Introducing Voice and Tone3:12 with Anwar Montasir
Over the following videos, we’ll examine examples of voice and tone guidelines, and learn why this is such a key feature of design system documentation. But first, let’s look at the two terms–voice, and tone–and understand what separates them.
[MUSIC] 0:00 When a brand speaks with an inconsistent voice, users notice. 0:04 If a Morgan Stanley Wealth Management app used the goofy humor of a GEICO ad, 0:10 investors would look to trust their money elsewhere. 0:16 And Nike shoppers won't settle for the casual feel of a Keds ad. 0:19 They expect high performance products that take athletic achievement seriously. 0:24 It's like an actor breaking character, the audience no longer believes the scene. 0:31 Over the following videos, we'll examine examples of voice and tone guidelines, 0:38 and learn why this is such a key feature of design system documentation. 0:43 But first, let's look at the two terms, voice and tone, and 0:48 understand what separates them. 0:53 One way to look at voice versus tone 0:57 is to think about the difference between climate and weather. 1:00 Weather describes short-term changes in the atmosphere. 1:04 A damp, foggy morning might be followed by a clear sunny afternoon. 1:08 That's weather. 1:13 Climate, on the other hand, 1:14 describes weather tendencies over long periods of time. 1:16 Where I live in Portland, Oregon, the summers are warm and dry, and 1:21 the winters are cool, cloudy, and rainy. 1:25 Voice, a term that describes the long-term character or 1:29 personality of a brand, is like climate in that it tends to be consistent, 1:33 stable, and relatively predictable. 1:38 Whereas tone is more like weather, subject to change based on atmospheric conditions. 1:42 Think about your own personality, which doesn't change much from day to day. 1:49 No matter what the situation, 1:54 the decisions you make are shaped by your own principles and your own experiences. 1:56 Everywhere you go, you speak with your own voice. 2:02 However, the words you choose and the way you say them vary based on the situation. 2:07 Presenting to the boss during a company meeting requires serious, formal language. 2:14 Grabbing drinks with coworkers after the meeting doesn't. 2:20 And you make adjustments all the time based on empathy. 2:24 Imagine comforting a friend who seems nervous or upset. 2:28 That's a different tone than one you'd used to chat 2:33 with someone relaxed and smiling. 2:37 Design system voice documentation exists to help copywriters 2:40 understand the brand's personality. 2:45 GEICO is always GEICO and should never sound like Morgan Stanley. 2:48 Design system tone documentation exists to help 2:53 copywriters approach individual situations with empathy. 2:57 GEICO may have a humorous personality. 3:01 But if I've been in a wreck, I don't want comedy, 3:05 I want compassionate words and meaningful assistance. 3:08
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