Your UI may address the user using either:
- Second person, “you” or “your”: Use this conversational style for most situations, as though the app is speaking directly to the user.
- First person, “I” or “my”: In some cases, you may need to use this form of address to emphasize the user's ownership of content or actions.
Avoid mixing "me"/"my" with "you"/"your.” It can cause confusion to see both forms of addressing the user in the same context.
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.
One exception is when a human actually does take action for a user, such as reviewing an appeal or responding to a suggestion. Here, the use of “we” is appropriate and more personable.
Write in small, scannable segments to facilitate navigation and discovery.
Keep your sentences and phrases short, with as few concepts as possible.
Write in the present
Use the present tense to describe product behavior. Avoid using the future tense to describe the way a product always acts.
When you need to write in the past or future, use simple verb forms.
Write simply and directly
Use simple, direct language that is easy for users to understand.
Common introductory phrases may be omitted.
Write for all levels of readers
Pick common words that are clearly and easily understandable to both beginning and advanced English readers.
Avoid industry-specific terminology or names invented for UI features.
Generic terms like "slider" and "menu" are fine, but direct users to the labels on UI elements, not the kind of element (such as menu or button).
Use consistent words in all parts of a feature
Use verbs in a consistent manner across the description of an action.
Begin with the objective
If a sentence includes an action for the user to take and instructions for achieving it, start the sentence with that action.
Reveal detail only as needed
It's not necessary to describe every detail in the first interaction. Reveal increasing detail about features as the user explores them and needs the information.
Never say “never”
Avoid “never” and other absolutes.
Text for buttons and related elements
Buttons appear in dialogs and as blue or underlined text.
[ Action ]
See above guideline about using consistent verbs.
Allows multi-step processes
Cancels an action
Causes a message or dialog to disappear without any consequences
Confirms the completion of a multi-step process
Causes a message or dialog to disappear without any consequences (similar to OK)
Takes the user to additional content
Takes the user to the next step of a multi-step process
Allows a user to decline
Let’s a user postpone an action or decision. Use only when the call to action in the dialog is essential to the functionality of the product, for legal reasons, or for another urgent reason.
Allows the user to confirm an action that’s relevant to the task at hand
Gives the user a way to avoid an interruption and proceed with a task