The conversation of UI: Unpacking voice and tone for interfaces

Workshop

Interface components like buttons, menus, errors, and confirmation messages are built with words, and it’s remarkable how much a consistent voice and tone matter. Are you using an efficient, informative voice, or do you sound more like a quirky, lovable goofball? The appropriate voice builds trust, increases retention, humanizes interactions, and ultimately drives conversions and other business goals.

Drawing on their experience writing and designing for digital products, Andy and Michael will help you develop frameworks to explore and document how voice and tone affect the different aspects of your product, brand, website, or service.

This session will cover three primary things:

  • Discovery: Explore voice and tone variants and understand how to match them to your company or product. Learn how to facilitate meaningful feedback from your audience and stakeholders as you develop your voice.
  • Documentation: Learn how to create voice and tone guidelines for your content. We’ll also go through examples of how your tone should change at different points in the experience.
  • Implementation: You’ll team up with other participants to create a content prototype that puts your decisions to work. You’ll also come away with some ideas for how to test that content with your users and refine it over time.

Who should attend: This workshop is for anyone who works on interactive experiences, from internal practitioners who create forms and sign-up flows for their websites to agency folks and independent consultants who work with startups and software companies. It's also a chance for product-focused content strategists and writers to refine their skills.

Prerequisites: Attendees should have some experience interviewing and presenting to stakeholders, whether it’s about marketing strategy, branding, editorial or UX writing, or design. They should have a strong understanding of nuances in the English language and be able to communicate that effectively.

About Andy Welfle

Andy is a writer and is a product content strategist at Adobe. He began his career in the nonprofit arts world, and there he fell in love with writing for the internet. When he’s not wrangling designers to use his words correctly, he’s hosting a podcast about wooden pencils. Yes, pencils.

About Michael Metts

Michael Metts is a designer, strategist, and speaker from Chicago. He helps organizations tell their stories through meaningful narrative and useful experiences. His past work ranges from managing content strategy for large websites to designing interfaces for web and mobile software.

He has given talks and led workshops at Confab Central, Confab Intensive, The IA Summit, Midwest UX, and MinneWebCon, along with numerous meetups and internal talks. He also loves pencils. Ask him for one if you see him.

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