Listen Slow Down

Google Translate

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What is it?

This is a pattern found in Google Translate. Google Translate has a feature to listen to the pronunciation of a keyword. When clicking this button two times (consecutively) the second time Google will slow down the spoken pronunciation of the word.




How does this interaction or pattern work?

Google Translate is one of the most popular online translation tools. Google Translate has some useful features, like the "Listen" functionality which allows users to listen to a word's pronunciation.

However not every word has an -easy to understand- pronunciation, so when clicking the button of the "Listen" functionality for a second time, Google Translate will play the word again, but this time it will slow down the word's audio playback, so the users can easily listen to the phonetical construction of the word.




How does it help or delight the user?

Delight, Inferring Context.

Dealing with context is very often the main failure point of generic web user experiences. Not every user is the same and sometimes one functionality doesn't fully solve a problem or deal with the edge cases.

With this particular pattern, Google does an incredible context inference exercise, by correctly assuming that any user who is repeatedly playing the audio of a word pronunciation must be either a) learning the word, b) having trouble pronouncing it or c) it's currently in a particular situation that requires a better understanding of the phonetical structure of a word.

By slowing down the audio playback of the word every other click, Google provides a more delightful and useful experience for those users who are using their Translate tool for learning purposes.

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