How my husband became my secret weapon in UX writing

No, don't worry. This isn't a "couldn't be successful without my husband" post. My husband I and I support each other in many ways, but neither of us owe our career to the other.


The reason my husband's been invaluable is because of his job: Customer Care Agent. We work at the same company; I write content for several products, and he deals with those who need help along the way.


I'm all for user research: usability studies, surveys, and interviews can all go a long way in understanding why users need a product, and how they interact with it. Ideally, most of this research would be done before a feature's fully developed and released, but anyone working in tech for more than a few weeks knows that's not always the case.


This is where customer care has been invaluable. It started with an offhand comment, my husband mumbling under his breath that he was sick of explaining to users what would happen when they try to change a certain setting.


Why didn't I know that users were confused at that point? There were no big data markers there; it hadn't been brought up in a meeting. Yet real-life, real-time users were having trouble with it.


I have to pause here, literally have to, because there's an important caveat: products will never get anywhere if they follow every user request. Sometimes users don't know what they need; sometimes one person needs something that no one else does. Research and planning have to live in harmony with user comments.


But my husband's comments got me looking at the tickets, and searching the chats and calls for things that popped up often. I found three places where users were constantly unsure about what a specific action would do. And the fix? Purely content. No dev time, no sprint planning necessary.


Fixing things that are already live can sometimes be more powerful than a whole new feature. Now less support tickets are coming in, users aren't as confused, and I, at least in part, have (Lord help me) my husband to thank.

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