Common usage issues
This section provides examples of preferred phrasing & additional explanations for common copy issues.
- Account references
- Annual vs. yearly
- Calls to action
- Dates and times
- Icon references
- In/on Wire
- Invitation vs. invite
- Preferred spelling variants
- Remove vs. delete
- Security references
- Select/choose vs. click/tap/touch
- Subscription vs. plan
People “create an account” with Wire — they no longer “join”, “register”, or “sign up”.
They can then “log in” (two words) to their account — no longer “sign in”.
People can “log out” of the application and reset their password by selecting options from the … menu in their “Profile”.
Annual vs. yearly
In billing communications for Wire teams, use ”annual subscription”, not ”yearly”.
Calls to action
Never ask people to click here. Instead, link the key nouns or verbs in the call to action.
Dates and times
Time indications in conversations are automatically updated and the timestamps are relative to the moment, supported by a “casual” writing style (for example, “yesterday”).
Use the following long date format when possible: July 6, 2016.
To avoid ambiguity, do not use 06.07.16, 06/07/2016 or similar formats.
When referring to icons that appear in the user interface, use the name of the action or command that they perform, not the symbol that appears on the button: Settings or Preferences, not Gear or Cog.
“To end the call, tap the Close × icon in the upper left corner of the conversation.”
Use “in Wire” to mean “in the app”, but “on” is more appropriate when you mean the platform as a whole: “let’s connect on Wire” and “look at the conversation in Wire”.
Easiest to remember as in the app, on the platform.
Invitation vs. invite
Users can send an ”invitation” to others, not an ”invite”.
Preferred spelling variants
The default language for Wire copy is U.S. English — so no “u” in “color”, etc.
- Internet (capitalized per Apple style guide — see note below)
- email (no hyphen)
- web (lowercase)
- webpage (One word. A self-contained document on a website. A single website can contain many webpages. Don’t use website and webpage interchangeably.)
- website (One word. Refers to a collection of webpages.)
- Wi-Fi (hyphenated per iOS, macOS & Android)
- log in / out (verb: as in “log in to your account” – not “sign in”)
NOTE: In June 2016, the Associated Press and many mainstream newspapers announced they would no longer capitalize “Internet”. Since Apple still uses the capitalized form in iOS and macOS, Wire does the same in UI copy to ensure our app remains consistent with the spelling used in the operating systems.
Remove vs. delete
It’s OK to “delete” content, but not people. Whenever the context involves humans (like when revoking access to a conversation or team) use ”remove”.
In some cases, UI copy is best left abstract. This can help to protect users from people with malicious intent (for instance, bots searching for account details).
A good example is the error message in the UI that tells people they have entered the “wrong address or password”. Even though it’s clear to the backend exactly which is wrong, the message is intentionally vague to stop people from trying to find out if a user account exists.
Select/choose vs. click/tap/touch
Since people can (and will) interact with Wire across a variety of devices, with a variety of input options (touchscreens, mice, keyboards, etc.), use generic verbs like “select” or “choose” if the content applies to all platforms.
Where the platform context is clear, use the verbs specific to the platform, such as “click”, “tap”, or “touch”.
For more information, see the Touch Gesture Reference Guide.
Subscription vs. plan
In billing communications for Wire teams, use monthly or annual ”subscription”, not ”plan”.
Write URLs beginning with the wire.com domain, and without the trailing slash — most modern browsers will add this automatically if necessary.
Whenever possible, URLs should be active links. Do not include
http:// or other protocol information in the link text.
For example, write wire.com/privacy, instead of: