Evolving from Writing to UX Writing

Presentation Abstract

Over the past 5 years, the Consumer writers at Microsoft have been evolving the discipline to focus less on having lots of online documentation explaining our products, and more on how to educate and engage our customers from within the experience.

This evolution has been driven partly by better access to data that allows us to identify exactly what questions our customers are asking, what specific words and phrases resonate most with them, and even pinpoint exactly where in the experience they’ll be most receptive to a tip. In addition to the data, we also have better ways to measure the financial impact of our content decisions.

I’ll talk about how we’re using data and customer-intent to walk that fine line between delighting our customers and annoying them with our in-product tips. I’ll also discuss the new content types we’ve invested in, including “Instant Answers,” where we provide very targeted answers to common questions about Microsoft products (Office and Windows), Cortana Show me (a new feature in Windows 10 where when a customer asks Cortana how to complete a task, Cortana walks them through the steps in the UI), and our work on chatbots, including how to write naturalistic dialog and interactions.

In addition to new platforms we’re investing in, we’re also using data about our more traditional web articles on support.microsoft.com to identify which articles are directly resulting in more customer support calls and agent chats. I’ll talk about the work we’re doing with our engineering team on support.microsoft.com to identify the top articles that are leading to support calls, and how we’re making incremental changes to those articles to drive down those support calls, directly resulting in a reduction of the amount of money we’re spending to support those customers.

What can attendees expect to learn?

At Microsoft we’re using a combination of data and innovative content types that both benefit our customers and contribute to the bottom line. By talking through our experiences, I’m hoping to provide attendees with different ways to think about how positive and engaging customer contacts through content can result in financial results for their organizations.

Meet the Presenter

As an editing manager, technical editor, and writing manager at Microsoft, Elizabeth evangelizes the importance of how voice and words influence the overall customer experience. Every day she stands up to the challenge to find the right phrase or word to create small, positive interactions that will lead to strong, long-lasting relationships with our customers. She’s brought her passion for human-centered design and communication to the user interface in Windows and other Microsoft websites, including account.microsoft.com and privacy.microsoft.com.

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