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Design Is [Language] – Why Words Matter

Google Design2018-02-15
why words matter#design is language#language of design#ux design#ux content strategy#word design#maggie stanphill#joscelin cooper#material#design#google#google design#designers#design is#design series#design event#design events#language#sentence diagramming#tone#human centered design#linguistics#copy#GDS: Yes;
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💫 Short Summary

The video discusses the importance of language in design, emphasizing the role of copy in shaping products and user experiences. Examples from art, literature, and politics showcase the impact of storytelling through language. It highlights the significance of conversation design, emotional reactions to words, and the use of language in eliciting real emotions. The video also touches on the power of verbal and nonverbal cues, the impact of language on user experience, and the need for consistency in language rules. Overall, the video emphasizes the integration of language and design to create engaging and effective product experiences.

✨ Highlights
📊 Transcript
Importance of Language in Designing Product Experiences.
Maggie Stanphill and Jocelyn Cooper emphasize the significance of copy in shaping products.
Stanphill's background in editorial and experience at Google, Nike, and Razorfish showcase the impact of storytelling through language.
Examples from art, literature, and politics are used to highlight the role of language in design.
The discussion focuses on principles and practices for effectively incorporating language in design processes.
The importance of the relationship between content and design in Google search.
Conversation design and language are crucial for effective communication.
Debbie Millman's work showcases visual poetry and literature through type and copy.
The power of language, such as 'I love you,' in evoking emotional reactions.
Google Express uses provocative language to filter out inappropriate audiences for volunteer trips to Africa.
The importance of language in evoking genuine emotions and its influence on humanity throughout history.
Design systems, exemplified by the work of Gabrielle Garcia Marquez, heavily rely on language for effective communication.
Conversation design is becoming increasingly important in design culture, with language playing a central role in shaping interactions.
Historical instances, such as the French 'age of conversation' era, demonstrate the enduring impact of conversation on social norms and language.
Emojis, despite their popularity, lack the nuanced nonverbal cues that language provides, affecting their communication effectiveness.
Importance of verbal and nonverbal cues in communication.
Njn Field's concept of 'traffic signals' for coordinating language usage.
Significance of pauses longer than 200 milliseconds in conversations.
Conversational whitespace as a metaphor in design.
Examples from Airbnb and Google Wallet showcasing the guiding function of white space in user actions.
Importance of Developing Content and Design Together:
Content and design should be developed in tandem as they are essential elements of a webpage or app.
Consideration of Copy in Context:
Design process should consider copy within the context it will be presented for consistency and appropriateness.
Context-Aware Language and Content Strategy:
Critical to meet users where they are in their journey through tone and intent matching.
Importance of captivating language and design in online shopping and travel planning.
Users enjoy trip planning more than the actual trip, making it a key time to use aspirational language.
Evocative and playful copy can enhance user experience and drive engagement, as seen in Google's 'weekend trips' feature.
Prioritizing information over editorializing is crucial for high-value purchases like flights to ensure clear communication.
The impact of consistency and storytelling in language use for effective communication.
The shift in public rhetoric post-2016 elections towards more inflammatory and controversial language.
The inconsistency in word usage and varying meanings leading to polarizing opinions.
The powerful effect of word choice on listeners and the importance of consistency in advertisements to build trust.
Tools like word lists are utilized to bring clarity and guide language use for effective communication.
Importance of Consistency in Language Rules and Rule Divergences.
One Google product emphasizes trust and protection for services like plumbing, while another offers general purchase protection.
The need for documenting and explaining rule divergences is emphasized.
Writing style choices and subtle decisions that define style are discussed.
Research by James W. Pennebaker highlights the significance of social words in language, indicating relationships and true intent.
The impact of pronoun choice on communication and perception.
Lower-status individuals tend to use 'I' more in their language.
Pronoun choice can influence how a message is received, as seen in political speeches and public figures like the Queen.
Language experts, designers, and writers should be mindful of the weight of their word choices when communicating to large audiences.
Words have the power to shape perceptions and convey social status.
Google announces new payments product Google Pay, prioritizing secure transactions and seamless shopping experience.
Integration of sign-in and credentials essential to keep users on Google platform.
Empty states should have positive and incentivizing content to engage users effectively.
Design language systems must include language, with companies like Google, Airbnb, and Salesforce offering style guides for designers.
Importance of Tone Mapping in Brand Voice and User Experience.
Guidelines for plotting tone along the user journey, including warm welcomes and reassuring messages.
Intentional tone's significance for brand recognition.
Value of abstracted wireframes in design, emphasizing specific information for decision-making.
Introduction of narrative wireframes as a design thinking tool, such as the narrative PRD for product requirements.
Importance of writing a 'shitty first draft' and a future press release for product details and messaging.
Emphasis on choosing words carefully for effective communication.
Conversation mapping helps in identifying information complexity and tone in user interactions.
Eye-opening experience with a designer in mapping out a shopping onboarding flow.
Poetry analysis as a form of designed language, focusing on Michael Palmer's use of repetition and reader involvement in language poetry.
Emphasis on language barriers and immigrant experiences in the poem.
Language is used to convey foreignness and distance.
Importance of understanding relationship and intimacy in language choices for design.
Discussion on material design at Google and balance between control and constraints.
Collaboration is key for successful coexistence of design systems within Google.
Importance of guardrails in product development.
Guardrails provide structure, consistency, and cohesion in development processes.
Constraints like character counts and localization challenges add value to the development process.
Different product areas require varying approaches, with commerce focusing on business function and sub-patterns.
Style and brand personality in writing blogs and tweets play a crucial role in user experience.
Importance of Brand Personification and Alignment
Align attributes with desired persona and document actionable characteristics.
Write in a conversational tone to authentically connect with readers.
Conduct a two by two analysis to determine brand voice alignment.
Regularly review brand voice in large organizations as UX design and language evolve with societal changes.
Google's approach to evaluating and evolving its design and brand voice in response to user needs and societal trends.
Importance of creating cohesive end-to-end experiences across products, leading to the development of brand guidelines for voice, photography, and visual style.
Emphasis on regular reviews and updates to maintain relevance and alignment with company values.
Introduction of 'workshopping' voice and tone guidelines with partners as a collaborative process to ensure consistency and effectiveness.