Lingua Franca

a design language for human-centered ai

Creative Director + Co-Author
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How might we curate a standardized language around artificial intelligent experiences centered around the user's experience? As such, Lingua Franca attempts to create a standard set of techniques, frameworks, visuals, messaging, and overall design patterns to apply broadly in various AI-driven experiences to increase usability, more trustworthiness, and better align with creators, designers, and users.

Design Process


Standard Notation (2019), a human-centered AI design firm I've co-founded and lead the creative direction, wanted a written ethos so to speak about our approaches and thoughts on a better way in designing AI-driven experiences before any line of code is ever written, thus, Lingua Franca's initial workings and mantras were written down. Beginning as a series of text-only articles scattered around tens of Google Docs, we soon wanted to ensure an iterative design process with both internal and external (friends, mentors, and colleagues) feedback loops. We quickly moved to unpublished articles of the introduction of Lingua Franca, and the eight principles in Medium to gather a better understanding of how folks across many industries, disciplines, and experience with AI and ML would react to this information. However, we were finding time and time again, a rationale to create an engaging experience for readers.  

Within this collaborative and iterative approach, we found people needed a deeper and more purposeful intro, a handbook on nudging readers on "how to" read and apply Lingua Franca, and a series of components to begin realizing from a visual perspective an AI-driven experience.

Academia + Industry Harmonize

Lingua Franca was designed with resourced supported conclusions while designing a book-like paper feeling while interacting and reading content. Each section features side notes, a footer with additional resources, and infographics to increase understanding and accessibility for readers. The aesthetic intends to blend the clarity and robustness of academic writing, yet of the approachable and applicable nature of industry needs.

Motion + Interaction Design

Created to be showcased across various medias and mediums, Lingua Franca's design language and system needed inherent activating flow, order, and recognizability between the various Principles, Handbook, and Elements. Since the Principles are the lens for our perspective on empowering creatives, technologists, and strategists, creating instances of color, shape, type, and movement gave tone and brought Lingua Franca to life.

Animation design for social media featuring Principle 2: Dynamics

Throughout Lingua Franca, interaction design brings deeper understanding, readability, and thought provoking infographics. Better illustrating examples of application helps bring delight to our copy.

Handbook, unstandardized interaction of a "Confirm" CTA

Principles: Infographics - Smart Inbox Application

Lingua Franca: A Design Language for Human-Centered AI

Lingua Franca, our comprehensive design language for AI, was released with the mission to be a set of tools and techniques to standardize and improve upon how we interface with machine learning technology, and hopefully empowering us, creatives, technologists, and strategists, in the process. From it's release at the end of January 2020, Lingua Franca continues to reach thousands of folks through talks, posts, and references across social media, workshops, and embedded in any and all design work.

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