Your organization is growing, and as it does, you want to make sure everyone in your content design team is on the same page. Documenting writing patterns and guidelines can go a long way toward ensuring consistency. That’s where our writing guidelines template comes in: it gives you all the tools you need to capture content patterns and the thinking behind them, so writers across your organization can create effective and consistent assets.
How to use the writing guidelines template
Step 1. Define voice and tone
You’ve worked hard to cultivate a distinctive brand voice. Adapting that voice to different contexts, so you can be sure you strike the right tone, takes work. Start by describing the type of message you’re targeting with this pattern, then outline how content designers should adjust voice and tone to write effective messages of that type. If your brand voice has different dimensions (for example, the Atlassian brand voice is bold, optimistic, and practical, with a wink), consider adding an image to illustrate how these dimensions will come together for this type of message.
Step 2. Get principled (and show your work)
The next step is to identify the Writing principles for this pattern. Think about what the people who use your product are trying to accomplish when they encounter this message type, as well as what they may be feeling in that moment. Then, come up with 3–5 principles that speak to those goals and emotions. Include good and bad examples with each principle to illustrate your point and explain what makes each example good or bad.
Step 3. Share your hot tips
If you’re writing a content pattern, you probably have a lot of experience writing a particular message type. Use your expertise to teach other content designers the tips and best practices you’ve picked up along the way. These tips can be things to avoid (think “5 common traps content designers fall into”), thoughts on how to balance competing writing principles, or creative approaches that have worked for you in the past. You can even link to research or external resources to provide additional context.
Atlassian is an enterprise software company that develops products for software developers, project managers, and content management.
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