Speak to the user as “you”
Speak directly to users as “you,” not “me.” Don’t put words in the users’ mouths, with phrases that use “I” or “my.”
- Some legal opt-ins: “I agree to follow the UX Writing Guidelines.”
- Some Google Play categories, such as "My music" or "My books"
Don’t refer to “we”
Rewrite to 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 (not software) 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 much more personable than the forced passive alternative.
UI text assists navigation and discovery. The best UI text is in small chunks that are not as much read as scanned.
Keep your sentences and phrases short, with as few concepts as possible.
Use simple word forms
Use active verbs (“the dog bit the tree”) not passive verbs (“the tree was bitten”), except when the passive is shorter and simpler (“tree bitten”) or when there is no clear subject.
Try to write in the present
Most UI happens now, so you can write in the present.
When you need to write in the past or future, use simple verb forms.
Write simply and directly
It’s easier for users to scan and understand simple, direct language as they skim through an interface.
Use simple words that everyone knows
When choosing among synonyms, pick the simplest word.
Don’t use terms that only industry insiders know, and don't rely on the names we invent 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).
Omit unnecessary phrases
You can skip many common introductory phrases and get right to the point.
Use consistent verbs across the arc of an action
The framing concept of an action is typically a verb. Pick one and use it consistently across the micro-narrative of an action.
Lead with the goal, not the method
Motivate the user to learn how to perform a task.
Reveal detail only as needed
Don’t burden the user with every detail and caution up front. 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 similar user interfaces, but they can also appear as blue or underlined text.
[ Action ]
See guideline about using consistent verbs for the arc of an action.
Use for multi-step processes.
Cancel an action.
Cause a message or dialog to disappear without any other consequences.
Good for the end of a multi-step process that ends with confirmation.
A nice alternative to “OK” or “Dismiss” for buttons that cause a message to disappear without other consequences.
Think of this as a borderless (flat) button.
Use for multi-step processes.
Omit the comma.
Don’t use this abused phrase except in rare cases where the call to action in the dialog is essential to the functionality of the product, for legal reasons, or for another urgent reason. Never use “Not now” as a mechanism to avoid providing a “No thanks” option.
Use an action that’s relevant to the task at hand, like “Remove” or “Save”; “OK” is becoming the “whatever” of button labels.
Useful to give the user a lightweight way to get on with the task the dialog or other affordance interrupted.