Noun (noun.)

Definition: A person, place, or thing.

Also referenced as: Nouns (noun)

Related to: Content, Interface, Language, Object, Synonym, Thing, Verb



The word noun was used 8 times across 4 pages


Chapter 4: Choose a Direction | Page 79

Nouns represent each of the objects, people, and places involved in a mess.

As an example, a post is a noun commonly associated with another noun, an author.

Verbs represent the actions that can be taken.

A post (n.) can be: written, shared, deleted, or read.

Verbs don't exist without nouns. For example, an online share button implies that it will share this post.

Nouns are often created as a result of verbs. A post only exists after posting

It's easy to adopt terms that are already in use or to be lazy in choosing our language. But when you're deciding which words to use, it is important to consider the alternatives, perceptions, and associations around each term.

How would your work be different if "authors writing posts" was changed to "researchers authoring papers," or "followers submitting comments?"



Chapter 4: Choose a Direction | Page 80

When you combine nouns with appropriate verbs, the resulting sentences can be referred to as requirements for what you're making.

From the previous example:

  • An author can write a post.
  • An author can delete a post.
  • Any user can share a post.
  • Any user can read a post.

This list of requirements defines the ideal solution. Each requirement tells us who should be able to do what in the eventual state.

When you take the time to make requirements concrete and prioritize them, you can better understand what you're actually making.

If you're designing an interface that prioritizes reading, it will be fundamentally different than an interface that prioritizes writing, even with the exact same list of requirements.



Chapter 4: Choose a Direction | Page 85

Are you facing a mess like Rasheed's? Do your stakeholders speak the same language? Do you collectively speak the same language as your users? What language might be troublesome in the context of what you are doing? What concepts need to be better understood or defined?

To control your vocabulary:



Chapter 6: Play with Structure | Page 115

Joan is the social media coordinator for an airline that recently merged with another airline. Overnight, her team became responsible for twice as much work as before. She's also now responsible for managing twice as many people.

As the details of the merger iron out, duplicative channels have to be dealt with. For example, they now have two Twitter accounts and two help directories on two different websites. To tie everything together, Joan: