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a platform driven by the mission to give all students the chance to build the career they want, no matter where they’re from or what school they attend.

Handshake is dedicated to making its platform accessible to as many entry-level job seekers as possible through its Open The Network Initiative (OTN).

Right now, only current students at two- or four-year schools can join Handshake, but the company has already begun laying the groundwork for expanding its user base. Redesigning registration and affiliation flows is the first step towards opening up the network to more talent in the job market.

Because the platform is only accessible to current students at this time, the language and the way the platform is set up is very exclusive. There’s no guidance for users who sign up that aren’t current students. So, they’re left in a platform that seems deserted and they don’t know why or how to fix it.

A user's experience can make or break their loyalty to a brand. To ensure Handshake's users feel welcomed and supported, I focused on creating a consistent and friendly voice and tone throughout the platform. By guiding them through complex flows and providing clear instructions, I aimed to improve their overall experience.

One of the key tasks was to rewrite the registration flow copy to be more inclusive.

This new first screen now greets not only students, but also early career professionals and career changers. By broadening the focus in this way, I made it clear that Handshake is a platform for everyone looking to advance through the early stages of their career.


Users can register with either an .edu or a personal email, but using a personal email limits their access to the platform's features. I created a tooltip to help users understand the best email option until the userbase expansion happens.

The purgatory page is where users end up when they don't have full access to Handshake.

In collaboration with a product designer, I designed a new purgatory page to provide clarity and guidance to users who registered with a personal email address so they’re not dropped into a digital wasteland.

The original copy was exclusive and passive-aggressive, so I rewrote it to be more inviting and conversational. I replaced "You have limited access" with "Get full access" and "You haven't provided enough information" with "We need more info."

I also made the body copy clearer and more concise. To ensure consistency, I made the button more descriptive and aligned it with the headline copy.

This approach helps users understand why they can't access certain features and what they need to do to get full access in a friendly way.

Effective design is all about collaboration.

To ensure that our users get the best experience possible, I worked closely with my colleagues on the Handshake team using the comment feature directly in the Figma files we worked in.

Together with the product designer, I made sure that the copy aligned perfectly with the visual design. With the product manager, I delved deep into the context of the problem we were trying to solve. And I used the feedback of another content designer to help me revise and improve my copy.

By pooling our skills and expertise, we created an experience that was both effective and engaging, and that truly served our users' needs.

This project aimed to improve the user experience for non-traditional users and to lay the groundwork for the platform's future expansion.

By reworking the copy and redesigning registration and affiliation flows, we were able to make the platform more inclusive and inviting for a broader range of users. Through collaboration with product designers, managers, and fellow content designers, we were able to align the copy and visual design, and create a more conversational and helpful voice and tone.

The project demonstrated the importance of content design in creating a welcoming and usable product, and laid the foundation for Handshake's future growth and success.

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