Transparency and language

People sometimes say “transparent” when they really mean “opaque”.

Hiding something that (you imagine or wish) the user shouldn't care about is not transparent.

Maintaining an interface contract, so that the user doesn't have to worry that you are changing things “behind the scenes”, has obvious benefits.

But there is no change without a difference.

MCAS was not a “transparent” feature of the Boeing 737 Max.

Stretching words so far that they meet their complete opposite doesn't help clarity. Confused thinking can lead to bad decisions.

Orwell wrote about political language, that it was designed to “give the appearance of solidity to pure wind”.

Sometimes language, intentionally or not, may aspire to give the appearance of clarity to gibberish. ;)

But no one has the time or patience to read. And reading much of what is written (this text being a case in point ;) ) may well result in regret for the irretrievable time lost.

So we aim for catchy idioms, soundbites, bullet points, and visuals, over thoroughness and detail.

Patience is a lost virtue. Impatience for results is the name of the game—doing a million things at once, but having no time to do one right (or to do nothing, which, as it were, may also inspire creativity).

#communication #marketing #userexperience