Kah Chan

Kah Chan

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The Importance of Crafting Language in UX

How a brand sounds or reads in a user’s experience is as important as how it looks (and this is no small admission from a designer). This talk discusses the importance of a consistent voice in tone, copy and dialogue when a user interacts with a brand and shares how we try to balance trustworthiness and integrity while pushing the boundaries of good taste at Flick Electric Co.

We’ve had some great feedback by presenting little moments of joy when a user would normally be frustrated with funny error messages- a personal favourite: “Sorry, but you have entered the wrong username or password on your tiny, tiny keyboard” when you’ve entered a typo on our mobile app. Some of our deliberate word play with the brand name in our advertising, such as “Flick yourself” also raises a few eyebrows.

John Maeda in the annual 2017 Design in Tech Report suggests that writing will be one of the core UX skills for designers moving forward. Writing is already a core design skill for good UX designers, but writing and interpreting briefs, preparing client presentations, and synthesising user research tend to be foundational or internal to the design process. Copy for users such as hints for filling in fields, concise requirements for passwords, clear error messages are becoming more of a priority for designers.

As conversational and voice-operated interfaces become more popular (growing out of slightly tipsy party goers asking Siri to “Name that song!”), user experience is now expanding into a more verbally driven landscape. This means an entire brand experience could be distilled into the voice and personality of an automated voice/chat interface. This represents a new opportunity for designers to help inject creativity, empathy and humour when crafting the complexities behind the chat interfaces or chatbots.


Kah Chan

Kah Chan
Head of Product Design at Flick Electric
Wellington, New Zealand

Kah Chan is the Head of Product Design at Flick Electric Co., which is really just a fancy title for the only designer in the house (way back when). Since joining Flick, he has worked on everything from designing tools to empower the Flick customer to helping out on the digital ads. As Flick has grown, he spends an equal amount of time on new products, annoying the development team, and drinking coffee.