We want to be...
- Direct and clear, but not aggressive or boring
- Conversational and friendly, but not childish or trendy
- Positive and action-oriented, but not patronizing or oblivious to the reader's concerns
Apply the email test:
- Do you provide the Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF), so that the reader knows what's coming?
- Is the text visually scannable? Ie., do the key instructions pop out during a quick scroll-down?
To keep our voice on track, try these style suggestions....
- Use contractions
- Avoid jargon
- Stay positive
Your password must be at least five characters long.
Use at least five characters for your password.
- Use active voice
The button is located at the top of the page.
Find the button at the top of the page.
- Address the reader directly
The user should log in with their email address.
Use your email address to log in.
- Avoid nominalization. This means transforming words that are not nouns into nouns (using difficulty instead of difficult, investigation instead of investigate, etc.)
This guide is a demonstration of your account creation.
This guide shows how to create your account.
We also recommend these terms and phrases:
- Use find, not locate
- Use help, not assistance
- Use let, not allow
- Use click, not click on
- Use go to, not navigate to
- Use use, not utilize
- To provide useful links, use learn more at, not for more information
See Create a Page for more information.
Learn more at Create a Page.