2020 Main Conference Talk
Chronemics refers to how time can be viewed as system of meaning making. This might sound complicated but is actually quite straightforward. Just like we can use words or colours to communicate, we can also use time(ing) to express things and make sense of the world around us. Timetables are a perfect example of this, but time and timing can also be meaningful in other ways: how long we have to wait for something to show up on a screen can create frustration (if it takes too long), it can create positive surprise (if it’s that fraction of a second before we’d have expected it), or might even create distrust (if it’s too fast and seemingly impossible).
This lightening talk delves into exactly that: how we can understand time as a complex but far from random system of meaning making. Influenced by the work of social scientists and scholars of multimodality, I will sketch out a system that we can use to describe how time works – illustrating how we naturally make sense of time in our everyday lives; and how we might use time as a multimodal resource in our work as designers.
Key takeaways from the session:
With this talk, I aim to broaden attendees’ understanding of what we can design with beyond pixels, wireframes, or spreadsheets. Attendees will thus (hopefully) gain a new perspective on their own work – because even if we don’t go off designing crazy multimodal artwork afterwards, I believe that taking our craft to the fringes can help us solve everyday design problems in new, surprising ways.
About the speaker(s)
Lara works at Nothing AG, a digital design agency in Bern, Switzerland, where she is responsible for doing things with words. Sometimes, that means UX writing, sometimes it means information architecture, and sometimes it just means writing plain old content.
Next to this, she is also starting a PhD at the University of Bern, where she looks at UX writing and its cultural-political consequences. This involves asking questions such as: How is language used to imagine and design users? How do UX professionals describe and make sense of their own (language) work and its consequences? How are such design practices connected to ideological structures of, for instance, class, gender, or race?
Lara’s research interests revolve around critical sociolinguistics, social semiotics, and multimodal communication in the broadest sense (e.g. looking at communication beyond text and image). Her practical interests include UX writing, content design, information architecture, and, more broadly, how language shapes the world around us.