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UX Content Design Intern at Handshake

Many of Handshake’s push notifications were written years ago and hadn't been updated since. I improved outdated push notifications by addressing vague body copy, unclear titles, and a lack of conversational tone. By updating the copy to be more user-centered, concise, and engaging, I was able to enhance the overall user experience of the app.

When users are inundated with countless notifications all day, it’s important that each one provides clear value; however, Handshake's previous notifications failed to do that because they all contained the vague and redundant copy "Get ready to make a great impression," with no accompanying calls-to-action. This made it difficult for users to distinguish between the notifications or find valuable information or next steps.

Creating value in Handshake’s push notifications was my number one priority. I replaced the vague with the specific, nixed the redundancies and wordiness for clear and conversational copy, and added calls-to-action to engage users with actionable next steps.

Video chat reminder

How would you feel if you got 3 push notifications about different things but they all said "Get ready to make a great impression"? This video chat reminder was one of these redundant notifications. The new copy I wrote offers so much more value for users. It's conversational, delivers important information, and is encouraging.

+ 19.1% open rate

Job alert

The job alert notification originally had no title copy and only said how many new jobs match your recent search. The new push I wrote puts the number and kind of job right in the title because it's the most important information. The body copy now has a call-to-action encouraging users to be the first to apply to new jobs.

+ 8.5% open rate

Job expiring

The job search process can be really stressful, especially for job-seekers that just graduated and have limited experience in their field. The last thing Handshake would want is to add to that stress. I rewrote this notification and dialed back the tone. Nobody wants to read "Hurry!" That's just plain scary and unnecessary.

+ 13.9% open rate

I began by reviewing user research to gain a deeper understanding of trigger and goals of these notifications. With this context in mind, I brainstormed a range of potential copy ideas. From there, I refined my options, ensuring that the most important information was included and that the language was conversational.

I collaborated with another content designer, who provided valuable feedback. Once I had a solid set of revisions, I presented them in a design critique to a diverse group of stakeholders, including content designers, product designers, and design leadership. This final stage allowed me to fine-tune the calls-to-action and voice and tone, ensuring that the notifications would be both effective and engaging for our users.

Other push notifications

Thanks to my work on Handshake's push notifications, these alerts transformed from a bothersome interruption to a friendly nudge that users could actually appreciate. Through A/B testing, I was able to compare the performance of the new copy to the old copy and found that it led to an impressive 19.1% increase in click-through rates.

The success of these new notifications is due to a range of factors, including their use of clear, conversational language and engaging calls-to-action that encourage users to take action. By providing useful information in a friendly and calm manner, these notifications have become a valuable tool for Handshake users, helping them to stay informed and connected in the job market.

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