Improve the Silence: Creating Effective Interface Language

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Slides from a workshop on interface language. Also, Louis CK is the best interface writer out there.

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Improve the Silence: Creating Effective Interface Language

  1. Improve the SilenceCreating Effective Interface Language
  2. Our AgendaPart 1Intro to Interface LanguageDon’t Call it MicrocopyRole and VoiceWords and PicturesBreakPart 2RecapitulationThe Functions of WordsWorking Across DevicesTrainwrecksConclusion
  3. Text
  4. Introduction
  5. Orality knits personstogether intocommunity.Walter Ong, 1982
  6. Oral Culture LiteracySecondaryOrality
  7. “Tell me, O muse, of that ingenious hero whotravelled far and wide after he had sackedthe famous town of Troy.”
  8. “MY DEAR AND HONORED FRIEND: I have often been desirous ofwriting to thee, but could not be reconciled to the thought that theletter might fall into the hands of the British, lest some printer orbusy-body should publish some part of the contents, and give ourfriend pain, and myself censure.
  9. Secondary oralityis post-literate.
  10. Secondary oralityallows allows forthe preservationof information astexts.
  11. Secondary oralityallows forinstantaneousfeedback.
  12. Secondary oralityfacilitates thedevelopment ofcommunity.
  13. “Tell me, O muse, of thatingenious hero whotravelled far and wideafter he had sacked thefamous town of Troy.”“MY DEAR AND HONOREDFRIEND: I have often beendesirous of writing to thee,but could not be reconciledto the thought that theletter might fall into thehands of the British, lestsome printer or busy-bodyshould publish some partof the contents, and giveour friend pain, and myselfcensure.“DarthBadgerDon’tCare.”
  14. “Tell me, O muse, of thatingenious hero whotravelled far and wideafter he had sacked thefamous town of Troy.”“MY DEAR AND HONOREDFRIEND: I have often beendesirous of writing to thee,but could not be reconciledto the thought that theletter might fall into thehands of the British, lestsome printer or busy-bodyshould publish some partof the contents, and giveour friend pain, and myselfcensure.“Sign up now.”
  15. We aren’t writing, weare speaking in text
  16. An interface is aconversation.
  17. An interface is aconversation thattakes place between aperson and amachine.
  18. You are the soul ofthat machine.
  19. Text
  20. Don’t Call it Microcopy
  21. Let’s get small:App.net post: 256 charsTwitter card summary text: 200 charsFacebook og:description text: 160 charsGoogle page description: 155 charsTweet: 140 charsTweet with link: 116 charsSubject line in iOS Mail.app: 45 charsJeff Eaton | LullaBot
  22. Role and Voice
  23. What role?
  24. Everything follows from the role
  25. Your vs My
  26. AuthenticEngagingSpecificAppropriatePolite
  27. How Would You Fix It?
  28. Words and Pictures
  29. When to use a word?When to use apicture?
  30. Type a WordTouch a WordTouch a Picture
  31. Words Images BothSpecificTranslatableAccessibleSharableCompactDecorativePreciseUnderstandableAmbiguousIllustrativeMonotonousChunkyBrandableEditable
  32. Short words are bestand the old words whenshort are best of all.”— Winston Churchill
  33. Take a Break
  34. Improve the SilenceCreating Effective Interface Language(Continued)
  35. So far...Language is an interfaceInterfaces are conversationsUnderstand the roleUse verbal and visual cues
  36. Part 2The Functions of LanguageWorking Across DevicesTrainwrecksConclusion
  37. The Function of Language
  38. SalutationOrientationActionInstructionService
  39. Salutation
  40. Orientation & Navigation
  41. Action
  42. Instruction
  43. Service
  44. Nouns are information architectureVerbs are interaction design
  45. Devices and Contexts
  46. Trainwrecks
  47. 8 Kinds of BadObliviousInconsistentPresumptuousUnnaturalVaguePassive(Too) CleverRude
  48. Oblivious
  49. Inconsistent
  50. Don’t be presumptuous.
  51. Unnatural
  52. Vague/Passive
  53. Don’t be too clever.
  54. Rude
  55. Conclusion
  56. Interface is a ConversationSometimes Words, Sometimes PicturesThink Big System, Not Tiny CopyKnow Your RoleBe Polite Above All
  57. Text
  58. Thanks!

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