Writing style guide

The style guide applies to Deeson Group Ltd.

Everyone at Deeson has something to say, and we want to encourage you to share it.

We all have slightly different writing styles, so this guide lays out a few simple rules to ensure that everything we publish has a consistent tone and is of the highest quality.

Our tone.

Our writing reflects the way we speak in person. Our tone of voice is:

  • Confident but not arrogant.

  • Friendly but not jokey.

  • Professional but not uptight.

We say Deeson is not Deeson are. Deeson is a singular entity. We never say Deesons.

  • Deeson is a leading digital agency.

  • Deeson has been delivering transformative digital products since 2001.

We talk directly to our audience in second person (you, your).

  • A minimum viable product is the simplest version of your product.

  • We want you to think of the Deeson team as an extension of your own.

We choose an active tone over a passive one.

  • 'The project team carried out user testing' not 'User testing was carried out by the project team'.

We make our writing readable and user-friendly by:

  • using simple, accessible language - choosing short words over long ones.

  • avoiding buzzwords, generalisations, and hyperbole.

  • breaking text up into three to five line paragraphs for easy scanning.

  • using headings and bullet points to make points more digestible.

  • linking to other pages to help the reader navigate our content.

  • checking facts, proofing text, and testing links work before publishing.

We use gender-neutral language to be inclusive.

  • Use 'they', 'them', and 'their' over 'he', 'she', 'his' and 'her', unless you're referring to specific people (e.g. 'When a developer opens their laptop...').

  • Avoid gendered terms (e.g. 'Hey guys, 'man-hours').

Our style.

We write headings in sentence case with a full stop at the end.

  • We design and build transformative websites.

  • Tools, processes and policies.

  • Brands transformed through web apps in 2017.

We use contractions to make our writing flow better.

  • We're proud of our agile delivery process.

  • We'll craft a detailed delivery roadmap.

We don't hyphenate compound words.

  • Multidisciplinary not multi-disciplinary

  • Micromanage not micro-manage.

  • Biweekly not bi-weekly.

And we don't hyphenate phrases...

  • High profile not high-profile.

  • High stakes not high-stakes.

...with these exceptions:

  • Front-end.

  • User-friendly.

  • E-commerce.

  • E-learning.

  • Fractions (e.g. three-quarters).

We introduce unfamiliar acronyms in full the first time we use them on each page.

  • We worked with Imperial War Museums (IWM).

  • A good way to test an idea is to build a minimum viable product (MVP).

We write product and phase names in lower case.

  • Find out more about our blueprint workshop.

  • We then enter evolutionary development.

We write job titles in title case.

  • Managing Director.

  • Senior Developer.

We apply the following rules when writing numbers:

  • Write numbers one to ten as full words.

  • Add commas to numbers over three digits (1,000+).

  • Use the % symbol rather than per cent.

  • But spell out and hyphenate fractions (e.g. three-quarters).

  • Use a hyphen to indicate a range (e.g. 50-100).

  • Format phone numbers like this: 0207 186 8239.

We write the dates and times like this:

  • 15th January 1986.

  • Wednesday 15th January 1986.

  • 5.15pm, 3pm - no 24 hour clock.

We follow these conventions for punctuation use:

  • Use a single space after a full stop. Never a double space.

  • Use the Oxford comma in lists.

  • Use exclamation marks sparingly. They work well on social media and in direct communication but we should use them rarely on our website, in our handbook, or in formal documents.

  • Don't use the ampersand (&) unless it's part of a company or brand name.

We treat links like this:

  • If it appears online we usually use a hyperlink.

  • If it appears in a printed document, like a flyer, we include the link in full without the http://www. all in lower case: 'Download our starter kit at deeson.co.uk/vr-starter'.

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