In general, we follow Material Design's writing guidelines. Our slightly adapted version is below.

Language & tone

  • Address the user as 'you', and avoid using 'we'
  • Use the gender-neutral singular 'they'
  • Be concise
  • Write in the present tense
  • Write simply and directly
  • Write for all levels of readers - do not use complex terminology
  • Use consistent words in all parts of the app
  • “1, 2, 3” not “one, two, three”
  • Reveal detail as needed
  • Be positive
  • Communicate only essential details


  • Use sentence-style caps
  • Skip periods and unnecessary punctuation
  • Skip colons after labels
  • Use contractions when they make a sentence easier to understand
  • Avoid exclamation marks

Additional notes

These guidelines are specific to the Kolibri Design System and not in Material:

  • Always wrap user-generated text in 'single quotes'. Do not try to add formatting such as bold or italics
  • Avoid creating new Proper Nouns in casual messages. For example, "You are a coach", not "You are a Coach"