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Read the following two sentences:“The woman slammed the door behind her, threw her bag on the floor and slumped into a kitchen chair, where she poured herself a much-needed glass of wine.”***“The woman closed the door behind her, hung up her bag and perched herself in a kitchen chair, where she poured herself a well-deserved glass of wine.” The first sentence uses words with negative connotation—slammed, threw, slumped, much-needed; giving the feeling that the woman had a difficult day.
Summary: A website’s tone of voice communicates how an organization feels about its message.
The tone of any piece of content can be analyzed along 4 dimensions: humor, formality, respectfulness, and enthusiasm.
That process produced a list of 37 website-specific tone words.
We then iteratively refined that list, by: Tones could fall at either extreme of each dimension, or somewhere in between.
Here we describe a framework of 4 dimensions that can be used to analyze or plan a site’s tone of voice.
Then we conducted qualitative usability testing and online surveys, measuring the impact of those tone qualities on users.
Each website’s tone of voice could be expressed as a point in the 4-dimensional space described by these dimensions.
To see how these 4 dimensions of tone can be varied to create different effects, let’s consider a small piece of copy that almost every content team has to consider at some point — an error message.
At the core of every piece of writing is the message — the information we’re trying to communicate to our user.
In this case, our message is, “An error has occurred.” Our tone will be how we communicate that message.