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Improve the Silence: Creating Effective Interface Language
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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.

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

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  • 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!