Write like a human, think like a robot

29,549 views
27,799 views

Published on

Great content is human, refreshing, and relatable—not robotic. But the more users expect content to cross devices and platforms, the more we need to think like our robot friends.

No designer can lay out thousands of pages to make sure every possible permutation of a large responsive site looks right. No Readability editor can review every article someone saves and decide which elements are important. No magical elf can add cross-reference links to every deep layer of content.

Instead, we must rely on systems that automatically determine how content should be assembled, rendered, formatted, and connected. And the more we understand how these systems work, the better we can put them to work at ensuring our content stays lively and lovable, wherever it goes.

Published in: Technology

Write like a human, think like a robot

  1. Write likea human,think likea robot.sara wachter-boettcherconfab 2013www.flickr.com/photos/avoiretc/3441244946/
  2. www.flickr.com/photos/saracimino/8528177619/Content needs to be human.
  3. RelatableRelevantAppropriateEmpathetic
  4. People come to Pinterest not just to dothings, but to feel things.Tiffani Jones Brown, earlier today
  5. Stop using marketing words and settingunrealistic expectations... Be genuine in yourlanguage and set real expectations.Steph Hay...also earlier today
  6. We can takethis evenfurther.
  7. Humannessturns datainto content.
  8. Mike Atherton, “Beyond the Polar Bear”
  9. But we don’talways see thisas “our job.”
  10. {This is a true story.}
  11. www.flickr.com/photos/crownsocial/6231232219
  12. You could filterresults based on yourhoroscope!www.flickr.com/photos/crownsocial/6231232219
  13. You could filterresults based on yourhoroscope!What ifit customizedcontent based on theweather?www.flickr.com/photos/crownsocial/6231232219
  14. You could filterresults based on yourhoroscope!What ifit customizedcontent based on theweather?Those filters arejust FPO. The developerswill make it work.www.flickr.com/photos/crownsocial/6231232219
  15. Make it look likePinterest!You could filterresults based on yourhoroscope!What ifit customizedcontent based on theweather?Those filters arejust FPO. The developerswill make it work.www.flickr.com/photos/crownsocial/6231232219
  16. {Meanwhile, in dev...}
  17. www.flickr.com/photos/tifotter/544669881
  18. Wheredoes the feedcome from?www.flickr.com/photos/tifotter/544669881
  19. Whatshould the algorithmbe based on?Wheredoes the feedcome from?www.flickr.com/photos/tifotter/544669881
  20. Whatshould the algorithmbe based on?Wheredoes the feedcome from?Can we addmetadata after the feedcomes through?www.flickr.com/photos/tifotter/544669881
  21. Whatshould the algorithmbe based on?But what fieldsare actually in thedatabase?Wheredoes the feedcome from?Can we addmetadata after the feedcomes through?www.flickr.com/photos/tifotter/544669881
  22. www.flickr.com/photos/davidcemin/4201972514The“concept.”
  23. {It never launched.}
  24. Some sitesaren’t solucky.
  25. Some reachchallengesdown the line.
  26. We’ve beenhere before.
  27. www.flickr.com/photos/gold41/5280122352There’s no magic cure.
  28. www.flickr.com/photos/brightmix/1487922055Our teams need our help.
  29. www.flickr.com/photos/balluffsensors/8448435294The ‘bots need our help.
  30. It’s time weget to knowthe ‘bot brain.
  31. www.flickr.com/photos/evilerin/4420070113Rules let robots make decisions.
  32. SystematicConsistentAutomatedLogical
  33. ‘‘How do you get that sense of hierarchy ofinformation that we’re familiar with from aprinted newspaper page? How do we createthat in a form that’s appropriate to the iPad?Mark Porter,“Introducing the Guardian iPad Edition”
  34. While also...1. Using a simple, flexible gridlayout system2. Not manually laying outeach day’s edition3. Doing better than a PDF
  35. Logic is like a robot styleguide: Rules keep theresults consistent.
  36. What it takes:1. Structure2. Metadata3. Rules4. Transportation5. Context
  37. 1Structure
  38. www.flickr.com/photos/tdd/4493216417It’s hard to parse this.
  39. www.flickr.com/photos/28478778@N05/5728474385/This is much easier.
  40. You need a structuralmodel that matches yourusers’ mental model.
  41. Does this content need to be:1. Something you can searchand sort by?2. Related to other content?3. Extracted to display elsewhere?4. Reprioritized or resized forsome destinations?
  42. Recipe• Title• Byline• Publication Attribution• Yield• Active Time• Total Time• Teaser• Image• Preparation• Main Ingredients• Servings• Cooking/Prep Time• Nutritional Information
  43. Metadata2
  44. Extra data the ‘bots can use.www.flickr.com/photos/rusty_oleum/7325471968/
  45. DescriptiveStructuralAdministrativeHelpful
  46. Relevant forsummer, grillingSecondarycontent (sidedish)May not bedistributed tothird parties
  47. 3Rules
  48. If this, then that.
  49. Every contentchunk is anopportunity.
  50. DisplayCombineRemoveConnectReprioritize
  51. If a recipe is in the app,then prioritize the ratings,but hide reviews.
  52. List all side dishes taggedas summer from Gourmetor Bon Appétit in the BBQfeature.
  53. Recipe• Title• Byline• Publication Attribution• Yield• Active Time• Total Time• Teaser• Image• Preparation• Main Ingredients• Servings• Cooking/Prep Time• Nutritional InformationRelatedWinesReviewsRecipeTypesRelatedMenusRelatedRecipesRelatedDiets
  54. Transportation4
  55. You needcontent thatcan travel.
  56. APIs take those content chunks.www.flickr.com/photos/ogimogi/2253657555/
  57. And turn them into products.www.flickr.com/photos/fourstarcashiernathan
  58. So you can build what you need.www.flickr.com/photos/wallyg/2391794127
  59. APIs powerthings youuse every day.
  60. Kin Lane, http://apievangelist.com
  61. YelpInfoUserContentGoogleMaps+ +
  62. APIs let you bring them together.www.flickr.com/photos/vanityblue/8694220424/
  63. Context5
  64. Mashups aren’tnecessarilymeaningful.
  65. UI designLabelingExplaining
  66. Things like...• Where should Igo right now?• Sights near me• Most populardestinations
  67. Content brainsbring newpossibilities.
  68. It knows...• Starting city• Ending city• Arrival anddeparture dates
  69. What if...• Time zonedifference alert• Upcomingweather• City info
  70. You knowyour content.
  71. You knowyour users.
  72. You knowyour message.
  73. www.flickr.com/photos/paulvaarkampThere’s nothing to fear.
  74. You don’t have to writean algorithm. But you canmake one better.
  75. Empathycan’t end atpages.
  76. www.flickr.com/photos/benhusmann/5126030385Make all your content more human.
  77. thank you,CONFABImages used via CC-Attribution license unless otherwise noted.sarawb.com@sara_ann_marierfld.me/content-everywhere

×