I have long been thinking about how language creates reality, and how important it is to be conscious of this in our communications.
I touch on some of the practical aspects of this for web communications in The Art of Words, a piece on language taken from my Beauty & Technology Squidoo Lens, but there is a much deeper study I would like to make on the subject. In particular, how to use language (in the widest sense of the word, including image and sound and movement) to bring an aliveness and awareness of the natural world into online communications which can otherwise seem disconnected and a little unreal. But that is a topic for another day.
"I honestly feel that in order to create engaging digital experiences, we need to continuously evolve how we think about them. And this means we need to change the words we use to design them. What we need are new metaphors to play around with…words and terms that unleash fresh thinking appropriate to experiences in the Web and beyond. A language of experiences that can prism through different devices, objects and spaces."
My own interest in language includes but extends beyond this professional concern for design coherence between interactive devices, but what I really liked about Kate's thinking was her recognition of the power language has to effect our experience and to limit or extend our sense of what's possible. I love where she came out as a result of her experiments:
"It sharpened the realization that I was not a web designer. I was a designer creating an experience for the Web. And that’s a powerful shift in perspective. It’s one thing to say “I’m an experience designer.” It’s another thing to really think like one..."
"At the start of the Web, many of our approaches were limited by the technology. Now we run the risk of being limited by our metaphors."
Can you think of a metaphor that describes how you'd like to experience your online communications?