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The ReVIEW Team

Getting Words Right

3 min read


flickr photo shared by zaniele under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license 

Confirmation emails have emerged as our first hiccup in customer sign-up. Fitting the right message into the fewest words possible is hard work.

For us at ReVIEW Talent Feedback System the issue gets compounded because our users do not initiate the sign up process. A district or building administrator uses our intuitive interface to quickly add and modify users. Once a user gets created they receive a confirmation email with a temporary password.

Many teachers and evaluators missed the email. So I spent today working on some edits.

Dear _______________________

Welcome to ReVIEW Talent Feedback System. We support teacher growth through high quality observation and feedback.

Your Email id is ___________________________.

To confirm your account please use the following link:Confirm my account

Your temporary password:________________. You will be prompted to change the password once you log on to the site.

To log on to the ReVIEWclick here

Thank you,

The ReVIEW Team

I saw a few issues:

  • The order of prompts was just off. By providing the link to confrim my account before the temporary password we were giving users the chance to navigate way from the email before reading key information.
  • The period after the temporary password. Never end a sentence in a password followed by a password. Many users included the password when they cut and paste
  • Do not assume users will cut and paste. During recetn role out I saw many teachwers writing the password down.
  • There was no context from the user who is receiving this email without prompting.

 

So I spent the morning thinking about edits and made the following revisions

Dear ,

Welcome to ReVIEW Talent Feedback System. Your school administator or supervisor has recently requested you join our platform.

We support teacher growth through high quality observation and feedback.

Your Email id is

Your temporary password:

Copy this passowrd. You will be prompted to change the password once you log on to the site.

To confirm your account please use the following link:

If you have already confirmed your email account log on to ReVIEW by clicking here

Thank you,

The ReVIEW Team

As you can see I switched the order of prompts and added an explicit prompt to copy this password. We need to think more deeply about the number of users (often greater than 20%) who hand wrote and then typed in the password. Maybe use a word generator instead of a random string.

This is not the strongest security approach but the passwords are temporary and there is no data behind the user. We will have to think about this some more.

We also wrote template emails for our various productd and services. Administrators can now send these out before user enrollment.