All Turtles Podcast Episode 31: (Don’t) Say Anything

When Gmail says, “It seems like you forgot to attach a file,” that precise phrasing is the result of careful deliberation by a design team. It’s one example Erika Hall gives in her book Conversational Design. She explains her work as “designing with words” rather than literary writing, and asserts that collaboration by designers, writers, and engineers is required for meaningful user experiences. Listener questions address previous episodes about Duplex and, our favorite scapegoat, blockchain.

Show Notes

Welcome (0:12)

Purchase Conversational Design by Erika Hall on A Book Apart (0:30)

Purchase Conversational Design by Erika Hall on Amazon (0:30)

Netflix’s company culture (0:37)

Patty McCord’s slide deck: “You should try to build a great company to be from.”

Discussion with Erika Hall (2:41)

Erika Hall, cofounder of Mule Design Studio

The importance of non-verbal signs in communication (12:54)

Lightweight prototyping of communication interaction as part of design process and concept of minimal viable conversation (17:18)

How does reading poetry help someone become a conversational designer? (19:08)

William Carlos Williams: The Red Wheelbarrow (19:21)

Should it ever be ok for a computer to pretend to be a human? (21:49)

All the ways to interact with Amazon: “Amazon’s Quest for Global Domination” (video, Wall Street Journal) (24:33)

Rev. Walter Ong, Jesuit teacher and scholar of language (New York Times) (26:11)

Listener questions (28:47)

You came out strongly against Duplex. Can you explain why for someone who would like to be sympathetic to your viewpoint? I feel like I missed chapter 1–5 on what is so wrong with what they did. (29:03)

Episode 29 of the All Turtles Podcast featured a discussion on Duplex. (29:03)

I don’t understand the reference to blockchain in episode 28. Can you explain? (31:00)

Episode 28 of the All Turtles Podcast featured the taxonomy discussion (31:03)

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