Tone & Voice

Tone & Voice

Jan 9, 2023 04:31 AM
Last Updated
Last updated January 9, 2023
In Progress 🔨
Needs Update ⚠️
This is sample content that you can replace with your own.
At Acme Corp, we always speak in a way that reflects our brand and values. The words we choose always put our users first, helping them better understand, navigate, and find value in our products.

🚩 Guiding Principles

Following these principles will help us write with purpose.


Simple words and sentences are always preferred. Edit ruthlessly.


We should speak with our users instead of at them. Warm and relatable is always better than corporate and cold.


Always consider the user. What is most helpful? What is most relevant?


Always take context into account. Adjust tone to match who you're writing for and what you're writing about.

🎨 UI Guidelines

Thoughtful UI writing adds context to visual interfaces.

Headings & Subheadings

  • Headings and subheadings help structure content.
  • Always use title case.
  • No punctuation unless the title is a question.
  • A page should only have one heading (H1).
  • Use subheadings (H1, H2, H3, etc.) to make content more scannable.
  • Headings should follow a natural hierarchy. An H3 should be nested under an H2.
  • Relevant keywords should be included in headings, but SEO should not be the only factor considered when writing. We should speak like humans.


  • Always use title case.
  • Clarity is key. Avoid ambiguous marketing-speak.


  • Always include an action.
  • Capitalize every word.
  • Always be clear and concise.

Numbered Lists

  • Use for steps and sets of relevant information.
  • Use punctuation if one of the list items is a complete sentence.
  • Number lists when order is important (instructions, sequential processes).


  • Include a link whenever referencing external content.
  • Avoid phrases like "click here." Instead, use language that describes the content you're linking to. For example: download our catalog.


  • Labels should be clear and concise.
  • Use title case for form titles.
  • Use sentence case for form fields.

Alt Text

  • Every image should have alt text.
  • Alt text briefly describes an image in one or two sentences.


  • Write for our audience, not for Google.
  • Use headings to appropriately structure content in a logical, parseable way.
  • Every image should have alt text.

📓 Grammar

Proper grammar promotes clarity and helps us speak in a professional voice.


  • Contractions are encouraged. They add a friendly, informal tone.

Active Voice


  • We love emoji!
  • The occasional emoji can help convey emotion and add visual interest.
  • Use emojis tastefully and in moderation.

Slang & Terminology

  • Avoid slang. Write in plain English.
  • Technical terms should always be accompanied by a clear definition.


  • Always spell out acronyms word-for-word the first time they're used.
  • First use: Automatic Teller Machine
  • Second use: ATM
  • No need for a parenthetical.