#DelightfulDocs // DigitalOcean’s UX and Microcopy

Hi! Welcome back to my channel. In the
previous video, we discussed what is UX writing and microcopy and also discussed
three of my favorite tips for writing microcopy. Let’s recap – the first step
that I like is that make your microcopy clear to the users which means replace
technical jargon with words that the user is familiar with and rephrase the
message so that it makes sense from the users perspective and not from the
system or the developer’s perspective. My second favorite tip is that make sure
that every word on the UI has a distinct purpose. And my final favorite tip is
that make sure that the user has all the information they need to make informed
decisions and also understand the consequences of those decisions. In
today’s video, I want to talk about my favorite online platform which does an
amazing job at user experience and microcopy.
And that platform is DigitalOcean. DigitalOcean is a cloud infrastructure
provider that helps you deploy and scale apps in the cloud. So let’s look at
DigitalOcean’s user interface and I’ll walk you through some of my favorite
elements of the user experience and microcopy. Okay, so this is DigitalOcean’s
a welcome screen. One of my favorite parts about their user experience is the
onboarding process. So to walk you through their onboarding process, I
created a brand new account and already confirmed my email and entered my card
details and this is my favorite part of the onboarding process – the project goals.
So as a new user I don’t know what I can use DigitalOcean for so they are helping
me make the choices and giving me all the options that I need to consider and
I just love this process and they also have a very conversational language
which works very well with their brand like from my perspective the
DigitalOcean brand is all about ease and accessibility and welcoming and
conversational so I think their tone matches their brand very well. So let’s
go through the user experience. So it says welcome. To begin let’s create a
new project – so the tone of the language is very conversational and friendly like
we are in this together, we are going to build this together. It’s not like okay
“you do this”. It’s not very it’s not directing or ordering
the user to do something – it’s a very approachable language explaining and
educating the user on what the product is. Note you can change the name, redefine
the purpose and move resources between products – this is a
brilliant piece of microcopy because this is preemptively answering the
questions that the user might have. This little line here shows how carefully
they have thought through the user experience like they have really thought
through what is the frame of mind of the user and they have tried to understand
what are the questions that the user might have and then preemptively answer
them. I think this is a brilliant move because it builds trust as a user in the
product that the company who creates this product is really thinking about me
right now. Okay so it’s telling me that I can change the name and redefine the
purpose and move resources later so I can go ahead and make the choice and if
I make the wrong choice that will be fine because I’ll be able to change it
later. Let’s do that – project name trial – okay, what is your project for – this
information will help us improve the project’s experience based on what you
are building. Okay just trying out DigitalOcean. Tell us which tools or
technologies you plan to use on DigitalOcean Okay
I probably will use kubernetes and docker. Deployment – I don’t need a
deployment. Development tools – I’ll probably use github and where’s Python – Python
Okay and probably Postgres. I don’t need
monitoring. I don’t need other cloud providers and I don’t need to publish so
that’s all I need and for now it’s just me and then Start.
Do you see how easy and guided this process was like it really made me think
about what I want to do on this platform and what technologies I’ll use and what
I’ll use them for so this is helping the user understand what all you can do with
the platform and then helping them make the right choice. Trial – this is your
first project. Create new projects and organize your resources to suit your
workflow. Okay create droplet okay so let’s create an
your droplet. DigitalOcean droplets of flexible linux space that run on top of
virtual hardware each droplet you create is a new server you can use. So what they
are doing here is helping the user understand the term “droplet” because it’s
a new term. It’s not a term that is prevalent in software engineering. That
is a new term that DigitalOcean developed themselves so since it’s
introducing new terminology they are also giving your definition and the use
of that term and what that would mean so I love this piece of microcopy. So
helpful. Okay let’s create a droplet. Okay now
when we are creating a droplet again want to walk me through the process of
what droplet I want. For now I’m just going to use Ubuntu’s fine and I’m going
to use the smallest one. I don’t need storage. I should probably want it closer
to me. I don’t want any of the additional options. I don’t want to add an SSH key.
And each of them have these little tooltips.
These are tooltips to help the user understand what decisions they are
supposed to make here like what does “choosing an image” mean and once you
understand what an image means then they can go and make the right decision. For
example, this tooltip tells me that adding an SSH key is recommended
security measure if you choose not to add one you will receive of a root
password via email. So from a user’s perspective they are telling me what I
can do and choose not to do and what will happen in either case like if I
want I can add my own SSH key and if I don’t then they will generate a root
password for me and send it to me so it’s helping the user make informed
decisions. Another thing I wanted to show you an empty state. Let’s go to a new
project. Let’s go to the databases page because I want to show you this. So
this is what is called an “empty state” like I have not created a database yet
so they could have just had a blank page here but just with this
button called “create a database cluster” but instead they take this opportunity
to inform and educate the user about the possible databases. So they tell me about
the managed databases and they tell me what that means is that a DigitalOcean
will manage my database so I don’t have to. Then they also tell me about why I
should choose that that these are the features and then they point me toward
sources where I can learn more about it so this is an excellent use of what is
called an “empty state” which is there are no databases in my project right now so
instead of just telling me that I can create one they tell me what that means
and why I should do it and how to do it so this is one of my favorite examples
of empty states. Now if we create a new project – trial 2 – again just trying it out skip for now. This is another empty state. So
this is what a typical empty state looks like but because I already have a
droplet they don’t need to educate me again about what a droplet means so they
just have like a basic empty state which is just literally a blank page with
the getting started button. That’s what I wanted to show you like a full-blown
empty state with all the resources and information and then a standard empty
state. Okay now let’s try deleting a project and look at this line of microcopy – To delete a project you must move or delete all resources with – again
guiding the user about how to do a particular task. Let me delete it – this is
what is called a “confirmation message” This is a pretty standard confirmation
message. And this is what is called a “success message” telling me that
the tasks that I was trying to accomplish was accomplished successfully.
So these are the main types of messages that you need to write microcopy for:
success messages, error messages, and confirmation messages. Okay let me go and
try to create a database cluster. Again this is another onboarding for a
different part of the product so we already had the onboarding for
DigitalOcean then we had an onboarding for droplet
creation and now we have an onboarding for a database cluster so it’s a very
thought-out user journey and they have optimized the onboarding process for
each part of the product. Again they walk me through all the decision-making and
they also tell me what I can and cannot do and the consequences of making those
decisions. Data center – again they have a very helpful tip here about how or which
data center in the world should I choose and this is critically important because
choosing the right data center is important for good application
performance so that’s what they mean here is that if I choose a data center
that is farther from me then it will add latency and it will result in slow
performance so this is again preemptively understanding
what the user might face once they build the application and helping them make
the choice right now. So you see why I love this UI so much
it’s like they have thought through the user experience and they know their
users so intricately and so well and it’s a completely user focused
workflow and they use microcopy beautifully to help the user accomplish
what they need to accomplish. That’s why I love DigitalOcean so much. I hope this
video was helpful! If you would like to watch more tech writing videos, subscribe
to the channel and hit the bell icon so you will be notified when the new video
is up. I’ll see you next time. Until then, happy writing!

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