Voice and Tone
When you write, it’s important to be conscious of what you say and how you say it. This section covers the difference between voice and tone, why they’re important to our work at Zapier, and how to apply them in your work.
What’s the Difference Between Voice and Tone?
Voice embodies the personality of your writing. Our voice is something that’s uniquely Zapier. It brings life to our content, and helps people connect with us on a personal level. Voice rarely changes.
Tone changes constantly. It conforms to the situation based on the mood of the person you’re writing to—and might even involve suppressing your voice. For example, if you’re talking to a friend about an upcoming vacation, your tone will be lighter than if you were discussing a car accident.
Voice is about you, tone is about your readers. A strong voice helps people connect with Zapier, and the right tone shows people you’re listening.
Voice at Zapier
We want computers to do more so people can focus on the human side of work. With that in mind, always write with a human voice. Speak as if you’re sitting across from your reader in a cafe, explaining something or telling a story.
Our voice is warm, conversational, clear, and encouraging. We don’t meander into tangents, or talk down to our readers. Our goal is to educate and empower people without confusing them.
Zapier’s voice is:
- Encouraging but not pushy
- Relaxed but not indifferent
- Confident but not cocky
- Fun but not campy
- Clever but not crude
- Helpful but not domineering
Tone at Zapier
Zapier’s default tone is friendly and informal, but never let that get in the way of important info. Clarity and context always beat charm.
Whenever you write, think about who’s reading. What is the reader feeling, and why are they here? Are they excited about setting up a new Zap? Or are the frustrated that their Twitter account won’t connect?
Unlike voice, tone changes to fit the situation. Anticipate your reader’s mood, then adjust your tone to meet that mood. Remember that online you don’t get cues like inflection to help you set the right tone—make an extra effort to understand their point of view.
For specific tips on using tone in your writing, read the Voice and tone Situations section of this guide.
Keep these goals in mind when you’re writing for Zapier:
- Avoid slang and jargon. Write in plain English, focus on clarity.
- Be encouraging. Use positive language to spur readers forward. “Connect your Twitter account to build this Zap”, not “You can’t build this Zap unless you connect your Twitter account”.
- Edit, then edit again. Take time to trim fat from your sentences. Avoid unneeded adjectives and adverbs. Favor short words over long ones.