How I learned that my writing skills are in high demand for digital content.

Pink sticky notes with different phrases from UX design and writing, hand holding sticky in foreground with phrase
Pink sticky notes with different phrases from UX design and writing, hand holding sticky in foreground with phrase
UX Writing is more than just card sorting

What is UX Writing?

If I had a dollar for every time someone said, “What?” when I told them I was taking a course in UX writing and they gave me that look, well, I’d have a good chunk of change by now.

For the past five months, I have been participating in the UX Writing Hub’s online course founded by tech entrepreneur Yuval Keshtcher. This course teaches the fine art of micro-copy for apps and websites and shows by example and through practical exercises what the industry will eventually come to call UX writing.

This job is still called many other things like “content designer” or “technical writer,” or more recently “content strategist,” but generally the task itself can be called UX writing. The final word is not yet out on whether the title “UX Writer” will prevail, but for the sake of this article and the fact that I just finished a course on UX writing, I’ll keep using the phrase. …


Berlin Unicorns

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Image for post
Unicorn-Teddy-Bear Tree in northern Berlin

I miss the gypsies feeding their children ice-cream and Coke Cola in the subway. The traditional, pink, flowery scarves covering half their round dark heads, and their dangly golden earrings add color to Berlin’s dreary winters. I could learn a lot from these women. Roma is what they are called now. They don’t give a flying hoot about what anyone outside of their clan thinks. With their 5“ slip-on wedge heels and chartreuse socks, long velvet-red skirts, huge fuzzy white tops with thousands of glittery tassels and rhinestones under contrasting vests.

They say that in Berlin you can wear anything — or nothing. They talk loudly amongst themselves in their language, as if alone in the metro. Willing everyone around them to take a stance. I wish I knew what they were saying. Wish I could be so confident. Germans are not loud. Being loud is reserved for a few things like soccer — Fussball — and the resident drunks who haunt the underground. Otherwise, keep your voices down, nobody wants a scene. …


Lived Through This

Finding my voice as a woman and veteran

Closeup silhouette of a female soldier.
Closeup silhouette of a female soldier.
Photo: Alina Linnik/EyeEm/Getty Images

When I was 25, I enlisted in the U.S. Army. During basic training, I wrote “It is a privilege to be oneself” in my journal. I scribbled those words under incredible physical and emotional distress, stripped of all indicators and standards of selfhood. Face-down in the muddy soil of Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, I decided to kill myself. Interestingly, it was another woman — my female drill sergeant — who contributed to my decision that death was preferable to failure.

Her verbal abuse for my lack of manliness made me hate my attempt to be both female and a soldier. She told me my crying made all women look bad. She told me I was not cut out to be a soldier as I sweated under the Midwestern sun in the front-leaning rest position of ultimate submission. I couldn’t be GI Jane — who, for her total assimilation, might as well have been called GI Joe. …

About

Bettina Hindes

I am interested in paradoxes, contradictions, people, culture, and being human. I write and translate DE-EN | MFA student Non-Fiction. www.bettinahindes.com

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