Voice and tone
Voice is what you say and tone is how you say it.
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.
Visionary voice example
Vibrant voice example
Clever voice example
Candid voice example
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 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
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.
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.
Inviting, inspiring, trustworthy, knowledgeable
Use vibrant and visionary brand attributes to inspire customers to take action and understand how this improves the future.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Warning - Explanatory, instructive
Use the vibrant attribute to focus on what the customer can do and the candid attribute to set clear expectations.
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.
Explanatory, informative, consequential
Use the visionary attribute to explain the benefit or outcome and the candid attribute to set clear expectations.
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.
To learn more about creating content that uses the Okta voice and tone, use these Odyssey resources:
And, learn more about the Okta brand, including voice and tone:
Oktanauts can use the following resources when building with Odyssey: