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We work to understand and share others’ feelings to help them reach their goals in a compassionate way.

We want to collaborate efficiently and build our product focused around our users. When writing for external users, we use language that shows we understand both their excitement and the issues they might be facing and help them move forward.

We don’t attack or blame other people, but instead try to figure out what led to the current situation and how we can move closer to an ideal state.

Always think of your audience

You should always know who you are writing for and adjust your language and style based on it. Your writing should also be inclusive so your entire audience is a part of it, no matter their background or language level.

Use terms your audience will understand

  • While we have a glossary for terms we use, we shouldn’t expect everyone to be intimately familiar with it. We want to use general terms as much as possible.
  • Keep jargon and technical terms only for those who know it well.
  • Write in plain language so people with any literacy level will understand.
The first half of your round trip includes two flights.
Error: Your password must contain: a lowercase letter, an uppercase letter, and a number.
To accomplish this, we have a set of tasks running periodically at a set time.
The outbound sector of your itinerary has two flight segments.
Error: Password not validated. Minimum of three character groups not fulfilled.
To accomplish this, we have CronJobs to run jobs on a pod at a set time.

Use words and structures you’d use in speaking 

Make what you’re writing seem natural. If it flows naturally when you say it aloud, people can better understand it.

Tone down the formality (when it makes sense) to keep a conversational style, including using contractions. This will have the side effect of making things shorter.

To get a quick answer (to your request)
So you’ll need to give us more details about it.
We can’t start now.
In order to facilitate a response to your inquiry
Said requirement will therefore necessitate your providing more information regarding the matter.
We cannot commence at the present moment.

Adapt tone to the situation

These guidelines are not absolute and can’t cover everything. You should use your common sense and adapt the guidelines to each situation.

Keep tone serious in stressful situations

  # Be more serious with errors

When people are upset about their situation, such as when they encounter serious errors, you don’t want to make them feel worse with out-of-place jokes and excitement.

An alert with the message: No results loaded. There was an error while processing your request. Refresh the page to load the results.
An alert message with the text: Lost forever. Your request has been lost worse than the airplane in the TV show. Start again at the beginning and hope it makes more sense than the ending to the show.

You can think about including humor for errors that aren’t a part of their main flow—when they’re unlikely to be feeling as frustrated. You want to find room for a delightful approach that can demonstrate passion.

In a travel app, for example, the main flow is generally about arranging travel. For side flows, like updating a profile, users may be in a more forgiving mood and open to humor.

  # Use humor carefully

Remember to make it clear what the problem was and what people can do to resolve the situation.

An alert message with the text: Profile picture not saved  You're just too beautiful for our servers to handle. Try uploading a smaller picture.

Make descriptions of potential trips light and fun

When people are considering buying a trip, it helps if they can feel excited about the possibilities. When writing for the planning stage, don’t focus too much on the details. There’s plenty of time for that when they’re buying the tickets.

Keep focus on users

We aim to show our understanding of others and not just our inside jokes. Keep your text focused on your audience.

Describe what choices mean for users

When describing a potential service or other option, make it clear what choosing that option will mean for users up front. Don’t wait until after they’ve chosen to see what it means.

Understand what users expect at each step in the process and you can help satisfy them.

Address users directly

  • When describing a trip, write about what “you” will do on the trip.
  • When writing a guide, focus on what “you” will do to accomplish the task.
You’ll love walking the empty streets of Brno in August.
To connect to the results, add an option.
The average person will love walking the empty streets of Brno in August.
To connect to the results, we’re going to add an option.