Reading online is very different from reading on printed form, for this reason it is very important to be brief, direct and write in a non-condescending tone, building using our base structure is also very important, for this reason here you have some pointers on how to deal with it.
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Is a description of the unique, in the case of Houdini Guides it should cover: - its personality: is it playful and inspiring. - its rhythm and pace: are you short and sharp but not like a telegraph. - its vocabulary: plain and simple.
We adjust our tone according to who we’re talking to and what we’re talking about, but our voice remains the same. At Houdini Guides we think of the audience as colleagues and friend, make suere you are helpful and empathetic rather than preach, we want to engage them.
What your writing looks like, for example where to use capitals, how to spell certain words, reminders on grammar, vocabulary. This might also include design elements like how to use, logo, fonts and images.
I recommend you use tools like Gramarly to get used to think on those terms and follow your progress on your style.
Structuring voice, tone and style
There are lots of different ways to approach the structure of your voice, tone and style guide. Houdini Guides follows this pattern:
- An introduction
- Start by telling people what the guide is for, how it will make their job easier, and how to use it, be opinionated about the correct appraoch but if you choose to do so, showcase alternatives.
Give a set of simple, memorable statements that encompass the brand voice. These statements should cover the qualities of your voice, the adjectives you’d use to describe it, its rhythm, and a list of things that it isn’t. I always accompany each statement with a paragraph explaining it in more detail and showing how to put it into practice.
Use a friendly a story as the backbone of your voice, this is not a reference manual but a journey to become proficient with a complex application. Make sure the rhythm is correct, not to verbose nor a telegram. Extract key sentences and build with them quotes you want the audience to remember. A bit like a global view fo what the guide is.
If this guide was printed is should make sense, don’t depend too much on previous guides but rather think of these as semi-independent episodes.
Show people how to use that voice with different tones. Explain the kind of tones that people should use in different scenarios and provide examples. It’s good to talk about user empathy at this point too, and reference any personas you have.
An A-Z guide including but not limited to: abbreviations and acronyms, apostrophes, bold, brackets, bullet point, capitalisation, colons, commas, contractions, dates, full stops, headings, hyphenation, linking, numbers and figures, quotations, spelling, titles.
This is a great start if you need help with your grammar Gramarly Handbook