Voice

Our voice is our unique personality. A well-crafted voice communicates our personality and values.

The AHS voice is:

  • confident, but not arrogant
  • familiar, but not presumptuous
  • intelligent, but not cerebral

In general, avoid jargon, abbreviations and acronyms that are specific to your field or to higher education in general. Use words that a layperson is likely to understand.

Imagine you’re having a conversation with your audience—don’t be afraid to use “we,” “us, “our” and “you” and “your.” Make users feel welcome at AHS.

After introducing students using first and last name, refer to them by first name only in subsequent references.

Keep voice consistent, while tweaking for context

Overall, the tone of the AHS website voice should be positive, enthusiastic and nonintimidating. However, just as a person’s tone of voice changes to fit the seriousness or lightness of a situation, so can the tone of writing used throughout our site.

What situation are users in?

To connect with people and show you care, you have to meet your users where they are. Think about the situation they are in. Why did they come to our site? Blog posts can be personal and casual, but information to help someone through a complicated process should take an instructional (but encouraging) tone.

How do users feel?

The next step is to think about your users’ emotional state. Try to understand their frame of mind and talk to them where they are. Are they curious about a specific degree? Are they anxious about the application process? Are they relieved to be finished applying? Once you have an idea of their emotional state, you can adjust your tone accordingly.