Voice and tone

Voice is what you say and tone is how you say it.

Voice

Our voice is inspired by our brand strategy and personality. It gives the brand character, differentiates us from competitors, and clarifies who we are and why we do what we do.

Okta has the same voice all the time; it’s part of what makes Okta recognizable as Okta across all our experiences. This consistency is important in product to engage our customers and build their trust.

Okta brand voice attributes

Visionary

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Visionary voice example

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Vibrant

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Vibrant voice example

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Clever

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Clever voice example

 

Candid

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Candid voice example

Using brand voice attributes to create content

Every experience can’t include all of our brand voice attributes at once.

Consider the goals of the experience you’re designing to choose the appropriate voice attributes. For example, in product, clever doesn’t include the humor of a double meaning or metaphor that may slow comprehension or require complex localization.

Tone

Tone is the way our voice changes from one task or situation to another to meet the likely emotional state of the user. But, tone isn’t trying to make someone feel an emotion. It's a strategic tool that helps customers accomplish goals and engage with Okta.

We try to meet users where they are with:

  • appropriate sentence structure
  • word choice
  • punctuation.

Default to positive

Being positive is optimistic, a key feature of our visionary voice.

  • Use positive words and phrases to tell customers what they can or need to do instead of telling them what they can’t do or what they don’t have.
  • Positive phrasing is easier for customers to understand.
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Other Okta brand tones

The tone of what we say changes depending on who we’re talking to, where in the product we’re talking to them, and why.

Experiences, components, and even specific content elements have unique tones that help guide users to take appropriate actions.

Onboarding

Inviting, inspiring, trustworthy, knowledgeable

Use vibrant and visionary brand attributes to inspire customers to take action and understand how this improves the future.

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Headlines

Explanatory, direct, actionable

Use visionary and candid brand attributes to explain the benefit or action the customer needs to take. If people only read the headline, they should understand the purpose of the screen or component.

Headlines for pages in the Admin dashboard generally focus on action and begin with a verb.

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Support copy

Informative and contextual, clear about consequences

Use visionary, clever, and candid brand attributes to explain the benefit, make complex concepts clear, and set expectations. Not all customers read support copy, but it should provide guidance and context for those that need more information to continue with confidence.

Support

Support

Button labels

Actionable and concise

Use the vibrant attribute to focus on action and energy with strong, specific verbs. Button labels need to tell customers their choices. See button.

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Alerts

Concise and appropriate to the action or event

 

Informational - Neutral, explanatory

Use the visionary attribute to explain the benefit or outcome and the clever attribute to make concepts understandable and actionable, if relevant.

 

Example

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Success - Positive, affirming

Use the visionary attribute to explain the outcome with positivity and the vibrant attribute focus on what the customer can do, when needed.

 

Example

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Warning - Explanatory, instructive

Use the vibrant attribute to focus on what the customer can do and the candid attribute to set clear expectations.

 

Example

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Error - Supportive, explanatory, instructive

Use the vibrant attribute to focus on what the customer can do and the candid attribute to be understandable and rebuild trust.

 

Example

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Confirmation dialog

Explanatory, informative, consequential

Use the visionary attribute to explain the benefit or outcome and the candid attribute to set clear expectations.

 

Error messages

Explanatory, instructive, supportive

Use the vibrant attribute to focus on what the customer can do and the candid attribute to be understandable and rebuild trust. See Errors.

Error Example

Error Example

Learn more

To learn more about creating content that uses the Okta voice and tone, use these Odyssey resources:

Writing for product

Grammar and mechanics

Okta product glossary

 

And, learn more about the Okta brand, including voice and tone:

Brand 101

Okta Brand Guidelines

Have questions or need support?

Oktanauts can use the following resources when building with Odyssey:

  • Check the Odyssey 1.0 FAQs.
  • Join #odyssey in Slack and tag @content to ask questions.
  • Attend Odyssey Office Hours on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1-1:30 p.m. PT / 4-4:30 p.m. ET.
  • Submit bug reports and feature requests to the Odyssey Jira board
  • Request a new component using the Odyssey component proposal.