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Developing a Voice for Voice

Developing a Voice for Voice

Every interface has a voice. It's not about having one, it's about how intentional you're going to be about it. Let's take a look at how design teams are using the concept of voice to create digital products and experiences.

The book a co-authored with Andy Welfle covers this topic and many more related to writing for digital experiences. Get 15% off when you pre-order: https://rosenfeldmedia.com/books/writing-is-designing/

Michael J. Metts

December 05, 2019

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  1. DEVELOPING A VOICE FOR VOICE Michael J. Metts - @mjmetts

    | he/him Conversation Design Lead, Allstate Why writing is designing
  2. “We expect things to be digital, but also, in many

    cases, physical. We want things to feel auto-magic while retaining a human touch. We want to be safe, but not spied on. We use words at our whim.” Abby Covert How to Make Sense of Any Mess
  3. It's not a question of whether your interface has a

    voice or changes its tone. It's a question of how intentional you are about it.
  4. “Customer Service Behavior included items that were related to the

    friendliness and politeness of the system, its speaking pace, and its use of familiar terms.” Melanie Polkosky, PhD Toward a Social-Cognitive Psychology of Speech Technology: Affective Responses to Speech-Based e-Service Source: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/33994535_Toward_a_social- cognitive_psychology_of_speech_technology_electronic_resource_affective_responses_to_speech-based_e-service In a study with 821 participants, customer service behavior was found to be one of the four most important usability factors out of 76 possibilities.
  5. A QUICK PRIMER ON VOICE VS. TONE (using a few

    GIFs from The Little Mermaid)
  6. Voice is who you are. Tone is how we respond

    to different situations. — Michael Haggerty-Villa, Intuit
  7. VOICE CHARACTERISTICS Facebook: Simple | Straightforward | Human Shopify: Trustworthy

    | Confident | Empowering Source: https://ux.shopify.com/shopify-s-voice-and-tone-guide-968539e06777 Airbnb: Straightforward | Inclusive | Thoughtful | Spirited Source: Marissa Philips, Advocating from the inside out: Motivating your team to evangelize their work, Confab 2017 Source: https://medium.com/facebook-design/getting-started-in-content-strategy-d7543ed22633 Slack: Clear | Concise | Human Source: https://api.slack.com/best-practices/voice-and-tone
  8. PATTERNS DESIGN SYSTEMS When it comes to conversational interfaces, we

    can create patterns that given them a voice.
  9. You (the interface) YOU Goal: What do you want the

    user to do? Mood: What feeling do we want to display to the user? Attribute: What qualities does this interaction have? How would you say things? USER Emotion: What might they be feeling when they encounter this message? Receptiveness: How open to this message is the user likely to be? Your user Scenario SCENARIO UI Type: What is this UI element? Location: Where in their journey might this user be? Exit Point: What will the user be encountering next after this message?
  10. MOTIVATIONAL Your goal: To show user new features, get them

    excited about using a product — perhaps for the first time Your mood: Positive and passionate User’s emotion: Curious, possibly overwhelmed User’s receptiveness: Medium to high Tone attribute: Encouraging TONE PROFILE
  11. Your goal: To fade into the background and present relevant

    information if needed Your mood: Neutral User’s emotion: Any User’s receptiveness: High Tone attribute: Straightforward INFORMATIONAL TONE PROFILE
  12. "They’re directional statements that tell teams, 'Here’s where you’re going

    to focus your efforts for a defined time period.' In other words, strategy tells you what to do… and, by default, what not to do." Kristina Halvorson Co-author of Content Strategy for the Web
  13. A design system that's not driven by strategy just helps

    you do the wrong thing more efficiently and consistently.
  14. TYPES OF RESEARCH: Looking at numbers - A/B tests, analytics

    research, surveys Talking to users - Interviews, conversations Understanding vocabulary - Forums, Google Trends Observing users - Usability testing, contextual inquiry
  15. Learning more about your users is always a good thing,

    no matter how small or limited the effort.
  16. What's the difference between feedback and critique? Feedback is a

    quick, one-way reaction often grounded in opinion. Critique is critical dialogue grounded in objectives that helps us understand design decisions. Mia Blume defines it this way:
  17. STARTER SCENARIOS: A BANKING BOT • A user just created

    their bank account • A payment was just accepted by its intended recipient • A credit card on the user's account is about to expire • There was suspicious activity on the user's account, so they need to reset their password before they can sign in • The bank is offering an account credit if the user invites friends to sign up for an account
  18. TESTING METHOD • Underline the things that are helpful •

    Circle the things that aren't helpful Ask your participant to: • Ask follow-up questions You should: • Use a verbal likert scale to measure voice characteristics, e.g. "Rate this from 1-7, where 1 is casual and 7 is formal" Want to do even more?