Product vocabulary and the “time to habit”

I’m noticing more products, especially new mobile apps, endeavoring to try and establish a verb the way that Twitter owns “tweet.” As a user this is an immediate turn off.

I can understand the desire to be the next “tweet” or “kleenex” sounds like a good idea. Becoming a verb is a major asset, but foisting Neologisms inorganically is more likely to hurt your growth than help it.

Anything that messes with your product feeling like a fabric of your users life is a problem, call it the “time to habit.”  Trying to learn new vocabulary counts as one of those things. I don’t want to figure out how “restamp” is different than reply, when it probably isn’t. And I don’t want to “froozle” something, I’m happy to just like it. 

I think founders do this because they feel it makes their service seem more compelling and unique. But keep in mind that Facebook uses the self explanatory “like,” Google uses +1, Instagram uses Like and Comment. In fact lets remember that Twitter didn’t even make you press “Tweet” until it organically rose as the verb we know it to be today.

If you’ve ever spent time watching average users try and operate your product you know it is incredibly humbling. Trust me, it’s going to be hard enough as it is to get average folks to figure out what you are doing.

Please don’t make it harder on yourself.

Previous Next

3 notes

  1. nabeel posted this