UX Writing Portfolio: Rewriting copy on Instagram account deactivation
This has officially become my habit: detaching myself from social media whenever something’s up and I don’t feel like keeping up with the internet. 90% of the time, it ended up with me deactivating (almost) all of my social media accounts (and by all, I mean Instagram and Twitter).
This is my first time deactivating the Instagram account since Meta revamped their design. I found it a little hard to deactivate, but maybe they hide it because they don’t want their users to do so?
After numerous steps, I finally arrive at this option: whether I want to just deactivate or delete the account. Below are what they look like on mobile app and web app.
Honestly, I almost canceled the whole process because… is this an essay? An abstract of a journal? This is so text-heavy and this is not Kindle or Wattpad. The web app view is slightly better because the bold text is more visible (in the sentences Deactivating your account is temporary and Deleting your account is permanent).
But the other texts are just too much and I think can be trimmed down. Even if this is how Meta’s brand voice and tone of voice are, there are other ways to deliver the points efficiently and still sound like a human.
A solution I’d like to offer
Before jumping to the copy alternatives, I’d like to go back to the beginning and start from there.
How do users end up here?
Like I said before, the new flow to deactivate or delete an account is more complicated than how it was—but maybe they actually made it that way to avoid users getting off their apps.
Plus, now that there’s the Account Center where users’ Facebook and Instagram accounts are merged, a change in flow is understandable.
(It’s still complicated for me, but that’s not what I’m going to focus on today)
- Go to Settings and privacy
- Click Accounts Center. Then under the Account settings, select Personal details
- Click Account ownership and control, then select Deactivation or deletion
- Users select the profile they want to deactivate or delete first before they can decide which action of the two they want to do
- Users then will see the screenshots I attached above—to choose whether they want to deactivate or delete their account.
What do users need to know here?
Deactivating your account is temporary
Deleting your account is permanent
These 2 texts that are written in bold may seem like it’s the main point. However, I feel like they’re just the summary of what’s actually important here.
What users need to know here is the information that comes after the 2 sentences above:
- If deactivated, their profile is just hidden until they reactivate it
- If deleted, all of the data inside their account will be removed and cannot be retrieved.
Because.. what’s the point of mentioning temporary and permanent if the users don’t know the implication of both?
What to improve, then?
First of all, I’d like to appreciate what the UX writer(s) or content designer(s) have written here, and I believe that they didn’t come to this decision lightly. What I’m about to say after this comes from my personal experience as a user (my experience as a UX writer may have played a part a bit, too).
Since I can’t provide the design, I rewrote the text on Notion and put my copy proposal (the one with the green background) below.
- I’d like to reassure users once again what temporary means. It means that their data will still be kept and they won’t go anywhere. I’m reusing the word hidden because I like that it gives a sense that everything is still in place, but now it’s just invisible.
- I divided it into 2 paragraphs. Personally, I felt like a blob of text seems harder to read, especially if there isn’t any style difference (bold, italic) in it. The 2 paragraphs also represent 2 points here: the first is about what deactivation means, and the second is additional info about how to get back once the account is deactivated.
- Rather than re-stating that all of that will be permanently removed, I’d prefer to rephrase it into something that cannot be retrieved. Similar to my previous reasoning, I’d like users to understand what permanent means.
- The 2 paragraphs here also symbolize 2 points: the first is about the main action, and the second one is additional info—but this time it’s about reassuring them after they read the implications on the previous paragraph.
My last words
I may have gotten myself sidetracked because I put the idea (of deactivating my account) on hold since I wanted to work on this first. I hope that this isn’t offending anyone and could be a place for us to discuss instead! What are your thoughts? Do you have any other alternatives?