Tone of voice
Our tone of voice provides a set of core elements to define quality writing across all touchpoints, as well as supporting elements to convey the best of our brand personality to the world.
It is designed to serve as an umbrella that informs and unites style guides for departments, countries, and languages. Voice and tone express a brand’s essence, signaling who we are and what we stand for. They create the feeling: “That sounds like Uber.” And they let us show up in the world as the innovative global mobility company we are.
We are Fearless Optimists.
Wild enough to believe, tenacious enough to make it happen.
Unafraid to imagine a world others won't even consider.
Straightforward, matter of fact. No poetry, just transparency.
The passion and conviction to see and care beyond yourself.
We can be more audience-first and bolder at important touch points
We can be clear over clever
• Does it grab the audience’s attention?
• Are we speaking as confident leaders?
• Does it feature strong, specific word choices?
• Is it easy to understand in a single quick pass?
• Is it as clear and succinct as possible?
• Is it scrubbed of any jargon?
• If the audience is being asked to act, is that action and how to take it clear?
- With heart
• Is the focus on the audience?
• Is why they would care clear?
• Does it focus on solutions over problems?
• Have we assumed the positive about the situation or audience?
Cut the adverbs
All of them! Really, very, and basically. Slash and burn! It will force you to choose the best words (did you drive quickly or rush, race, or speed?).
Turn passive voice to active voice
A classic. The passive voice was turned to active voice when I turned the passive voice to active voice.
Make negative statements positive
Force yourself to say what you mean and save on word count in one fell swoop: no shipping fees → free shipping.
Choose clear words
Look for complex words and jargon; replace them with easy-to-understand choices.
Confirm all homonyms and homophones
Every there/their/they’re, it’s/its, your/you’re, principle/principal, compliment/complement, affect/effect, weather/whether, to/too/two, lie/lay.
Pick strong verbs
Are they as precise as they can be? Maybe you edited a story, but perhaps you rewrote, revised, or polished it.
Did you repeat yourself?
Repetition is sometimes effective. Sometimes. Use it sparingly and intentionally.
Look out for common mistakes: more than versus over, less as opposed to fewer, and further rather than farther.
Look for “that”
“That” tends to get overused. Do you need that every time you use it? Go a step further: check who (people) versus that (not people) and that (restrictive) versus which (non-restrictive).
Double-check all pronouns
Do all of your pronouns have clear antecedents? This and it are often used without a clear and present subject.
Use specific nouns
Is that boat you mention a rowboat, a tugboat, a barge, a cruise ship, or a kayak?
The Civil War occurred in the 19th century; your aunt collects 19th-century corkscrews.
Limit exclamation points
Make word choices to convey excitement, don’t lean on punctuation.
Read everything aloud
It’s the best way to catch typos and mistakes and awkward phrasing and lapses in logic.
Are they all necessary? Would a more specific noun choice be better? Is it a big house or a mansion? A brimmed hat or a fedora?
Kill your darlings
Don’t keep something because you like it; keep it because it works.
Don't forget these important legal reminders:
• Do not use Uber as a verb (e.g., “Let’s Uber to the party.”). Instead, consider using Uber as an adjective.
• Do not use Uber as a noun ("My Uber has heated seats.")
• Do not use Uber in plural or possessive form (e.g., Ubers, Uber's, unless the mark itself is plural such as Uber Eats)
Please contact the localization team (email@example.com) for support in non-English languages.