We recently updated our guidelines for writing about gender, including how we refer to people, use pronouns, and present gender selections.
Keeping language gender neutral is challenging in languages other than English, where gender is a fundamental part of the grammar. We present suggestions for how we can address this issue in Portuguese, French, Spanish, and other languages.
Numerous content design and inclusivity experts across Intuit contributed to these recommendations. Special thanks to Scott Beth, Beth Chargin, Stephen Curran, and Cristina Luckner.
See how we design gender-neutral content.
This week the Intuit content design system expanded its style guidelines with a revamped section on usage. The new pages and standards give Intuit content designers additional background and strategic approaches to writing simple, conversational, and personable content.
Located in the Style section of the site, the new standards give content creators guidance on a number of topics.
- Writing in the active voice
- Favoring simple verb tenses
- Aiming for readability scores in the 5th- to 8th-grade level
- Crafting precise, definitive content
- Using everyday contractions
- Ending sentences with contractions when we need to
- Limiting the use of exclamations
- Using similes and metaphors when they’re appropriate
- Writing to customers using the second person (you)
- Designing gender-neutral and inclusive language in English and other languages
- Delivering less-than-good news
- Introducing and defining new financial terms and concepts
Content designers from Mint, ProConnect, QuickBooks, Turbo, and TurboTax contributed to these standards. And additional enhancements and examples are in the works.
Like all style guides, ours is a work in progress. Need to suggest revisions or add details or examples? Email us.
Usually we don’t need to write about the user interface. Customers come to our sites and products to get things done, not read about buttons and menus. But sometimes, for clarity, we need to spell out what something is or how a user needs to interact with the UI. Our new guidelines help us do this.
Content designers working on help and conversation design will generally need these guidelines most. Content designers working on product and marketing experiences usually don’t need to refer to the UI. Instead they write about the task the user is doing. For example, they’ll write “Select Vendors” instead of “Select the Vendors tab.”
Crafted by a team of content designers from help, product, marketing, design systems, and others, these guidelines help us make sure we’re giving clear guidance to our users when they need it. Among the contributors to this document are Angela Browne, Christianna Gunn, Tracy Macdonald, Jennifer McDonald, James Ong, Tina O’Shea, Scott Shumaker, James Theisen, James West, Kate Whelan, and others.
Additional documentation for help content is also in the works. View the new guidelines for writing about the UI.