Defining the role of UX content in a hyper-growth start-up
There comes a point in every start-up’s life when it realises that in order to scale, it needs to grow its design team and invest in design specialisms, such as product design, research and content design.
This point for Flo came last year, and I was asked to join as Head of UX Content, which includes UX writing and conversational design. This presented a fantastic opportunity, not just for me (to lead and grow a team from scratch is my dream job) but also for the organisation.
You see, content is not only a fundamental part of design, it’s fundamental to the overall user experience, which is often just a series of interactions and information — all of which are content, and need careful consideration. Basic and quite functional journeys can be designed without content experts, but to really elevate design, improve quality and accelerate product performance, it’s advisable to employ expertise. Specialists can super-charge your products, taking them from good to incredible!
Step forward our new team, who design strategically with content to make sure the structure, format, voice and tone is optimised for users and achieves product goals. This mostly takes the form of microcopy, navigation, interactions, chat and notifications.
The right time for UX content
New products tend to be built quickly, so they can test the market and build early adoption. This helps start-ups demonstrate demand and attract investment interest. In doing so, they tend to keep their design and build team as lean as possible so they can move fast and pivot easily as they learn. But educating new users about products and features relies on clear, concise content, and as a product evolves, maintaining content consistency is vital to keep the user experience connected and cohesive. That’s why any growing product team needs to consider content early on in its lifecycle.
Flo hasn’t had any UX writers until now, and with more than fifteen established product teams continually creating new features and evolving the app, that’s a lot of UI content for product managers and designers to think about.
Getting started with content
As content is so fundamental to design, UX writers play a key part in the design process, partnering with product designers to define problems and create solutions. At Flo we have a centralised UX content team, because we’re just getting started, so we’ve taken time to understand the key initiatives where we can add the most value and go deep into design work. Any other initiatives we offer more of a ‘consultancy’ role, recommending adjustments and changes.
Our UX writers also play a key role in making sure content can be localised for different markets, so we’re fostering relations with our localisation team to make sure we can engage them early for transcreation, rather than relying on last-minute translation work. This will help keep Flo relevant for users in all our markets, not just the English-speaking ones!
Preparing to scale
We may be a new team, but we’re already growing, and thinking about how we add more value in the future. It’s never too soon to consider the operational side of content, such as design system integration, or whether your tools and process need improving — and it’s also important to create role expectations for the team, assessing skill gaps and highlighting development opportunities. These are things I’m already working on at Flo.
While building the foundations to scale is crucial, so is using what we have right now to drive change. While the team’s still small, we’ll create copy guidance and training to empower all designers to make more considered content decisions for the times we can’t be around to help. We’re also working with our editorial content teams to define a consistent approach to language, which is so important for strengthening brand credibility.
UX content may just be getting started at Flo, but we’re already seeing an impact, and we can’t wait to take Flo to the next level. In fact, we’re already looking for more content talent to help us get there. If you’d like to know more, head here to see the job descriptions. Come and help us build the future of women’s health.