Words

Write Like Hudl

Don’t overthink it. If you’d feel totally confident saying the words to a user’s face, it probably sounds pretty good.

Hudl’s voice is human. No matter the channel or the specific choice of words, we intend for Hudl to sound like a person

We serve all kinds of people (down-to-earth, passionate, sometimes indifferent) with products that help them do real work every day. Current customers enjoy Hudl because we built it with their personal interests in mind. Our voice should reflect that empathy.

Use these keywords to understand who we are and are not.

Relatable, Not Robotic

Bad

Hello,

I apologize for the inconvenience. Payment for the 2016-2017 season is seven days overdue. The team account will remain locked until payment is received.

Good

Hey Coach,

Sorry you’re having trouble. It looks like your subscription was due last week. If we don’t receive payment on time, the account locks automatically.

People respond better to other people than they do to software. Users love our products and support because they know the personalities behind it.

Fun, Not Formal

Bad

Our offices are closed Thursday, November 24 for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Should you need service while we’re away, please email support@hudl.com.

Good

Because we love food, football and time with family, our offices are closed for the holiday. Shoot us an email or tweet if anything comes up.

We don’t take ourselves too seriously. We provide products that help users improve in areas they’re passionate about. It’s work, but it should be fun.

Trustworthy, Not Ambivalent

Bad

We’re pretty sure uploading from a FireWire device won’t work. Instead, you could try a USB cable. That might make the experience a little smoother.

Good

Our uploading tools don’t support video from a FireWire device. For the smoothest experience possible, stick with a USB connection.

We have to be confident in what we’re saying. If we beat around the bush or put a qualifier before every thought, the user will second-guess our content.

Informative, Not Condescending

Bad

Go to the Team tab and click Roster. Add the athlete’s email address, name, position - all of the basic information a coach would have. Click Add Athlete and you’re done.

Good

To add new athletes to the roster, you’ll hover over Team and click Roster. There, you want to add email addresses first. That’s how the athlete is invited to Hudl.

We can’t assume anything we’re telling them is common knowledge. By glossing over the ‘basics’, you could alienate our newest users. Talk to the reader as though you’re learning together.

Inspirational, Not Judgemental

Bad

There’s no excuse for failure. You’ve worked hard to reach this point, why would you quit now? Nothing is worth giving up this dream.

Good

You’ve worked too hard to turn back now. We know you have what it takes to be great. Remember that tonight as you take on one final opponent.

It’s not our place to question a coach or athlete’s motives. We want to help them achieve whatever goal they’ve set. Come from a place of understanding—we’re all working towards something.

Motivational, Not Bossy

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You want to be the best – better than everybody else. You have to become stronger, faster and smarter to do it. Use Hudl to reach your goals. Don’t wait. Start now.

Good

We’re all striving to be better at something. What’s your ultimate goal? What can you do to reach it? Whatever the answer, Hudl is here to help. Let’s get started.

This one is all about word choice. Don’t be aggressive and push a user to want or do something. Tell them they “can” to spark the fire within. Speak directly to them (“you can”) for a greater impact.

Celebratory, Not Cocky

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Our teams are the best. More than 300 Hudl basketball programs won state championships this year. We’re pumped our tools could make the difference.

Good

More than 300 Hudl basketball teams won state championships this year – and we couldn’t be prouder. Congratulations to every coach and athlete!

We’re lucky to serve these coaches and athletes. Get excited for them, not with them. It’s their accomplishment, not ours. Admire them and remember: There are always more goals to accomplish.

Fun-Loving, Not Cheesy

Bad

Your swing needs our Technique.

Good

Give your swing a free upgrade.

There’s a fine line between being light-hearted and cringe-worthy. Don’t try so hard it distracts the reader from your actual message.

Tone

Our tone adapts to match the context. It also changes to fit each of our target audiences. This section details the general tone we take with each of our core audiences.

No matter the reader, Hudl’s voice should always embody the same persona: an ageless, enthusiastic, tech-savvy assistant coach.

Coaches

In talking to coaches, Hudl is a fellow coach. Straightforward but agreeable. We understand the stresses of coaching, and are always there to help in the simplest, quickest way possible. We work together towards the common goal of winning, while keeping the team’s best interests in mind.

Analysts

The analyst takes video and stats very personally. We want to make their lives easier without downplaying the significance of that role. Have intelligent and direct conversations focused on the value they provide a given team. Show them how clearly we see things from their perspective.

Athletes

Hudl is vibrant and relatable when writing for athletes. We celebrate their successes and feel the pain in their defeats. We engage with a casual tone, striving to entertain as often as we educate. We’re a constant in their athletic careers, documenting where they’ve been and inspiring them to keep going.

Parents

Parents know what’s best and we’re not here to argue. Their main concern is the athlete’s well-being, with success a close second. Hudl can empathize and provide resources to help them push for both. Strive to be relatable regardless of where the athlete (and parent) is in his or her career.

General Public

Hudl is a brand advocate, connecting fans with their favorite athletes and teams. We sift through the daily grind of analyzing video and stats to share only the greatest moments. We keep people engaged with the tools to view and share easily digestible updates, giving analysts more time to strategize and athletes more time to train.

Additional Guidelines

No matter who you’re talking to, or what channel you’re on, strive for clarity over cleverness. If you find yourself trying too hard to be funny or inspirational, chances are the reader will have just as much trouble understanding. Don’t be afraid to trim the fat and get your point across.

Be careful with punctuation, especially exclamation points. Overusing exclamations can easily come across as yelling. Save exclamations for those “OMG” moments and statements that truly have the audience excited. Don’t tack one onto the end of an average sentence as a way of saying “We promise it’s interesting!” If you need to convey excitement, lean on words more than punctuation.

We write the way we speak. When we speak, we use contractions. Use contractions in your writing. You’ll automatically sound less robotic.

For more on how we prefer to punctuate, check these guidelines.