B&Q

BQ

Doing it better.

B&Q’s new website reflected a strategic shift from a purely product-led site to one containing more ‘added value’ content – with Buying guides, ‘How To’ guides and Inspirational articles. After devising tone of voice guidelines that reflected the B&Q brand personality, I went on to write content in this fresh new style.

B&Q Tone of Voice Guide

Here are some practical writing tips that will help you bring our new tone of voice to life.

Clear

To write clearly:

Use plain English in short, focused sentences

Let’s keep our writing easy to follow and act on by using straightforward language in short, simple sentences. If we ramble on, customers may find it hard to follow what we’re saying.

So, rather than:
Lighting plays a functional role in the home, allowing you to see what you are doing when natural light is insufficient, but it can also make a major contribution to the decorative schemes of your rooms and can have a dramatic effect on the mood they produce, and it is easy to personalise it for your own needs.

Say:
Lighting has a practical role to play in your home. After all, it lets you see what you’re doing when there’s not enough natural light. But if you use it well, it can also enhance your décor and create the perfect mood for each room.

Remarkably, the first piece of content comprises a single sentence of 4 lines and 58 words! Customers may well find this confusing to read and hard to understand. So we’ve split it into three sentences – and shortened it too by stripping out unnecessary words. We’ve also taken out long, awkward, unfriendly words like ‘insufficient’, ‘personalise’ and ‘contribution’, as well as introducing friendly link phrases like ‘After all’.

Striking the right tone.

My work writing content for the new B&Q website went hand-in-hand with devising a fresh tone of voice for employees to use in their comms. By explaining the reasoning and giving clear examples, I made it a piece of cake for everyone to ‘do it themselves.’

Vodafone Corporate Online

Making the complex, clearer

Designed to enable large corporate organisations to manage their services and billing activities online, the existing Vodafone Corporate Online (VCO) site required customers to have a high level of technical knowledge to use it properly. I worked closely with the key stakeholders to simplify and clarify the language used throughout the site – radically improving the user experience in the process.