web-profile

Writing for web

Text should be simple, concise, and direct.

Avoid the pronoun “we”

Focus on the user and what they can do with your app, rather than what you or your app is doing for the user.

  • Do: Get started with these popular posts on Google+
  • Don't: To get you started, we’re showing you popular posts on Google+

One exception is when a person takes an action for a user, such as reviewing an appeal or responding to a suggestion. Here, the use of “we” is appropriate.

  • Do: We’ll review your appeal and respond within a few days
  • Don't: Your appeal will be reviewed, and you will receive a response within a few days

Be concise

Write in small, scannable segments to facilitate navigation and discovery.

  • Do: Send money to anyone in the US who has an email address. It’s fast, easy, and free.
  • Don't: Send (and receive) money with friends and family in the US with an email address. It’s a two-step process with little-to-no latency and there aren’t any charges for the recipients of the money.

Keep your sentences and phrases short, with as few concepts as possible.

  • Do: Read the instructions that came with your phone
  • Don't: Consult the documentation that came with your phone for further instructions

Write simply and directly

  • Do: Save changes?
  • Don't: Would you like to save your changes?
  • Do: Message sent
  • Don't: Message has been sent
  • Do: Register to vote
  • Don't: You must register before you can vote

“1, 2, 3” not “one, two, three”

  • Do: You have 3 messages
  • Don't: You have three messages

Begin with the objective

If a sentence describes both an objective and the action needed to achieve that objective, start the sentence with the objective.

  • Do: To remove a photo from this album, drag it to the trash
  • Don't: Drag a photo to the trash to remove it from this album

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