Writing content

If people can't understand our content they'll struggle to complete tasks or get information, so we need to create content that's clear and easy to understand.

Use simple words

The longer or more complicated words we use, the more people will struggle to understand and skip over our words. So we need to choose short, familiar words throughout our content.

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Speak the language of your audience

Your audience is unlikely to think about things the same way we do internally, so research the terms you’re using with your audience.

Your content will be easier to engage with if it uses terms your audience is already familiar with, rather than having to introduce new terms.

Use consistent language

Inconsistency in content creates confusion. So once you choose the words you're going to use to describe something, use those same words throughout the entirety of your content.


Keep the words or phrases you use for actions consistent throughout.

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Being inconsistent with words or phrases is confusing to people.

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Always try to address people as 'you' or 'your'. Avoid being inconsistent with the way you address people, especially in the same piece of content as it's much harder to read.

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Use direct language

The easiest way to be direct with people is to use the active voice, which makes your sentences shorter and easier to read. It also makes clear who did what and that builds trust with our audience.

With active voice, the subject performs the action ("you designed the content"). With passive voice, the subject receives the action ("the content was designed by you").

Active voice
We’re investigating the problem
You can change your order at any time
We've sent you a refund
Passive voice
The problem is being investigated
Your order can be changed at any time
Your refund was sent

We can use the passive voice every now and again when we want to put to be direct about the action being taken, rather than who did the action. So a good use of the passive voice is when we're confirming an action.

Passive voice
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Active voice
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We can help answer any questions around content or get involved with your next project.