copy for webpage titles.

Use consistent terms on navigation-related buttons and links.

Write descriptive link text.

Specify the current step in a sequence (aka breadcrumbs).

Images

Provide appropriate null, short, or long alt text.

Use icons — and their alt text — consistently.

Provide transcripts/captions for video and audio content.


Ashlee Phillips (that’s me) striking a confident pose on stage at AirBnB as she delivers her talk on web accessibility.
Photo credit: Brian Phillips

This is a transcript of a talk I gave at the Content Strategy SF Bay Area Meetup at Airbnb.

The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone, regardless of disability, is an essential aspect.

This is a quote from Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Web…

Ashlee Phillips

Content designer, etc.

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