Voice and tone#

The voice and tone that we use with words influence how people think and feel about Rackspace.

Voice is our style and communicates our personality to the user. Tone is our mood and communicates our attitude about the subject to the user.

The words we choose—and the ways we use them—should reflect our goals, which include the following things:

  • Build trust.

  • Inspire confidence.

  • Make things easier.

  • Develop a relationship with Rackspace users.

No matter where our words land, they should sound like us.

Voice and tone attributes#

The following table shows attributes for voice and tone:

Voice attributes

Tone attributes

Basic

  • Human

  • Conversational

  • Friendly

  • Confident

  • Knowledgeable

  • Trustworthy

Basic

  • Indispensable

  • Helpful

  • Approachable

  • Smart

  • Professional

  • Honest

  • Accurate

Amplified

  • Bold

  • Voice of reality

  • Voice of experience

  • Committed

  • Exuberant

Amplified

  • Empathetic without sugarcoating it

  • Empowering and proactive

  • Playful, but professional

  • Steadfast, but open and approachable

Best practices#

Consider the following best practices for voice and tone:

Best practices

Use

Don’t Use

Write to the user by using second person and imperative mood. Users are more engaged with content when it talks to them directly. You talk to users directly by using second person, addressing the user as you. When you use second person with the imperative mood (in which the subject you is understood) and active voice, you make the text clear, concise, and direct.

Click Yes to accept the license agreement.

The license agreement is accepted when the user clicks Yes.

Write in active voice. Active voice makes the performer of the action (usually the user) the subject of the sentence. Active-voice sentences are more direct and easier to understand than passive-voice sentences.

After you install the software, start the computer.

After the software has been installed, the computer can be started.

Use present tense. Users read content to help them perform tasks or to gather information. These activities occur in the users’ present time, so the present tense is appropriate in most content.

The product prompts you to verify the deletion.

The product will prompt you to verify the deletion.

Be impactful and speak directly to a pain point.

Stop letting the cloud manage you.

Are you ready for the managed cloud?

It’s about them, not us, and promises a solution.

Offload the burden of managing the cloud to a team of experts.

The managed cloud difference, fueled by expertise…

Be simple and direct.

The cloud is hard. We can help.

Let us help you solve your cloud challenges.

Write in a way that the user wants to be spoken to. Use helpful words and phrases that are informative, simple, clear, and easy to understand.

The IP address of the server needs to be entered. Click the My Server button to complete the configuration.

The monitoring engine couldn’t connect to the server. Make sure the information is correctly entered.

Temper the enthusiasm conveyed in content.

You have successfully configured databased for monitoring.

Congratulations!! ALL of your databases are now being monitored!!

Be careful about laying blame. Don’t take the blame for a negative situation. Don’t lay the blame of the negative situation on the user.

The system could not validate your account. Enter your credentials again.

Either you didn’t enter your credentials correctly, or the system timed out. Please enter your credentials again.

In positive situations, be encouraging and offer next steps. Don’t take credit for the user’s success.

Configuration successful. You can now commission and decommission servers on-demand.

Congrats! Our system is so easy to use that you are now able to commission and decommission servers on-demand

In negative situations, be clear about the problem and how the user can fix it. Don’t ask the user to trust us without providing more information.

Your account details and database IP address range don’t match. Ensure that the IP addresses on the Account Details page are correct.

The database configuration failed.