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Content Guidelines

introduction

As content plays an essential role in Base, it should communicate with the overall identity of the system and have a unified voice and tone. Complex sentence compositions and jargons should be avoided and powerful words should be used in a clear, helpful and bold manner.

The overall style should follow the storytelling techniques and maintain an easy and human language that is readable for 14 years old readers.

When writing, note that you should pay attention your voice and tone.

  • Voice: is the core of the brand that never changes. It conveys the brand personality and express all its attributes and goals.
  • Tone: represents the brand attitude in different situations and with different environments and individuals. So in order to select the writing tone when creating content, you should first ask yourself, who is reading my copy and what are they looking for.

Our voice
and tone

In Baianat, we use a voice and tone that represents the brand and closes the circle with the visual identity. Our voice bursts from our culture that’s why when writing we maintain a language that is:

Clear: We avoid jargons, complex sentence compositions and unfamiliar metaphors. We write sentences that are short and concise. Using the right punctuation supports that as well.

Inspiring: The words and verbs we use should burst with energy. The sentences should be motivating and evoking for feelings due to the use of sensory words.

Human: The users interacting with any of Baianat interfaces, should feel that not have a robotic feeling. This is conveyed through an easy to navigate experience supported by a copy that is not following a corporate style, yet not sloppy.

Baianat tone is also adaptive to the many situations it could encounter to represent a whole virtual identity for the brand. Our tone varies based on the audience and the context.

For example, when talking to a new client, the tone should get more informative and helpful. While in legal issues, the tone should get more professional and formal and terminologies related to the topic should be used as well.

Writing
guidelines

When creating any documentations, website copies or blog posts, the following guidelines should be apply to keep a consistent system using Base.

Be concise

Start writing by setting a goal for each paragraph. Avoid large blocks of text, complex and long sentences and wordiness. Don’t use words that aren’t precise. Keep your writing sharp and on point but ensure the balance as not to become aggressive.

Create a two way conversation

Drop off the corporate writing style and start making conversations with your readers. Remember to keep your copy as friendly as possible just like if it’s a chat with a close relative. Know when to use your humor and when to cut off the jokes.

Be clear

Make sure your content is readable by a 10 years child. Don’t use the passive voice and refer to the elements by its well known names. When writing your call to action texts, keep it maximum of five words in plain english.

Watch your language

Beware of becoming offensive or using inappropriate words. Avoid any words that indicate discrimination on any basis and pay attention to the different cultural backgrounds.

Write for mobile screens

When writing long copies, make sure you test it on mobile screens to validate the experience. Don’t hesitate to cut off your text if you found it unsuitable for small screen displays.

Design your text

Online users will scan your text so make sure you provide the most important pieces of content at the beginning. The paragraphs should readable and correctly formatted. For an overall consistent appearance, try to keep them in the same length as well as your sentences as well.

Examples

1. Legal pages

About this example

  • Audience: Website visitors
  • Goal and tone: As we the legal documents represent an important asset for the company, the tone was kept formal to suit the context.

2. The ordering form

About this example

  • Audience: Website clients
  • Goal and tone: the goal is creating a conversational UI that takes the customer inputs and try to keep up with the conversation. The content was tailored to be clear and conversational at this part of the website.

Do’s and don’ts

  • Use simple tense for more direct sentences.
  • Use active voice except for some situations when the passive voice is more clear like. Example: Article saved.
  • Always end your sentences with a proposition and correct punctuation.
  • Use exclamation marks with caution to entice further reading or to give the text an actual voice by showing enthusiasm.
  • Refer to yourself as the first person using “ We” and “ Us”. And refer to clients as the second person using “ You” and “Your” except for buttons. And refer to third party using the third person.

Guidance

Capitalization

For titles and mantras, be sentence case whether the first word is a preposition, conjunction, noun, verb, adjective, or adverb. For H1, place a dot at the ending in the website copy.

Be sentence case with arrows, buttons, checkbox label, drop down list names, menus, radio buttons, navigation elements, and ghost text except when there are abbreviations, products or organization names follow the guideline provided by those parties.

Capitalize a person’s title only when it’s used directly before a name. This rule includes titles of government positions, religious positions, and other organizational positions.

Follow each organization way on how it capitalizes and punctuates its names. This is also applied to our ventures and products names.

Don’t capitalize industry or services terms like business, branding, technology unless it is linking or directing to a product or service.

If the first word in a title is a proper noun that begins with a lowercase letter (like iPhone or danah boyd), try to reorder the title so that you can capitalize the name as the company or person usually does.

Addresses

Write the address in full without abbreviations and as displayed on maps.

Bold

Use the bold text only inside articles to emphasize certain parts and never with the website copy. Except for the legal documents. Note that a bold text is not a replacement for H tags.

Currency

Use the following formats with the currencies and bear in mind that you should adjust the layout to suit every local market.

$10.00

$85 AUD

$70 USD

70 L.E

€35,00

Dates

For the US, use: MM/DD/YYYY without a leading zero.

Spell out the days of the week and use abbreviation only for small spaces like tables.

Capitalize AM and PM with no periods.

Emoji

Use the system emojis to communicate messages in chat or in through your web copy especially in instructional and informative parts. Avoid using it with legal sections and where you want to look serious.

Italics

Don’t use italic under any circumstances as it doesn't suit our bold design language.

Sensitive data

For sensitive data protection like passwords and usernames, use the following symbol and reopart in the exact number of the missing credentials (•).

Numbers

Numbers in titles

You can use numerals for cardinal and ordinal numbers in headlines, email subject lines, and HTML page titles.It’s okay to start a headline with a numeral if space is tight or if the numeral makes the headline more eye-catching or easier to scan or understand.

Cardinal numbers

Spell out cardinal numbers (one, two, and so on) and ordinal numbers (first, second, and so on) below 10, but use numerals for numbers 10 and above.

Large numbers

Express large and very large numbers in numerals followed by million, billion, and so forth. If expressing a number greater than 999 in numerals, use a comma.

Millions and billions

If space is tight (for example, in headlines, tables, diagrams, or text messages), some abbreviations are acceptable.

At the beginning of sentences

Avoid starting a sentence with a numeral. If you can’t avoid it, spell out the number.

Numerals in categories

If two numbers are included in a passage and one of them is 10 or higher, use numerals for all numbers referring to that category.

Lists

When referring to the order by which actions should occur, use the numbers in listing, otherwise, use bullet points.

Links

Insert the links in its natural format with the hyperid style and blue text.

Symbols

When expressing percentages, always use numerals and the percentage sign. Do not spell out percentages.

Spell out (and) and use the symbol only when connecting between two words only.

Spell out the word (at) unless it’s part of a mention or an email address.

Note: for the punctuation and glossary, kindly refer to the Merriam webster dictionary and the AP style guide of the year 2017.

In case you have any questions about writing your copy, don’t hesitate to email us on: Base@baianat.com