- British EnglishWe use British English for all written documentation.
- Sentence style titlesWe write titles in sentence style, means we avoid capitalisation (aka title case).
Our brand name is «confirm IT solutions». Follow these rules to keep the appearance of our brand consistent:
Write out always the whole brand name «confirm IT solutions»
The “c” is always written in lower-case, even at the beginning of a sentence
Don’t abbreviate to something like confirm or confirm IT
Don’t write Confirm IT solution with a uppercase “c”. Never.
Tone of voice
Our “tone of voice” includes a few core elements to standardise our communication across all platforms. It is authentic, direct, cooperative, and understandable.
- DirectStraight to the point. No poetry, just transparent and honest what and why we are doing it.
- UnderstandableClear, uncomplicated, and to the point. Focus on the statement.
- SovereignCredible and experienced, although mostly informal.
We’re not a big fan of emails within our company, thus we’re using Mattermost instead. It is our most important internal communication platform, and here are the reasons why we’re using it:
A replacement for internal emails
A good alternative for decentral / asynchronous communication
Segregation of different topics through different Mattermost channels
Notifications from GitLab (e.g. new issues, merge requests, deployments)
Notifications from other 3rd party tools (e.g. Kudos or VoIP calls)
Stay factual and transparent
Choose clear words
Speak only the truth
Use active instead of passive speech
In active language, the subject acts, in passive language, the action happens to the subject.
If you are not sure whether it is active or passive speech, you can add «by monkeys». If the sentence still makes sense, it is a passive sentence.
Swap formal words with normal ones
We are friendly people and not a cold, faceless organization. That's why we write the way we speak to people.
You can test this by reading aloud what you have written. Does that sound like something you would say?
assistance → help
set in motion → begin
make available → give
request → ask
use → need
Make negative statements positive
no shipping fees → free shipping.
Restrict exclamation points
Choose more words to describe emotions instead of relying on punctuation.
Check the adjectives
Are they all necessary? Would a more specific noun be a better choice?
Use short words and sentences, avoid superfluous and irrelevant.
Use only common abbreviations and acronyms
Avoid abbreviations and acronyms to minimize misunderstandings. Otherwise, mention the abbreviation in parentheses the first time you use it such as Continuous Integration (CI). Except for abbreviations and acronyms that are generally valid and known, such as API or HTML.
Use contractions in English text
Use contractions in the English language. They're great! They give your writing an informal, friendly tone.
Use more verbs than nouns
To sound more professional, we prefer nouns over verbs in written language. When we speak, it's vice-versa and we prefer more verbs. Nouns are generally considered more stylish and professional, but they also make sentences long.
We wouldn’t speak like that. e.g.:
"We made the decision that" vs. "We decided"
"We did an analysis" vs. "We analyzed"
Structure sections with subtitles
Content is often only skimmed over. Good subtitles give an overview of the following section, and pick up the main message of it without describing all the details.
Communicate the "why", not the "how" or "what"
When communicating the why, you automatically communicate emotions and inspire people.
Have a look at Simon Sinek’s “How great leaders inspire action” Ted talk for more informations.
Identify what you want to communicate
Grab the user's attention at the start
Describe cause & effects first
Describe benefits over functions
Communicating over benefits is more emotional and people can identify themselves with it.
“Introduce faster access to portfolio” vs. “Add portfolio button to dashboard”
Find common ground
Try to find common ground on which everyone can agree.
This will help identifying the common goal, as well as improve constructive criticism.
State your view and share relevant information
It is important that the team understands everyone's point of view and opinions, by focusing on factual information.
This will help to develop a comprehensive, common set of information.
Explain your reason and intent
Elaborate why you got to your point of view.
This will give people more context to understand your position.
Focus on solutions rather than positions
Don't argue about positions, but focus on identifying needs to solve a problem.
This increases the finding of a solution, and stops unproductive conflicts.
Be precise and care about terminology
Use the right words and agree on important terminology.
This reduces misunderstandings, since everyone uses the same words for the same meaning.
Be curious and ask genuine questions
If you're missing some information, or you don't understand something, ask questions.
This will help to improve understanding, and to uncover blind spots.
Discuss the undiscussable
Start discuss important but challenging topics which are avoided by the team.
This will ensure crucial topics won't prevent progress.
Test your assumptions and inferences by using mental frameworks.
This will to make decisions based on valid information and facts.
Keep it short, at most 10 words or 70 characters
People have short attention spans, so less is more. Catch their attention and summarise the content without telling the whole story.
To prevent search engines from cutting them off, keep it under 70 characters. The ideal size is **between 55 and 65 characters**.
Check it with a SERP snippet generator (e.g https://app.sistrix.com/de/serp-snippet-generator)
Use keywords and interesting adjectives
Words like "fun", "effortless", "unique", "incredible", "essential", "strange", "painstaking", and "absolute" engage readers more than more mundane language
Check the following links with power words for inspiration:
Include "you" and "your"
This makes your headline more effective since it speaks to your readers’ concerns and seems more like a real conversation.
- People want to improve their efficiency, and seeing numbered lists with easy steps meets this need
- Make sure to use digits instead of words to increase sharing - e.g. "5" instead of "five"
We strive for clear and real information. And clickbait headlines hurt our site's SEO and brand reputation and disappoint our audience.
Brainstorm at least five headlines for any given post
Here are some sample headline exercises to help you create a title:
- A question-based headline
- A how-to headline
- A short headline (~60 characters)
- A longer headline (80 – 100 characters)
- A headline based around a power word or phrase
Verify if the key point of the publication is clear
Revise the output for headlines & descriptions for search engines (SERP Snippet Generator)
Check if a call to action is integrated
Ensure that the application tips are met
Finally, let it be proofread by one of your team-mates
We were inspired by these sources: