- Aim for 5th-8th grade readability
- Be as precise and definitive as possible
- Be personable
- End sentences with prepositions
- Favor simple verb tenses
- How to deliver bad news
- How to introduce new terms
- Keep it simple
- Use everyday contractions
- Use similes and metaphors when it’s appropriate
- Write in active voice
- Write like you talk
- Word list
Use first person
Use “we,” “our,” and “us” when you write as TurboTax or QuickBooks. It’s one way that we make experiences feel more personal. We want customers to know that there are people behind Intuit products and that we’re in this with them.
Just don’t be creepy. We never want them to think we’re spying on them. Exception: when you’re referring to the actual product, especially in marketing and sales, use “it,” not “us.”
Let’s get started. What’s your email address?
Pick a tax category and we’ll take care of the rest.
Still need help? Contact us.
We’ll help you create professional-looking receipts and invoices.
QuickBooks helps you get organized. It saves people about 8 hours per week.
Let’s get started. Tell us your email address and we’ll add it to your account.
We see you your app hasn’t updated since 3/10/10. Want us to update it now?
QuickBooks helps you get organized. We save people about 8 hours per week.
Use second person for customers, except for buttons and legal stuff
Our product experiences are a conversation with customers. We talk directly to them, so use second person to address them.
Buttons are the exception, though. They represent the customer’s side of the conversation, so it’s OK to use first person there to represent the customer’s voice and maintain the conversational quality of our writing. Note that first person in buttons is an option, not a mandate.
You added 5 new customers this month!
Add my customers (button label)
Enter your email address and phone number.
See a snapshot of where you stand.
Make any changes you want.
5 new customers were added this month!
Add customers (button label)
Enter an email address and phone number.
See a snapshot of where I stand.
Use third person for people who aren’t the customer, and keep things gender neutral
Use third person when you refer to someone (or something) other than the customer performing the action.
And try to keep things gender neutral, including pronouns. If you find yourself in the awkward spot where the subject’s gender is unknown, write your way around it. Don’t use “she/he,” “s/he,” “they” or “them,” or “one.” If you absolutely can’t write your way around it, then it’s OK to use they, them, or their.
See more guidelines about gender-neutral language.