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Words Matter: Designing With Language | Seattle Interactive Conference 2018

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Presenter: Benjamin Hersh, Design Lead, Medium

We often think of design as a visual discipline, but what makes a product connect with its audience is often how you write it. We don’t ordinarily talk about ‘writing’ products, but this is absolutely what we do — from buttons, to pushes, to verbal interfaces. For those of us who design and develop products for a living, writing is fast becoming a survival skill. Designing with language requires a different mindset, and forces us to break familiar habits. This talk looks to cognitive science, the art of copywriting, and my experiences at Medium, where my team cultivates relationships with readers like you. It’s about the bigger picture that we often miss, when copy becomes the heart of product design.

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Words Matter: Designing With Language | Seattle Interactive Conference 2018

  1. 1. Benjamin Hersh @MostlyCogent
  2. 2. Susa, Iran, ca. 3300 BC, Courtesy Musée du Louvre, Départment des Antiquités Orientales, Par
  3. 3. 1. Be clear 2. Be a friend 3. Be expressive
  4. 4. Clear Friendly Expressive
  5. 5. Clear Friendly Expressive
  6. 6. Clear Friendly Expressive
  7. 7. Be clear.
  8. 8. A. I stand for a bold, progressive internationalism that stands in stark contrast to the too often belligerent and myopic unilateralism of the current administration.
  9. 9. B. Let’s go it alone.
  10. 10. A. I stand for a bold, progressive internationalism that stands in stark contrast to the too often belligerent and myopic unilateralism of the current administration. B. Let’s go it alone.
  11. 11. A. I stand for a bold, progressive internationalism that stands in stark contrast to the too often belligerent and myopic unilateralism of the current administration. B. Let’s go it alone.
  12. 12. A. I stand for a bold, progressive internationalism that stands in stark contrast to the too often belligerent and myopic unilateralism of the current administration. B. Let’s go it alone.
  13. 13. reading = effort
  14. 14. 86 min
  15. 15. UCSF
  16. 16. “Anemone”
  17. 17. “Isthmus”
  18. 18. “Cryptocurrency”
  19. 19. “Congratulations ”
  20. 20. Ideas are complicated.
  21. 21. Late in life the emperor Charlemagne fell in love with a German girl. The barons at his court were extremely worried when they saw that the sovereign, wholly taken up with his amorous passion and unmindful of his regal dignity, was neglecting the affairs of state. When the girl suddenly died, the courtiers were greatly relieved — but not for long, because Charlemagne’s love did not die with her. The emperor had the embalmed body carried to his bedchamber, where he refused to be parted from it. The Archbishop Turpin, alarmed by this macabre passion, suspected an enchantment and insisted on examining the corpse. Hidden under the girl’s dead tongue he found a ring with a precious stone set in it. As soon as the ring was in Turpin’s hands, Charlemagne fell passionately in love with the archbishop and hurriedly had the girl buried. In order to escape the embarrassing situation, Turpin flung the ring into Lake Constance. Charlemagne thereupon fell in love with the lake and would not leave its shores.
  22. 22. Be clear.
  23. 23. Be a friend.
  24. 24. Durham University
  25. 25. University of Michigan
  26. 26. “You’ve got this.”
  27. 27. “You need to be faster next time.”
  28. 28. “I’ve got this.”
  29. 29. “I need to be faster next time.”
  30. 30. “I” = ☹
  31. 31. “You”
  32. 32. “You gotta love how it talks to you.”
  33. 33. 1. Be clear 2. Be a friend
  34. 34. 3. Be expressive
  35. 35. 🚜 You’re all read. Here’s a tractor.
  36. 36. The name’s ___
  37. 37. The name’s Bond. James Bond.
  38. 38. “Why, hello!”
  39. 39. “Why, hello!”
  40. 40. “Why, hello!”
  41. 41. “Why, hello!”
  42. 42. Emory University
  43. 43. Follow the recommended mission in order to progress and get more rewards.
  44. 44. Typography
  45. 45. LOU
  46. 46. soft-spoken
  47. 47. Puppies
  48. 48. Literary
  49. 49. Noe Ch
  50. 50. Noe Charter
  51. 51. Why this matters:
  52. 52. 1. Be clear 2. Be a friend 3. Be expressive
  53. 53. Benjamin Hersh @MostlyCogent www.benjaminhersh.com

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  • ldsumulong

    Dec. 16, 2019

Presenter: Benjamin Hersh, Design Lead, Medium We often think of design as a visual discipline, but what makes a product connect with its audience is often how you write it. We don’t ordinarily talk about ‘writing’ products, but this is absolutely what we do — from buttons, to pushes, to verbal interfaces. For those of us who design and develop products for a living, writing is fast becoming a survival skill. Designing with language requires a different mindset, and forces us to break familiar habits. This talk looks to cognitive science, the art of copywriting, and my experiences at Medium, where my team cultivates relationships with readers like you. It’s about the bigger picture that we often miss, when copy becomes the heart of product design.

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