Voice and Tone
Creating content for humans
@katekiefer
voiceandtone.com
mailchimp.com
Find your voice
Speak onto the page
Watch your tone
Know when to keep a straight face
Be honest
Find your voice
Speak onto...
That being said, here are our TENTATIVE plans...
1. All the space left behind by the support team becomes a big open
meeti...
Ask questions
What does your company do?
Why did you start your company?
Why do people visit your website?
Who are your cu...
If your brand were a person, how would you describe them?
Show me a few examples of content that suits your brand.
What ot...
MailChimp is
fun but not childish
clever but not silly
smart but not stodgy
confident but not cocky
informal but not slopp...
Design persona (Aarron Walter)
Voice guidelines
company's mission
content types
specific content examples
brand traits
reader/customer types
visual guide...
Yaaaawn.
styleguide.yahoo.com
"It is insight into human nature that
is key to the communicator's skill.
For whereas the writer is concerned
with what he...
Find your voice
Speak onto the page
Watch your tone
Know when to keep a straight face
Be honest
"A good teacher I know, Jennifer
Auger, has a simple but effective
technique for the writing classroom.
When her students h...
Jerrold, a Nerdbot
Find your voice
Speak onto the page
Watch your tone
Know when to keep a straight face
Be honest
Style guide: content types
e app
e application is MailChimp’s heart. Its language helps people along
as they create, sen...
Mascot’s jokes: an extra layer of humor
Compliance alert: bad news
Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions
"If advertising had a little more
respect for the public, the public
would have a lot more respect for
advertising."
James...
To determine your tone
of voice, consider:
1. Content type
2. e reader's emotional state
Ask yourself
What situation is the reader in that's bringing
her to this content?
What situation will this content put her...
health and medicine
religion
politics
money and banking
private information
fundraising
help docs
contact page
FAQ
forms
t...
Tufts University’s voice and tone guidelinesTufts University’s voice and tone guide
wikis.uit.tufts.edu
wikis.uit.tufts.edu
be.macmillan.org.uk
Macmillan Cancer Support’s writing guide
be.macmillan.org.uk
Gov.UK’s style guide
Wrong tone of voice
Unsubscribe notification
(before)
Unsubscribe notification
(after)
Playful tone of voice
Obama campaign’s unsubscribe screen
flickr.com/whitehouse
Romney campaign’s unsubscribe screen
Photojojo’s unsubscribe form
Tea Muse’s unsubscribe screen
"e consumer isn’t a moron. She is your wife."
David Ogilvy
Find your voice
Speak onto the page
Watch your tone
Know when to keep a straight face
Be honest
Current 404
404 reject
Woot’s product description
woot.com
Woot’s contact page
woot.com
Find your voice
Speak onto the page
Watch your tone
Know when to keep a straight face
Be honest
Oh, really?
Warby Parker’s roots
warbyparker.com
Warby Parker’s library
warbyparker.com
Warby Parker’s writing guide
Warby Parker’s story page
warbyparker.com
"I’ve learned that people will forget
what you said, people will forget
what you did, but people will never
forget how you...
Thanks, Webdagene!
@katekiefer
voiceandtone.com
mailchimp.com
Kate Kiefer-Lee: Stil og tone (Webdagene 2013)
Kate Kiefer-Lee: Stil og tone (Webdagene 2013)
Kate Kiefer-Lee: Stil og tone (Webdagene 2013)
Kate Kiefer-Lee: Stil og tone (Webdagene 2013)
Kate Kiefer-Lee: Stil og tone (Webdagene 2013)
Kate Kiefer-Lee: Stil og tone (Webdagene 2013)
Kate Kiefer-Lee: Stil og tone (Webdagene 2013)
Kate Kiefer-Lee: Stil og tone (Webdagene 2013)
Kate Kiefer-Lee: Stil og tone (Webdagene 2013)
Kate Kiefer-Lee: Stil og tone (Webdagene 2013)
Kate Kiefer-Lee: Stil og tone (Webdagene 2013)
Kate Kiefer-Lee: Stil og tone (Webdagene 2013)
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Kate Kiefer-Lee: Stil og tone (Webdagene 2013)

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Kate Kiefer-Lee: Stil og tone (Webdagene 2013)

  1. 1. Voice and Tone Creating content for humans @katekiefer voiceandtone.com mailchimp.com
  2. 2. Find your voice Speak onto the page Watch your tone Know when to keep a straight face Be honest Find your voice Speak onto the page Watch your tone Know when to keep a straight face Be honest
  3. 3. That being said, here are our TENTATIVE plans... 1. All the space left behind by the support team becomes a big open meeting area. For pizza days, for coffee hours, for events. Maybe some robot wars, I dunno. We’re already getting too big for the Paula Deen room, and we need the space. I’ve heard proposals for a big gym, and for yoga classes. But we already have a gym in the basement of the 530 bldg. If you complain to me that the weight equipment is old, shut up. Rocky Balboa trained with rocks and dead animals in a meat locker. Gravity is gravity, and heavy stuff weighs the same whether it’s old or new.
  4. 4. Ask questions What does your company do? Why did you start your company? Why do people visit your website? Who are your customers? What other companies do you admire?
  5. 5. If your brand were a person, how would you describe them? Show me a few examples of content that suits your brand. What other companies do you admire? How do you want people to feel when they visit your website? Ask questions If your brand were a person, how would you describe him or her? Show me a few examples of content that suits your brand. How do you want people to feel when they visit your website?
  6. 6. MailChimp is fun but not childish clever but not silly smart but not stodgy confident but not cocky informal but not sloppy helpful but not overbearing expert but not bossy weird but not inappropriate
  7. 7. Design persona (Aarron Walter)
  8. 8. Voice guidelines company's mission content types specific content examples brand traits reader/customer types visual guidelines
  9. 9. Yaaaawn.
  10. 10. styleguide.yahoo.com
  11. 11. "It is insight into human nature that is key to the communicator's skill. For whereas the writer is concerned with what he puts into his writings, the communicator is concerned with what the reader gets out of it. He therefore becomes a student of how people read or listen." William Bernbach
  12. 12. Find your voice Speak onto the page Watch your tone Know when to keep a straight face Be honest
  13. 13. "A good teacher I know, Jennifer Auger, has a simple but effective technique for the writing classroom. When her students have blah voiceless writing, she makes them speak the following words to her before reading their text: 'Listen to me, I have something to tell you.'" Peter Elbow Vernacular Eloquence: What Speech Can Bring to Writing
  14. 14. Jerrold, a Nerdbot
  15. 15. Find your voice Speak onto the page Watch your tone Know when to keep a straight face Be honest
  16. 16. Style guide: content types e app e application is MailChimp’s heart. Its language helps people along as they create, send and track email campaigns. People using the app already know and love MailChimp, so we can have a little fun with the language–though our priority is helping them get their work done quickly. Why we do it: Duh. Microcopy Microcopy is that small but oh-so-important instructional copy that you usually see in forms and feedback messages. It might remind a user that her password has to contain a number or explain that email communication will only be used regarding a specific order. We also call it “help text,” and you see it both in the app and on the public site. It’s short and to-the-point. Why we do it: To help users complete tasks. MailChimp newsletter MailChimp’s email newsletter is a company update written by our CEO, Ben. It’s full of photos, stories, experiments, links and announcements for customers who want to know more about MailChimp. It’s casual and entertaining. Why we do it: To give customers more MailChimp news and provide an occasional behind-the-scenes look at how the company works. We are an email service, after all.
  17. 17. Mascot’s jokes: an extra layer of humor
  18. 18. Compliance alert: bad news
  19. 19. Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions
  20. 20. "If advertising had a little more respect for the public, the public would have a lot more respect for advertising." James Randolph Adams
  21. 21. To determine your tone of voice, consider: 1. Content type 2. e reader's emotional state
  22. 22. Ask yourself What situation is the reader in that's bringing her to this content? What situation will this content put her in? How does the reader feel right now? How will this content make her feel? What can I do to maintain the reader's state of mind or put her in a better one?
  23. 23. health and medicine religion politics money and banking private information fundraising help docs contact page FAQ forms terms of service failure messages Touchy Subjects
  24. 24. Tufts University’s voice and tone guidelinesTufts University’s voice and tone guide wikis.uit.tufts.edu
  25. 25. wikis.uit.tufts.edu
  26. 26. be.macmillan.org.uk
  27. 27. Macmillan Cancer Support’s writing guide be.macmillan.org.uk
  28. 28. Gov.UK’s style guide
  29. 29. Wrong tone of voice
  30. 30. Unsubscribe notification (before)
  31. 31. Unsubscribe notification (after)
  32. 32. Playful tone of voice
  33. 33. Obama campaign’s unsubscribe screen
  34. 34. flickr.com/whitehouse
  35. 35. Romney campaign’s unsubscribe screen
  36. 36. Photojojo’s unsubscribe form
  37. 37. Tea Muse’s unsubscribe screen
  38. 38. "e consumer isn’t a moron. She is your wife." David Ogilvy
  39. 39. Find your voice Speak onto the page Watch your tone Know when to keep a straight face Be honest
  40. 40. Current 404
  41. 41. 404 reject
  42. 42. Woot’s product description woot.com
  43. 43. Woot’s contact page woot.com
  44. 44. Find your voice Speak onto the page Watch your tone Know when to keep a straight face Be honest
  45. 45. Oh, really?
  46. 46. Warby Parker’s roots warbyparker.com
  47. 47. Warby Parker’s library warbyparker.com
  48. 48. Warby Parker’s writing guide
  49. 49. Warby Parker’s story page warbyparker.com
  50. 50. "I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." Maya Angelou
  51. 51. Thanks, Webdagene! @katekiefer voiceandtone.com mailchimp.com
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