Our content standards will help you understand how to think strategically about the language in your products and apps. They’ll also give you clear, tactical suggestions designed to help you use language to craft better experiences.
Each component also includes content guidelines about how to write for specific interface elements.
Respond to merchant needs
Not everyone is a confident writer, but everyone can improve their content by making sure it responds to the needs of their audience. Keep in mind that real people rely on Shopify every day to run their businesses. The product, feature, or app you’re building can make a big difference to the people using it. Take some time to learn about who they are, what they need, and the language they use.
- Only use industry-standard terminology when you have reason to believe it will improve understanding. Spend time researching what words people use, rather than defaulting to what corporations call things.
- Edit unnecessary or repeated words.
- Write for small screens first. Constraints can help you focus on the most important message.
- Read your content out loud. If you get tripped up or it doesn’t sound like something a human would say, your content needs to be edited.
People use Shopify to get things done, whether they’re managing a store, or making a purchase. Content should be written and structured to help the reader understand and take the most important actions.
- Calls to action on buttons and links should start with a strong verb that describes the action a person will take when they click.
- Always prioritize the most important information and task — don’t make people dig to find what they care about. toBreak down complicated tasks into steps that help people focus on one thing at a time.
- Use the active voice to clarify the subject and the action.
To help your audience understand key concepts and actions they can take, use consistent nouns (words used to identify people, places, or things) and verbs (action words) wherever possible.
- Get in the habit of making a list of all the most important verbs and nouns in the experience you’re building.
- Look at your word list. Does each word clearly describe the object or action it represents in the simplest way possible?
- Does your language reflect how people think and the words they use?
- Identify synonyms (a word or phrase that means exactly or nearly the same as another word or phrase in the same language), and eliminate them. Each important object and action should have a single word to represent it.