Do you understand the importance of language in your UI?
The tone of your application speaks volumes about how users view it. Read this Google documentation on the voice of Android.
|Bad Example||Good Example|
|Keep text as short as possible. Avoid wordy, stilted text.||Consult the documentation that came with your phone for further instructions.||Read the instructions that came with your phone|
|Describe only what the user needs to know and don't provide unnecessary information.||Your phone needs to communicate with Google servers to sign in to your account. This may take up to five minutes.||Your phone is contacting Google. This can take up to 5 minutes.|
|Focus on the user's concern, not technical details||Manually control GPS to prevent other apps from using it.||To save power, switch Location mode to Battery saving|
|Put the most important thing first||77 other people +1’d this, including Larry Page||Larry Page and 76 others +1’d this|
|Put the user's goal first||Touch Next to complete setup using a Wi-Fi connection||To finish setup using Wi-Fi, touch Next|
|Avoid being confusing or annoying||Sorry! Activity MyAppActivity (in application MyApp) is not responding.||MyApp isn’t responding. Do you want to close it?|
Words to avoid
|cannot, could not, do not, did not will not, you will||Contractions: can’t, couldn’t, don’t, didn’t, won’t, you’ll, and so on|
|please, sorry, thank you||Attempts at politeness can annoy the user, especially in messages that say something has gone wrong. Exception: In Japanese, “please” is mandatory and imperative verbs should be localized accordingly (turn on -> please turn on).|
|fail, failed, negative language||In general, use positive phrasing (for example, “do” rather than “don’t,” except in cases such as “Don’t show again,” “Can’t connect,” and so on.)|
|me, I, my, mine||you, your, yours|
|Are you sure? Warning!||Tell user the consequence instead, for example, "You’ll lose all photos and media"|
Use sentence-style capitalization for all UI strings.
Capitalize all important words in:
- App names (Calendar, Google Drive)
- Named features (Android Beam, Face Unlock)
- Proper nouns (Statue of Liberty, San Francisco Giants)
Be conservative. Don't capitalize words that aren't part of a formal feature name: Sim card lock, Home screen, not Sim Card Lock, Home Screen.
Don't use a period after a single sentence or phrase used in isolation, such as in a toast, label, or notification. Wherever two or more sentences run together, use a period for each sentence.