Every word displayed in an application is part of a conversation with users. This conversation is an opportunity to provide clarity and to help people feel comfortable in the system.
- Use a terminology that is familiar and easy to understand for the target audience (i.e. Persona) of your application.
- Put the most important thing first.
- Short words, active verbs and common nouns.
- Avoid contractions such as Don't and Won't etc.
- Avoid abbreviations (including ampersand instead of 'and'), acronyms, and tech-babble.
- Use a tone that’s informal and friendly, but not too informal; avoid popular, but transient, words and phrases.
- Keep information short and consistent; avoid redundancy or unnecessary words. e.g. Do not repeat the dialog title in the dialog text.
- Don't abuse capitalization because it draws people’s attention.
- For date and time information, consider that your app may potentially be used for several years; do not use immutable date references like this year unless it is algorithmically determined.
- Follow system-wide wording conventions for basic functions to keep wording consistent.
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