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”
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.
The best UI text is written in small, scannable segments to assist in navigation and discovery.
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.
Write in the present
Use the present tense to describe product behavior. Avoid using 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.
Use simple words that everyone knows
When choosing among synonyms, pick the simplest word.
Avoid terms that only industry insiders know, and don't rely on the 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).
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
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
Don’t burden the user with every detail and caution 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
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.
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