Words: Small Elements for the Biggest Effect

Posted by Athena Parthenos

Few weeks ago, I read an interesting blog post called A little thing about release notes by Anna Pickard, Editorial Director at Slack. She pointed out how at Slack, words are part of the user experience too. I sincerely liked that post- and for that matter also Slack’s philosophy toward release notes- as it illustrates how even details are important and how the make a difference.

Words are one of the most beautiful ways to communicate however, too often companies underestimate their importance. I sell words, and I like to do it because there are so many things that you can do with it and they have some many nuances, that you need to be careful on how to use them in order to really express what you had in mind. Words are fickle and change depending on how you use them, but if you use them wisely, they can become art.

Unfortunately, most work related situation require a very technical approach to words, mostly because they are often brushed aside as less relevant when compared with new features and functionalities of a product. This behavior toward words is a consequence of the modern business trend to work faster and to concentrate on improving a feature in order to become more competitive.

Standardization and routine is a contemporary problem. We reached the point where we all battle on the same macro aspect and we forget about the little details that have the potential to differentiate one product from another. For example, Anna spoke about release notes. When was the last time you stopped and read the entire message of the release note? Probably long time ago. To tell you the truth, release notes were once part of customer courtesy; someone integrated release notes to give the user good news in a very innovative way. Now everyone does it all the time in exactly the same way. Release notes are a standardized communication system with neither fun nor peculiarities. So Slack presents a new type of massaging that maybe people didn’t notice at first but that they will read the second time. I bet it will be read even the third time because it constantly changes and it’s funny. Slowly, users will enjoy this too and eventually words will become relevant in the overall experience again. So Slack presents a new type of messaging that maybe people didn’t notice the first time but that they will read the second time. I bet it will be read even the third time because it constantly changes and it’s funny. Slowly, users will enjoy this too, and eventually words will become again relevant in the user experience. Congrats to Slack for sticking to their mission to make their users working life not only simpler but more pleasant too. Of course, this is just an example of how Slack improved their product using words; you should think innovatively and find new frontiers that others haven't yet considered. You don’t have to look far, words are as simple as possible and yet can produce the biggest effect ever.

This new return to the basic is the revolution that we are waiting for. Because we think that how you use words is what matters the most. Communicating is quite easy, if you have been part of a certain industry for a period of time it is only natural to be familiar with standards, regulations and technical aspects. These are all those elements that can be easily acquired through time. There are always ways to communicate the same thing, so it is not just a matter of getting the message across but is also about how you get it across.

Just like all software programmed in the same way behave similarly, all translations into French are translated into the same French. The main point is that you can choose how to communicate in a certain language and to that that specific cultural customer. If you are looking for a simple technical, sterile translation than any translation agency could do it for you. If you are looking for someone that offers a complete service that doesn’t consist of a simple translation but a full transposition of your identity, your product and your mission so that whoever reads your content will know you better than you need someone that takes words seriously and that it’s not afraid to use them.

At the end of the day it is up to you, you can either be the company that fits the standards and sells something similar to like everyone else or you can promote and enhance your product simply by using words. So I encourage companies to be more competitive on details and don’t miss on showing it to as many people in the world as possible. We will be there to help you out. We plan on helping you get the message across cultures exactly in the way you want to. We plan on bringing to your user your word experience. Because words might be a common good but no one does it the same.

Written by Noemi Clark, CEO at Athena Parthenos

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