Language undergirds so much of the experience research process: The designs we're evaluating (e.g., button text, UI, a chatbot's mannerisms), the studies we're creating (e.g., survey questions, interview guides), and certainly the data we collect (e.g., verbatims, video). We might "know" that our language use can bias results, but in what ways and to what effects?
In this episode, we chatted with Dr. Nicole Holliday, a sociolinguist from Pomona College, who investigates the ways social identities are formed, communicated, and interpreted via language. She's also interested in technology's role in this process, from automated speech recognition (ASR) software to live text in video software.
In addition to unpacking her work and methods as a sociolinguist, Dr. Holliday shares the ways biases can materially impact the experience of users. In addition, she outlines strategies we can use to think more critically about the role and impact of language in our work.