Uncle Frank’s favourite filosophies
On UX writing
If done properly, the reader will know how to do what they came to the product to do without noticing the words.
Design is constantly closing the gap between what people expect from your product and what it actually does.
On testing & research
“Never let yourself be diverted by what you wish to believe.” — Bertrand Russell
On voice & tone
Either a company has a common way of speaking and speaks that way consistently, or it’s a company without a brand; a company that doesn’t know itself, what it is or what it stands for.
Language is fluid and evolves in ways that can sometimes make us feel uncomfortable. Stomp and growl if you like, but you have to get used to it.
On grammar & punctuation
Unless their incorrect use significantly alters your intended meaning, there are likely many other things more worthy of your immediate concern.
On adverbs & adjectives
Say “no” to them more often than “yes”. If you’ve chosen a verb that isn’t doing the right work, choose a different verb.
If you’re reading this, you have access to the wealth of human knowledge in your pocket. Look up the spelling.
It’s better to adhere to a style that’s consistently wrong than inconsistent in any other way. Choose a style and stick with it. You can always change to another style to stick with later.
UX writing has patterns, too. Document how buttons, notifications and calls-to-action should behave, and standardise corresponding texts.
If you’re thinking of being funny, think twice: few things are more culturally or personally subjective, and thus more potentially provocative, than humour.
On work & play
“The opposite of play is not work. The opposite of play is depression.” — Brian Sutton-Smith, Psychologist