This guide aims to provide product design teams at Dell with a single set of standards and best practices for user interface content. Reference the content writing rules in this guide as you build experiences for our customers and internal users.
This guide may not include rules that are relevant for marketers, technical writers and people working outside realm of the Dell Design System.
Use plain language: When you design with plain language, you allow the broadest range of users to understand and use our products easily.
Passive voice can confuse readers at all reading and neurological levels. Use active voice whenever possible, and use passive voice sparingly.
What is active voice: When you write content in the active voice, a subject (who or what) performs the action of the verb.
What is passive voice: When you write content in the passive voice, you are stating that an object receives the action, but the subject is never explicitly stated.
Tip: Ask yourself who or what is receiving the action. Begin the sentence with that subject:
When to use passive voice: You can use passive voice when you don’t know the performer of the action, you don’t want to reveal the performer of the action, or you want to emphasize the receiver of the action. You should also use passive voice as necessary to avoid unsupported product claims.
Calls-to-action: Call-to-action (CTA) labels provide clear, logical paths to actions that people visiting our website intend to take. A CTA can navigate the user somewhere else or complete a task for them
Inline text links are hyperlinked text within another sentence or following a sentence of paragraph copy. Only use inline text links to provide navigation pathways for users.
Types of capitalization: There are three primary forms of capitalization: Sentence case, title case, and all caps.
Usage: Use sentence case for most content, including all headlines (except for h1), component labels, banner content and paragraph copy, except when that copy includes a proper noun or brand name.
What is sentence case?
Usage: Only use title case for page titles (h1), call-to-action (CTA) labels, navigation labels, brand names and proper nouns.
What is title case?
What is all caps? All caps refers to the practice of capitalizing every letter of a word in a single word or group of words.
Usage: Do not use all caps, except when using acronyms and initialisms, both of which should be used rarely.
For UI styling, see the notifications component page.
There are four overarching rules for writing an error alert message:
Usage: Titles are optional for error and alert messages that use our yellow alert UI component. In some cases, a title may help draw attention to the message. In cases of very short errors and alerts, a title may be redundant. Don't use titles for field validation errors.
Usage: All notifications, alerts, and errors should contain body copy.