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Use Your Words

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UI is language. Interaction is conversation. Content is the fuel that powers our designs. So what happens when the writer’s not in the room, or missing from your project team altogether? Good news: you don’t need to settle for lorem ipsum or half-baked prose. In this talk, Kristina shares language principles and content design tools anyone can put to work—yes, even the “non-writers” among us. Using examples from popular products and well-loved websites, Kristina uncovers the secrets to stellar content that anyone can create, no matter your role or area of expertise.

Published in: Design
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Use Your Words

  1. 1. Use Your Words Kris%na Halvorson An Event Apart 2018 @halvorson
  2. 2. Content strategy guides the crea1on, delivery, and governance of useful, usable contnet.
  3. 3. Content design uses data and evidence to give the audience what they need, at the -me they need it, and in a way they expect.
  4. 4. Editorial • Who are our target audiences? • What is our point of view? • What brand and legal standards do we need to comply with? • What is our voice and tone?
  5. 5. Experience • What are our users’ needs and preferences? • What does our content ecosystem look like? • What are our customers’ journeys? • What formats will our content take? • How will design pa>erns shape our content across screens? • What metrics will we use to measure performance?
  6. 6. Systems design is the process of defining the architecture, modules, and data for a system to saAsfy specified requirements.
  7. 7. Structure • How will we organize content for browse-and-find? • What tags are most intuiAve for users? • How will we categorize content for efficient management? • How will we structure our content for future reuse? • What are the requirements for personalizaAon, dynamic delivery, AI?
  8. 8. Process • How will content move through its lifecycle? • What tools will we use to create, deliver, and maintain content? • How and when do we care for our exisAng content? • Who gets to say “no”?
  9. 9. http://www.joebarrios.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/wireframe.png LOGO
  10. 10. You can do it!
  11. 11. YOU THIS TALK
  12. 12. Inclusivity: Who needs your content? Intent: What are they trying to do? Meaning: What are you trying to say? Context: Where is the user in their journey? Constraints: What can’t you change? Inclusivity: Who needs your content? Intent: What are they trying to do? Meaning: What are you trying to say? Context: Where is the user in their journey? Constraints: What can’t you change?
  13. 13. • Dagwood Bumstead • Married with kids and dog • ConstrucAon manager • Likes sandwiches, long baths, and naps on the sofa • Color blind • Hearing loss
  14. 14. http://www.keepitusable.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/ExPersona_Clark2.png
  15. 15. Inappropriate assumptions Intentional inclusion
  16. 16. Inclusive behaviors are those pracAces and behaviors that leverage and honor the uniqueness of people’s different talents, beliefs, idenAAes, and ways of living. – InsAtute for Inclusion as quoted in “The Inclusion Principle” on A List Apart “
  17. 17. • Less important than others • DefecAve • Inappropriately stereotyped • Excluded • Unvalued • Abnormal • Biased against Non-inclusive wri/ng makes people feel …
  18. 18. • Gender • Race • Sexual orientaAon and idenAty • Accessibility Four areas to pay a:en/on to
  19. 19. • Provide informaAve, unique page Atles • Use headings to convey meaning and structure • Make link text meaningful (no “click here”) • Write meaningful alt text for images • Create transcripts and capAons for mulAmedia • Provide clear instrucAons • Keep content clear and concise W3C Accessible Wri/ng Guidelines
  20. 20. Use non-specific pronouns “they” vs. “she” or “he” Address the user directly “you” and “your” Avoid gendered nouns “server” vs. “waitress” or “waiter” Use acceptable labels for race and ethnicity Get guidance from members of the groups you are describing Acknowledge a range of sexual idenAAes and orientaAons Avoid exclusive labels and language
  21. 21. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/cortana/skills/cortanas-persona
  22. 22. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/cortana/skills/cortanas-persona
  23. 23. [Inclusivity is] recognizing and supporAng the intrinsic value of all human beings by creaAng and sustaining condiAons that foster equity, empowerment, awareness and competence at the personal, group and organizaAonal levels. – InsAtute for Inclusion as quoted in “The Inclusion Principle” on A List Apart “
  24. 24. Inclusivity: Who needs your content? Intent: What are they trying to do? Meaning: What are you trying to say? Context: Where is the user in their journey? Constraints: What can’t you change? Inclusivity: Who needs your content? Intent: What are they trying to do? Meaning: What are you trying to say? Context: Where is the user in their journey? Constraints: What can’t you change?
  25. 25. • SaAsfy hunger • Fuel up for acAvity • Celebrate an occasion • Cope with emoAons • Win a prize for eaAng the biggest sandwich
  26. 26. Understanding top tasks
  27. 27. Top tasks are the small set of tasks that ma>er most to your customers. Make these tasks work well, and you’ll be on the right track. Get them wrong, and chances are you’ll lose the customer. – Gerry McGovern “What Really Ma<ers: Focusing on Top Tasks” “
  28. 28. • Don’t use brands or jargon • Avoid product names or groups • Eliminate overlap • Avoid lo`y concepts and goals • Be concise
  29. 29. Start with the verb
  30. 30. Our templates Custom design File upload
  31. 31. Choose wisely
  32. 32. Control yourself
  33. 33. Inclusivity: Who needs your content? Intent: What are they trying to do? Meaning: What are you trying to say? Context: Where is the user in their journey? Constraints: What can’t you change? Inclusivity: Who needs your content? Intent: What are they trying to do? Meaning: What are you trying to say? Context: Where is the user in their journey? Constraints: What can’t you change?
  34. 34. Hone in on substance
  35. 35. • meat • cheese • le>uce • onions • tomatoes • green peas • spaghea • fried eggs • blue stuff
  36. 36. http://www.joebarrios.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/wireframe.png Wireframes
  37. 37. http://v3.danielmall.com/articles/content-display-patterns/oreilly-wires3.png Pa>erns and requirements
  38. 38. PAGE TABLE: Substance and prioriAes
  39. 39. Nobody cares
  40. 40. We are the leading professionals working with business owners seeking to drive more sales into their businesses by offering our online markeAng services such as Web Design and Development, Social Media MarkeAng (SMM), Search Engine OpAmizaAon (SEO) and Graphic Designs. Our competent, dynamic and proacAve support team offers Training and OrganizaAon Development Consultancy services. Our aim is to be your choice as partner in achieving your business success by providing excellent and professional services. We are the leading professionals working with business owners seeking to drive more sales into their businesses by offering our online marke1ng services such as Web Design and Development, Social Media MarkeAng (SMM), Search Engine OpAmizaAon (SEO) and Graphic Designs. Our competent, dynamic and proac1ve support team offers Training and OrganizaAon Development Consultancy services. Our aim is to be your choice as partner in achieving your business success by providing excellent and professional services.
  41. 41. Get to the point
  42. 42. Unfortunately, Zencastr can’t import external files yet. You’ll need to use a separate audio editor like Audacity or Adobe Editor to sync the tracks.
  43. 43. Confirma/on number: 0219107677 When you pick up your Ackets at the theater … • Show the credit card you used to purchase them. • If your movie is rated R, you’ll need to show your photo ID. • Are you a Magical Movie Rewards member? Get your card scanned at the box office to receive rewards vouchers. (Also, you may have been issued a discount on your purchase. Check your credit card statement to confirm.) Email us: customerservice@movieAckets.com Call us: 1-888-440-8457 Tracking # 355638025-183099509 (for MovieTickets.com tracking purposes only)
  44. 44. Avoid clichés
  45. 45. Don’t state the obvious
  46. 46. Inclusivity: Who needs your content? Intent: What are they trying to do? Meaning: What are you trying to say? Context: Where is the user in their journey? Constraints: What can’t you change? Inclusivity: Who needs your content? Intent: What are they trying to do? Meaning: What are you trying to say? Context: Where is the user in their journey? Constraints: What can’t you change?
  47. 47. • hungry • meal Ame • socializing • bored • depressed • free food
  48. 48. Watch your tone
  49. 49. Respect their process
  50. 50. Be consistent
  51. 51. If you’re allergic to something and you don’t see it listed in “Ingredients”—or appearing in an Allergy Information statement in boldface on the package—then our ice cream (or other product) is safe for you to eat. Here’s why: 1. We work closely with all of our ingredient suppliers to make sure the information they give us about their ingredients is absolutely accurate—then list that information on every product label. All of it. Every label. 2. We’re especially careful about listing the following ingredients as possible allergen risks: peanuts or tree nuts (almonds, cashews, chestnuts, walnuts, pistachios, pecans, hazelnuts/filberts, macadamias, Brazil nuts, pine nuts), eggs, milk, fish, shellfish, wheat, soy, and lupin. 3. We have specific, required processes in place to protect customers with allergens from cross- contamination—including strict sanitation procedures that ensure complete cleaning of all equipment. For the most up-to-date allergen information about our products, just check the label—and if everything looks good, then eat up. If you have any other questions or concerns about our ingredients, get in touch.
  52. 52. Inclusivity: Who needs your content? Intent: What are they trying to do? Meaning: What are you trying to say? Context: Where is the user in their journey? Constraints: What can’t you change? Inclusivity: Who needs your content? Intent: What are they trying to do? Meaning: What are you trying to say? Context: Where is the user in their journey? Constraints: What can’t you change?
  53. 53. • what’s in the fridge • sandwich-making skills • dietary restricAons • Ameframe • size of mouth
  54. 54. Legal requirements
  55. 55. Brand requirements
  56. 56. https://download.skype.com/share/blogskin/press/skype_brandbook.pdf
  57. 57. https://identity.unc.edu/voice-writing-style/
  58. 58. System requirements
  59. 59. Accessibility requirements
  60. 60. • Provide informaAve, unique page Atles • Use headings to convey meaning and structure • Make link text meaningful (no “click here”) • Write meaningful alt text for images • Create transcripts and capAons for mulAmedia • Provide clear instrucAons • Keep content clear and concise W3C Accessible Wri/ng Guidelines
  61. 61. Human grammar
  62. 62. Inclusivity: Who needs your content? Intent: What are they trying to do? Meaning: What are you trying to say? Context: Where is the user in their journey? Constraints: What can’t you change?
  63. 63. How can you get started?
  64. 64. Start with substance
  65. 65. Practice good hygiene
  66. 66. Sketch with words
  67. 67. Words are essenAal for helping users accomplish their tasks, and by thinking about them while you sketch, you’ll uncover problems early and be able to move faster later. – Biz Sanford “Words and the Design Process” “
  68. 68. • Headings for pages and secAons • Key verbs and nouns • Bu>ons and link text
  69. 69. https://ux.shopify.com/words-and-the-design-process-f41472a249fb
  70. 70. Do not fear words.
  71. 71. Thanks! Kris%na Halvorson April 4, 2018 – An Event Apart SeaEle @halvorson

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