Communication

We use communication as a tool for brand management to inform and persuade our users. Every product inside GO-JEK has their own content style and tone of voice.

Writing Goals and Principles

At GO-JEK, we see ourselves (UX Writers) as friendly and reliable companion that will always be there for the users while they are using our app.

As that friendly and reliable companion, here are the goals that we strive to achieve:

We want users to be able to use our app effortlessly — without friction.

We want to give them a great experience in every step of the way. To be that friendly companion whom they can share their excitement with when everything went well. Also that reliable one that can pat them on the back and help them find a way out when something does not go their way.

We want them to feel our human presence and know that they are heard, understood, treated with care, empathy and honesty. So they can trust us and feel connected with us.

To achieve these goals, we are moving forward with some basic principles that we will always reflect to for every word and sentence that we craft, here they are:

Clear

Every word or sentence should be easy to understand, straightforward, and concise. We speak the truth and avoid any vague message.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Write for all readers. Use the most general terms and vocabularies so people can easily understand.
  • Make it easy to read. Accommodate readers to gain understanding by grouping or categorizing related ideas and using descriptive headers and subheaders.
  • People tend to skim. So focus on your message, create a hierarchy of information. Front load the main point or the most important content.
  • Be concise. Use short words and sentences. Try to trim your sentence again and again. Recall the day when Twitter was just 140 characters.
  • Be specific. Avoid vague language.
clear

Helpful

Put ourselves in user’s shoes. Ask ourselves, what do we expect as a user when facing a certain scenario? Provide clear instructions in every step of the way to help them achieve their goals, and never leave our users stranded without having a clue of what to do next.

helpful

Conversational

Write in spoken language, just like we do in face-to-face conversation. Don’t be afraid to break a few rules if it makes our writing more relatable. But be mindful and always adapt our tone of voice depending on the situation.

conversational

Know your users

“Tak kenal maka tak sayang” — This Indonesian proverb means “you can’t love someone if you don’t know them,” this inspired us to really know more about our users so we can advocate them better, with empathy. Because as a user experience writer, their good experience in using our app is like an ultimate goal and achievement to unlock. 🙌

Tone of voice

After we know about the users from Know your users section, here are the list of GO-JEK characters we have to be in. Get ready. Now, you’re officially an actor/actress. 😎

Platform (Register, Log In, HomeScreen)

We have a general GO-JEK tone of voice. But since each product serve different kinds of service and users, we will have some tweaks on personalisation for each product. Below is the tone of voice of GO-JEK in general:

Casual

Like a close friend who knows you well and understands you better than anyone, GO-JEK should sound authentic and real. We are not afraid to show our Indonesian-ness and be a little cheeky once in awhile. Users are friends so we’re speaking in a manner that would relate to them and that means casual and conversational. There’s no power gap between us and users, we try to make that social distance as little as possible, just comfortable enough that we keep everything warm and amiable, maybe with a little edge because friends also like to joke around a little.

Casual as in:

  • We are using informal tone and colloquial style of language just like we do in daily conversation with our friend, but still clear, concise, and straightforward. Plus, we make sure we use terms that can be understood by all of the users
  • We can be playful and use expressions, daily vocabularies, or slang that we use in daily conversation, but make sure it’s sensible and appropriate
  • We can use local content from jokes to proverbs, but make sure it’s relatable

For example, when driver cancelled the order, instead of just saying “Sorry, your driver has cancelled the order.” We could say something like your friend would say — you can also input a friendly joke — when facing this scenario:

  • Yah, belum jodoh, driver membatalkan pesanan
    Sepertinya driver yang tadi berhalangan. Cari driver lain yuk.
  • Oh no, driver has cancelled your order
    Let’s move on and find another driver, shall we?

Optimistic

A close friend isn’t just your companion, he is the optimist that nudges you on to do more. Lively and sanguine, we represent that spirit of positivity. GO-JEK is also that partner in crime that experiments with new ideas and discovers new places together. Life with a close friend like us is never boring or too serious!

Optimistic like:

  • Cheerful and uplifting — like that one funny friend in our peer group that always brings good vibes, who would never leave you feeling down, but gives you a different point of view by shifting your focus on the upside to a problem, assuring you that things could've been worse, that’s just how we carry ourselves: good-natured and upbeat
  • Positive attitude in facing situations — like when we’re traveling with our friend and things doesn’t go as planned — not mumbling or complaining, but looking at the bright side and thinking of ways how a bad situation can be turned around. But be mindful, not unrealistically positive nor even vain

For example, when users want to log in but haven’t registered their number, instead of saying “You’re not registered. Please try again.” We could say something like:

  • Eh, sepertinya kamu belum punya akun
    Nomor HP-mu tidak terdaftar di GO-JEK. Daftar dulu, yuk. Gampang kok.
  • You seem to be new
    Your number has not been registered in GO-JEK. Let’s register a new account for you.

Empathetic

We care about the process, micro moments and what it means to people everyday, so we’re mindful and perceptive as well as favorable to what users hold important. We love listening to stories and we are always up for conversation. In synergy with the above point, being optimistic can be reactionary or vain. Without overpromising, being empathetic means that we’re sensible in being resourceful so users feel they’re actually being helped and we’re really listening to their problem, we show understanding that can help mitigate the problem, because most of the time there isn’t a perfect solution.

Empathetic, like:

  • Be considerate, we want to make people feel good about themselves, coming from a place of understanding of people’s wants, hopes and needs
  • Be reassuring — like when our friend just lost their wallet or just broke up, we should be able to comfort them and make them feel like all is well, without giving false hopes, but being real about it

For example, when we couldn’t take them to their destination because it’s above our distance limit, instead of saying, “Unable to take you to your destination. Maximum distance is 75 km.” We could say something like below:

  • Waaah kejauhan…
    Kami mau mengantarmu ke mana pun kamu mau. Tapi untuk sekarang, layanan kami paling jauh 75 km. Mau ke tempat lain yang lebih dekat?
  • That’s a very long trip…
    We’d love to take you wherever you want. But for now, our maximum distance is 75 km. Want to go to somewhere closer?

The summary of tone of voice for each product you can read below.
We have a link that brings you to a demonstration of how the three core characteristics of GO-JEK apply to the different products in different states, which can be found here.

Transport (Ride, Car, Bluebird)

Transport voice is very much the same as GO-JEK tone of voice in general, since transport is the strongest representative of GO-JEK app. The little tweak is just, imagine that you (users) are a commuter, always routinely commuting (e.g. to work and going back home) with one close friend that lives in your neighbourhood. Every morning when it’s time to get going that friend texts you saying, “hey, wanna go now?”, that’s Transport speaking. He’s your pal and transportation (not to mention practicality and comfort!) will definitely be taken care of thanks to him, using the GO-JEK app 👌, like ordering the ride for you (making sure we’re using GO-JEK services) and takes you where you need to go.

GO-FOOD

GO-FOOD is that friend who is always excited about food. It has a different energy when it comes to your tummy's needs. GO-FOOD knows what you like, what you don't like. When you’re hungry you GO-FOOD. Need a snack? You GO-FOOD. If it’s anything related to food, we know the best! Recommendations? You got it! It can be from a friend or from other sources.
Life should be filled with good food, so GO-FOOD can also be a little impulsive and always encourages you to add more. We would never leave you hungry. That's what good friends are for, right? Hehe..

It talks like a startup CEO who is young and intelligent (has the brain of a 50 year old, attitude of a mid 20 year old).

GO-PAY

GO-PAY is sensible and keeps things professional.

It talks like a startup CEO who is young and intelligent (has the brain of a 50 year old, attitude of a mid 20 year old).

Imagine a person who often smiles at you and speaks with you in a calm and appropriate manner: not using too many slangs, too many jokes and abbreviations etc. as they may not relate with you -- or worse they may offend you. So it would only use jokes, slangs etc. that are universally known and pleasant. But keep in mind that, although it speaks politely, GO-PAY does not like to be seen too seriously as it may panic you, make you nervous, anxious no no. So, often it gives you happy/uplifting expressions as well even though you are failing at something (e.g. error state). It knows how to speak in a way that makes you feel that “don’t worry, everything is going to be okay”, “I’m always here, I’ve got your back”, “nothing can fool you when I’m here” and so forth.

Tools we use

  • Sketch: To be able to craft copies directly in mock up.
  • Paper Dropbox: Create a documentation for final copies that we craft in mock up. This will help developers and quality assurance team to implement and check all the copies in development stage.
  • Google Sheet: We are trying to implement a tool called Localisation Strings Generator. Writers and developers will collaborate to store all the copies — from backend to frontend, in English and Bahasa Indonesia — in a spreadsheet and then the developers will do their magic to generate all the copies into code strings that they can implement directly in the app.
  • Slack: This is our communication tool. We can reach whoever we want in the company except Nadiem — he said he doesn’t use Slack because he doesn’t like the UI.
  • Trello: This is our project management tool that we use to collaborate with the product teams.
  • Google Docs: We use this to collaborate with other teams that doesn’t use Paper Dropbox.
  • Zeplin: Final designs will be uploaded to Zeplin for everyone to see. Front end developers use Zeplin for design source of truth when they’re coding the design.

Interface capitalization

interface capitalization
  • Dialog Title
    Use sentence case, WITHOUT period at the end of the sentence.
  • Dialog Body Text
    Use sentence case, WITH period at the end of the sentence.
  • Text Link
    A clickable text that leads to an action, just like a button. Use sentence case, without period
  • Error Text
    Use sentence case, with period.
  • Button
    Use ALL CAPS, without period at the end of the sentence.
example interface
  • Feature title
    Use sentence case, WITHOUT period at the end of the sentence.
  • Section Title
    Use sentence case, WITHOUT period at the end of the sentence.
  • Status
    Use sentence case, WITHOUT period at the end of the sentence.
example interface
  • Text Field
    Use sentence case, WITHOUT period at the end of the sentence.