New guidelines help us write about the interface

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.