Developing a Content Guide for Writing to the User

To streamline content production and promote consistency.

By creating content guidelines for anyone writing, editing, or thinking about content in and for the product.

My Involvement
I lead this project. I was also the sole content designer, UX researcher and writer.

8 weeks


Dubizzle is MENA’s largest ecommerce and classifieds portal. Their product didn’t have a unified tone or voice and it was causing broken experiences for the user. They wanted to create a tool that streamlined content production and promoted consistency.

First, I assessed their existing content. Then, I ran competitive analysis, user interviews, voice and tone workshops, and content audits. In 8 weeks, I helped dubizzle create content guidelines to improve the quality of their product content.

The content guide included grammar rules, the new product voice, department-specific writing advice, writing tools, templates, etc. It helped clarify dubizzle’s tone of voice, minimise inconsistent language, and give more purpose to all sections of content.

in depth


Dubizzle is the Middle East’s most popular ecommerce and classifieds portal. They launched in 2005 and have since seen massive growth – both in market size and in operations.

When dubizzle’s marketing director and head of UX contacted me to help them with their product copy, they didn’t have a product content guide, yet. People from different departments were using language that suited their own understanding of the product. Their employees would often have to apply their limited voice & tone guidelines as they saw fit.

And so, over the years, dubizzle was losing what had made it unique in the first place – its fun, local, and unified voice.

I came on board to help them develop a copy concept of how dubizzle should sound and talk to users.

Getting to The Solution

I was the sole project manager + content strategist + UX writer + user researcher for this project.

I may have been the one putting it together but I had the support of an incredible team. These were stakeholders from Customer Support, Marketing, Product and UX, Sales, and Human Resources. Who would loan to me more members from their teams when needed.

The process

Because of the tight-deadlines, I chose to combine a few of the tasks. To start, I had to gather context.

Reviewing existing content​​

We picked one value-added service each from 2 of their biggest verticals for me to review. I assessed all the content related to these services that the user would come across during their journey.

Reviewing current Voice & Tone guide​

I assessed their current V&T guide to see how it measured against best practices for a content guide. I was also checking to see how it fulfilled the needs of its users.

Interviewing dubizzlers​

We interviewed a mix of old and new staff. How did the customer support team – who spoke English as their 3rd (and sometimes 4th) language – use their V&T guide? What did it lack? What did they need?

Competitive review & Audience research

I compared dubizzle’s content with that of their competitors. I reviewed the language dubizzle used on their websites and their social media, and how the audiences responded to it.

We tested the current content with the target audience. How easy was it for the user to get their job done?

Testing the new content guidelines​

I rewrote the content based on our findings from the audience research and usability testing. We then tested the rewrite to see how well it adhered to the new content guidelines.

Here’s how I ran the content-audit for dubizzle’s premium services.

The Solution

8 weeks later, we had the beginnings of a solution. We’d created a content guide and copy concept that included:

  • content ground-rules
  • the new product voice
  • UX writing principles
  • voice & tone assistance
  • notes on writing for B2C vs B2B users
  • how-tos for customer support and marketing teams 
  • writing tools, templates, and examples

The new content guidelines took dubizzle’s Why, and – with a focus on product content – drilled down into the Who, the What, the How, the When, and the When Not.

While I was creating the content guidelines, I was also:

  • helping the product teams with their UX writing
  • auditing and rewriting content for more value-added services
  • training the CLM writers on how to structure their messages
  • providing copy and ideation support to the designers

The Outcome

dubizzle observed significant improvements in conversion for their value-added services. The new tone of voice was accepted and used by the stakeholders, and loved by their users.

The content guidelines that I’d helped dubizzle create:

Increased the quality of the product-content.

Simplified the process of creating product-content.

Saved time by helping to write the right content.

Reduced costs by helping stop redundant content efforts.

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