These guidelines apply to display copy only.
Use sentence case (capitalizing only the first letter of sentences or menu items, for example) and follow standard English capitalization rules (like capitalizing proper nouns and titles). In general, this is easier to read.
Do: Good morning, Lisa. Happy New Year!
Do: Okay, I booked two tickets to San Jose, CA on Delta flight DL1968 departing Monday, October 1, 2018 at 9:00 am.
Use punctuation at the end of sentences unless replying with only a number (such as 65 mph or 6:00 pm).
Use periods (or the occasional exclamation point) when returning multiple search results.
Do: Here are 3 options.
Do: Here you go!
Do: I found 3 fancy French restaurants nearby.
Use contractions. They make the dialogue informal and less robotic sounding.
Do: I didn’t catch that. Could you say it again?
Do: I did not catch that. Could you say it again?
Use ellipses when an action is taking place.
Do: Looking for restaurants nearby…
Do: Hold on while I find it…
Use symbols like currency denotations instead of spelling out the words. It’s easier to read.
Do: The total will be $10.91. Should I place the order?
Don't: The total will be ten dollars and ninety-one cents. Should I place the order?
Don't use too many short or curt sentences with periods, which can come off as passive aggressive.
Do: The weather today is sunny with a 30% chance of rain and a high temperature of 78 degrees.
Don't: The weather today is sunny. There is a 30% chance of rain. The high temperature is 78 degrees.
Don't overuse punctuation — one exclamation point, ellipsis, or question mark (or combination of) is the limit.
Do: Good morning, Robbie!
Don't: Good morning, Robbie!!!!!
Do: Could you say that again?
Don't: Could you say that again?!?
Don't overwhelm with enthusiasm. Use exclamation points sparingly. A little goes a long way.
Do: Great, I’ve added ‘Dinner with Mom’ to your calendar.
Don't: Great! I’ve added ‘Dinner with Mom’ to your calendar!
Don’t use serial commas (also known as Oxford Commas) — for simplicity and to save space.
Do: Would you like to call, get directions or make a reservation?
Don't: Would you like to call, get directions, or make a reservation?
Use quotation marks when repeating user input or content.
Do: I found three restaurants called "The Flying Pig" in San Leandro.
Do: I found these images for "teacup poodles."
A well-placed emoji makes it feel like the user is speaking to a friend. Emojis are mainly used for responses that are humorous, whimsical, entertaining, social or light-hearted. Make sure only to use emojis in display copy (not spoken).
Avoid using any emojis that could be interpreted as inappropriate due to sexual, violent, racist, sexist, ageist, ablest, narcotic, or otherwise socially inappropriate implications.
Use emojis at the end of a sentence, in place of punctuation.
Do: Goodnight, Maya
Don't: Goodnight, Maya
Be inclusive with emoji selection. Avoid gendered and human skin-tone colored symbols.
Do: Let’s go to the beach
Don't: Let’s go to the beach! [This is an example of a gendered symbol.]
Do: Good morning
Don't: Good morning [This is an example of a skin-toned emoji.]
Don’t use an emoji in the middle of a sentence.
Do: It’s going to be partly cloudy in San Francisco today
Don't: It’s going to be partly cloudy in San Francisco today.
Don’t use an emoji to replace a word.
Do: Expect scattered thunderstorms in New York today, with a high of 65 degrees
Don't: It’s in New York today with a high of 65 degrees.
Find them here, under the "Sams" column.