How a team of writers tells the story of CallRail

March was an important month for the product content team here at CallRail, marking our first full year with the company. That means for an entire year now, CallRail has invested in a team of writers for its product department — and that’s really exciting!

You may be asking yourself: Why does a technology company like CallRail need writers?  What role do they play in helping more than 75,000 businesses track their calls?

And finally:

Office Space movie GIF

Well… we do a lot of things!

We’re UX Writers

The product content team is responsible for crafting the narrative that guides customers through the CallRail app. This kind of work is often called ‘technical writing,’ but don’t think of it that way. Our team of three writes for you — the real people using CallRail every day. For that reason, we refer to our work as User Experience Writing or UX Writing.

Writing coach Lisa Sanchez describes UX writing as “the practice of designing the words people see when they interact with software.”

Look around and you’ll see this writing everywhere. It’s baked into every application and website you’ve ever used. Whether you’re logging into Facebook, working through TurboTax, or looking for love on Tinder – good UX writing helps you understand what you need to do next.

I think the best way to demonstrate the power of UX writing is to show you what our app looks like without it. In the screenshots below, I’ve stripped away every word that appears in both the Call Flow Builder and call log inside of CallRail:

Internal view of CallRailUX design

Internal design of CallRail account

Can you imagine using an application that looks like this? It would be impossible to know where to begin and where to end. Without words and the vital context they provide, CallRail’s interface is nothing more than a beautiful assortment of shapes and colors.

The product content team works side-by-side with CallRail’s brilliant design staff to give the app meaning. Designers create functional prototypes for what a new feature or screen may look like, and then turn to writers to add the copy that speaks to the buttons, menus, graphs, or anything else they have created. This is all done through a collaborative prototyping platform called InVision.

Once a design concept is uploaded into InVision, writers leave comments on the page indicating what their copy should look and sound like in the app:

CallRail chatbot design by UX writers

We’re Help Writers

CallRail has always prided itself on being a friendly and helpful resource for all of our customers. These key values extend to the work we’re doing on the product content team too. That’s why we’re responsible for the 280+ articles available in CallRail’s Help Center. These step-by-step walkthroughs are designed to guide CallRail users through every part of the application. Internally, we use the same articles to train our customer support specialists when they’re first getting acclimated to the app.

This of writing forces us to take a step back and break our app into bite-size pieces. It’s our job to show you every last button, menu, and click required to get the job done in CallRail. While writing these articles, we are simultaneously taking detailed screenshots of every step of the process. This gives our readers and the people who rely on the Help Center a full picture of how to use the app.

We’re Blog Writers

The product content team is a major contributor to the official CallRail blog. But you already knew that 😉

Kid dancing while typing on computer

Here, we get the the opportunity to share our unique knowledge of the CallRail product while injecting a little voice and personality into our writing. Our newest teammate Brittney did a fantastic job of this when she wrote about the 5 ways CallRail uses CallRail in March.

Blog writing amounts to some of the most creative work we tackle as a team. It allows us to flex our literary muscles and nerd out a bit about the cool things we’re doing at CallRail. The content team’s fearless leader Katherine really brought those things together in this piece about using CallRail to optimize the writing you publish on your website. Check the blog often and you’re sure to see one of us pop up again soon.

Our little team wears many hats as we tell the story of CallRail to thousands of people each day. And we thank you, our users, for being part of that story — our words would be meaningless without you.