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What language do you
speak?
How using the right language helps you build great products
Mihaela Draghici
Product Manager @ SDC:LX
Volkswagen Digital Solutions
How to build great products by using the right
language to:
1 Build stronger connections and relationships
2 Better understand your users and serve their needs
3 ‘Translate’ information for different stakeholder groups
Build stronger connections
and relationships
‘I understand that you have a culture and identity that
exists beyond me. I see you as a human being.’
Show that
you care
“Ça va?”
“Ça va. Ça va?”
“Ça va, ça va.”
Understand
what people
want to say
When English is not their
native language.
Was just made aware that this
value is supposed to be missing.
For the contract, we can not
confirm this.
When English is not their
native language.
This value should be missing but
we cannot confirm it should be
missing for the contract.
When English is not their
native language.
It was reported that this value is
missing for the contract, but we
know that it is actually present.
When English is not their
native language,
and they don’t know the
right word to use.
Uhmmm...Errmm…
How do you say
‘remboursement’
in English?
When English is their native
language.
Understand your users
and serve their needs
Do user
research in
native language
Have localized
interfaces
Roll out regionally in English only
Poor localization > bad UX and poor
user feedback
Have localized interfaces
Provide a good user experience
Show your users that you care
Avoid misunderstandings
Avoid legal issues
Have localized interfaces
Unexpected error
Make content understandable and intuitive for users
Erreur fortuite
Erreur imprévue
We’re sorry but [Insert product here]
does not support this browser.
Make content understandable and intuitive for users
Nous sommes désolés, mais [notre
application] ne prend pas en charge
ce navigateur.
English
en_GB
en_US
en_CA
Use the right local language
German
de_DE
de_AT
de_BE
de_CH
Portuguese
pt_PT
pt_BR
French
fr_FR
fr_BE
fr_CH
fr_CA
Adapt your terminology to local market context
Commission Number Kommissionsnummer
Número de encomenda Număr de referință
Make sure special characters are readable
‘Translate’ information for
different stakeholder groups
Translating tech jargon into business talk
“The X service returns a 500 error to
our GET request with ‘NULL’ in the
response body. We’re working with
their team to identify the issue.”
Translating tech jargon into business talk
“The X service returns a 500 error to
our GET request with ‘NULL’ in the
response body. We’re working with
their team to identify the issue.”
“We cannot access the price quotes
from the provider and are currently
working with them to identify the
problem. We will let you know as soon
as we have more information.”
Translating tech jargon into business talk
What are the new accepted enums for
‘transaction.status’. We need to
update our API and Swagger so Team
X know what to send in their request..
Could you help me identify what the
possible statuses for a transaction
are?
Translate business requirements for the data team
We want to know the adoption rate of
our new Campaign Manager in the
APAC and EMEA regions in the last
quarter compared to previous quarter.
Can we please have a report on how many
campaigns have been created via our Campaign
Manager (feature id: 49494) in the following
countries (list country IDs) in the timeframe:
01/05/2020 - 30/09/2020.
The report should include:
Client ID
Client Name
Client Country
Campaign ID
Grouped by: Client Country
Communicate reports to senior management
40% increase YOY
34new clients
Brazil 30% | UK 45% | France 60% | India 58%
For more details, check the report.
Conclusions & recap
Using the right language can help you build great products:
You create closer and
stronger relationships
with your stakeholders.
You better understand
your users and build
products suited to their
needs, which they can
actually use.
You communicate
effectively across
different disciplines and
levels of expertise.
Thank you!
Mihaela Draghici

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What Language Do You Speak?

  • 1. What language do you speak? How using the right language helps you build great products
  • 2. Mihaela Draghici Product Manager @ SDC:LX Volkswagen Digital Solutions
  • 3. How to build great products by using the right language to: 1 Build stronger connections and relationships 2 Better understand your users and serve their needs 3 ‘Translate’ information for different stakeholder groups
  • 5. ‘I understand that you have a culture and identity that exists beyond me. I see you as a human being.’
  • 7. “Ça va?” “Ça va. Ça va?” “Ça va, ça va.”
  • 9. When English is not their native language. Was just made aware that this value is supposed to be missing. For the contract, we can not confirm this.
  • 10. When English is not their native language. This value should be missing but we cannot confirm it should be missing for the contract.
  • 11. When English is not their native language. It was reported that this value is missing for the contract, but we know that it is actually present.
  • 12. When English is not their native language, and they don’t know the right word to use. Uhmmm...Errmm… How do you say ‘remboursement’ in English?
  • 13. When English is their native language.
  • 14. Understand your users and serve their needs
  • 17. Roll out regionally in English only Poor localization > bad UX and poor user feedback Have localized interfaces
  • 18. Provide a good user experience Show your users that you care Avoid misunderstandings Avoid legal issues Have localized interfaces
  • 19. Unexpected error Make content understandable and intuitive for users Erreur fortuite Erreur imprévue
  • 20. We’re sorry but [Insert product here] does not support this browser. Make content understandable and intuitive for users Nous sommes désolés, mais [notre application] ne prend pas en charge ce navigateur.
  • 21. English en_GB en_US en_CA Use the right local language German de_DE de_AT de_BE de_CH Portuguese pt_PT pt_BR French fr_FR fr_BE fr_CH fr_CA
  • 22. Adapt your terminology to local market context Commission Number Kommissionsnummer Número de encomenda Număr de referință
  • 23. Make sure special characters are readable
  • 25. Translating tech jargon into business talk “The X service returns a 500 error to our GET request with ‘NULL’ in the response body. We’re working with their team to identify the issue.”
  • 26. Translating tech jargon into business talk “The X service returns a 500 error to our GET request with ‘NULL’ in the response body. We’re working with their team to identify the issue.” “We cannot access the price quotes from the provider and are currently working with them to identify the problem. We will let you know as soon as we have more information.”
  • 27. Translating tech jargon into business talk What are the new accepted enums for ‘transaction.status’. We need to update our API and Swagger so Team X know what to send in their request.. Could you help me identify what the possible statuses for a transaction are?
  • 28. Translate business requirements for the data team We want to know the adoption rate of our new Campaign Manager in the APAC and EMEA regions in the last quarter compared to previous quarter. Can we please have a report on how many campaigns have been created via our Campaign Manager (feature id: 49494) in the following countries (list country IDs) in the timeframe: 01/05/2020 - 30/09/2020. The report should include: Client ID Client Name Client Country Campaign ID Grouped by: Client Country
  • 29. Communicate reports to senior management 40% increase YOY 34new clients Brazil 30% | UK 45% | France 60% | India 58% For more details, check the report.
  • 30. Conclusions & recap Using the right language can help you build great products: You create closer and stronger relationships with your stakeholders. You better understand your users and build products suited to their needs, which they can actually use. You communicate effectively across different disciplines and levels of expertise.