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The fictional “Handshake” is a shared payment app that tracks and streamlines the financial and working relationship between freelancers and small business owners.


The problem: to review the mockups and provide all UI text needed for an upcoming Handshake design presentation and review.


My work:

  • Review the Handshake app detailed user personas and functionality

  • Review ideation notes

  • Review the mockup and add UI text including microcopy, tooltips, hint text, and instructions throughout the flow

  • Provide notes and recommendations after completing the mockup edits


Research and review




Handshake functions as a payment app for freelancers and business owners.


  • Business owners use the app to pay freelancers and track progress of hours worked.

  • Freelancers use the app to bill business owners and report progress on a paid project.


The Handshake app is shared by these two user types. Each has a view of one side of the app.


The freelancer pays a 1% fee to Handshake and is the primary user of the app. Their tasks include, reporting billable hours, requesting payment, inviting business owners to use the app, create new projects, propose a budget for a project, track hours worked, invoice, and receive payments.


The small business owner is the secondary user. After a freelancer invites them, they can approve hours and send payments to the freelancer.




I read several user personas provided by the research department to understand the potential user and their needs.
























These personas helped me imagine when and why they would use Handshake and provided context for identifying practical issues that informed my writing choices.




In imagining how both users would step through the screens I made a list of specialized language that would be used in freelance/small business relationships:


timeframe, projected cost, fee, approval, service agreement, hire, start date, progress report, fee adjustment, invoice, fee schedule, payment process, balance, deliverables, billable hours, invoice tracking, direct deposit, time tracking, invoicing, CRM, gig, scope of work, project deposit, retainer


I explored some early UX/UI copy ideas with onboarding screen tag lines that focused on benefits for both user types.


A Handshake that Means Business


Handshake: Where Business and Freelancers Close the Deal.


Handshake: A Germ Free Agreement


Voice and Tone


To establish voice and tone I imagined the mindset of the two types of users of Handshake and what emotions they might feel while using the app.


Freelancers might feel anxious to get a reply to the bid, glad to get hired and pleased to get paid on schedule.

Business owners might feel anxious to see if a hired freelancer is performing on schedule, thankful that it’s simple to track progress and communicate with the freelancer, and appreciative of it being easy to pay when the work is completed on schedule.


For the app’s voice I considered these qualities: firm, friendly, simple, clear, confident, human, expert, enthusiastic, authoritative (but not authoritarian), reliable, calm, informative, professional, smart, sympathetic, trustworthy, welcoming.


I also considered words that would be used throughout the UI that would fit the voice and tone.


Project – the term is the main focus of the relationship between the freelancer and the business owner. It will need a detailed description, a budget and a timeline.


Progress – Refers to the ongoing use and a key touchpoint for how the freelancer will document their work and how the business owner will be kept up to date. It’s a straightforward term everyone understands


Budget – Regular use will remind both the freelancer and business owner that management and payment of money is a vital part of the project and partnership.


Payment – Business owners and freelancers will see this in situations like “payment method” which would need to be agreed upon. Business owners will see it in situations like “payment is due” and freelancers will see it in situations like “you have received payment”. This term clearly indicates what is required on both ends.


I also rejected certain words and phrases when considering voice and tone:


I favored “Invoice” which seems more aligned with the language of small business over “Request payment” which sounds remote and corporate.

I favored “Send payment” which indicates that the user is a person over “Remit” which sounds impersonal.


Editing the Handshake user flow

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