Writing Style Guide


A New User Experience

Deutsche Telekom was formerly a state-owned phone company. It went private, and today Telekom, including T-Mobile serves nearly 300 million customers.

This success had a downside: Telekom’s user experience was a patchwork of many different approaches. I was in the team that redefined Telekom's user experience.

My responsibility: Defining the language experience.

screenshot of Victorinox website
The Telekom style guide can be accessed by employees around the world.




With an audience of 300 million, you better do your homework.

I studied existing guidelines, books, and research material to crystallize common themes and identify what was most relevant for our customers.

These are some of the books I studied to create Telekom's writing guidelines.

Information Architecture

With a ton of research and a host of new approaches, I defined the information architecture.

There were several information architecture options for our writing style guide. Due to my non-disclosure agreement, I can’t reveal which one has proven to be the most effective. But have a look at some of the approaches I found.

Four different ways of structuring writing guidelines: By process, by component, by relevance or by seardhable topics.


The actual writing came easily after all that research and structuring. Too easily, it turns out, as the feedback from the steering committee illustrates:

“Thank you for your work! Now cut out 90% so we'll actually read it.”

And they were right. User testing with our editors confirmed that more concise guidelines were a lot easier to understand and remember.

The process of writing starts with a lot of material. At the end, just one page of distilled insights is left.


Telekom’s research team tested our guidelines in the UK, Germany, and Poland.

  • By asking the right questions, we could deduce how well participants understood the content
  • By inquiring about their feelings after reading it, we found out how they reacted emotionally
  • A few days after the test, we checked how well they remembered the content

The conclusion: Copy that followed the guidelines was more understandable, easier to remember, and loved by all.

“Long yet friendly wins over short yet jargon-packed copy.” — was our finding after testing different types of copy


Stakeholder buy-in meetings started during testing – from brand management to product development, communications to sales, different locations and different departments.

I met with people throughout the company to ensure I had covered all the bases, and that they were on board with the guidelines.

Creating a stakeholder map helps identifying who to talk to.


Training started early on. That way I had yet another source of feedback to ensure the guidelines were user-friendly. Additionally, the editors felt involved in the process, which helps with overall acceptance.

I make my training sessions hands-on and interactive because the more senses we activate, the easier it is to learn and remember.


What My Work Delivers

A company that grew with incredible speed to incredible size needed direction for all their writing.

Today, editors around the world have a clear and easy-to-follow compass to create content. All thanks to my guidelines.


  • Consistency: Global guidelines ensure a single voice
  • Efficiency: One easy access point for editors around the world
  • Cohesion: A shared vision strengthens content culture

To comply with my non-disclosure agreement, I have omitted and altered confidential information on these screens. All information on these screens is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of my clients.

Case Studies


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Swiss Army

Content Strategy

Various Brands

UX Writing