The editorial voice seeks to foster an emotional connection between customers and the Picaboo brand. Therefore, it must contain life and compel a reaction.
Visuals and type should not compete, but support each other.
In display type, the voice should speak peer to peer and focus on real-world value rather than technical features.
Web content that differentiates the Picaboo brand will appear primarily as headlines, subheads, product overview paragraphs, and to a lesser extent navigational elements such as buttons and calls to action. This is where the Picaboo editorial voice is strongest and where we’re most likely to spark an emotional connection with the brand.
Differentiation in content decreases relative to the depth (position) of the content in the site. For example, content on a product home page, the uppermost page in the product area, should clearly differentiate Picaboo from its competitors through the brand voice. Feature descriptions, on the other hand, appearing at the deepest levels of the site, are objective, factual, and concise, and contain very little of the brand voice. At this level, the feature set differentiates Picaboo (specifically, the product); the text itself does not.
- Don’t assume readers will understand what you’re writing about.
- Avoid abbreviations and acronyms.
Keep it simple
- Use shorter words.
- Define any necessary technical or industry terms.
- Keep writing as close to regular speech as possible.
- Avoid vague instructions.
- Use names and labels consistently.
- Use pronouns consistently.
- Start with the main idea at the top.
Make it scannable
- Break up topics, use paragraph headings, use bullet points.
Use simple and short sentences
- Don’t have people read more than they need to.
- Don’t summarize an action with “click here” in the middle of a sentence. Instead, condense the idea into 2-3 word link.
Talk to the reader, not at them
- Avoid “our customers” and “we”.
- Keep nouns and verbs close together: “Jenny shared her project with you”.
- Avoid telling readers what they can’t do.
- Use accuracy in facts and be sincere.
- Don’t brag, focus on carefully present strengths.
- Don’t sound ‘exclusive’ when customer knows otherwise.
- Don’t over promise or exaggerate.
- Check the facts.
Tell the truth
- Avoid overused adjectives like ‘amazing’ or ‘it’s never been easier’.
- Show readers how we’re different.
- Don’t just say something is easy, show how it’s easy.
- Don’t tell readers how to feel.
- Remember the diversity of customers.
- Be careful with idioms or slang.
- Avoid jargon or catch phrases.
Written in author’s own, first-person voice
To educate and entertain our loyal users, and to show them that we love what we do.
Quick tips/Tutorials/Knowledge base articles
Written in third-person
Straight-forward (readers want answers)
Written with potential customers in mind
Navigation, headlines, subheads, and overviews reflect brand voice
Technical details and deeper levels of content are less branded
Written with specific customer type in mind (ie. bride-to-be)
Similar to website content type
Web and mobile apps
Help user to get things done
Fun, but focused on helping
Fewest words as possible
Instructional (help text)
Feel good (success messages)
Functional and to the point
Congratulate and encourage confidence
Anticipate the next logical steps to take and draw attention to them
Clear in what the deal is
Clear and concise call to action
Focused on content and not on marketing
Sound active and use verbs
Personal (not a press release)