Last week, I was given the opportunity to run a workshop at WordCamp London. The workshop was called ‘Making your website more inclusive using tone.’ In case you missed it, or if you would like to delve deeper into the subject, here are the slides and brief. Do get in touch with the WordCamp Brighton organising team if you have any suggestions about how we can promote attendee and speaker diversity.

Making your website more inclusive using tone

Tone of voice affects the way users feel and how they act. So could the language on your site be causing people to feel uncomfortable or excluded?

We’re going to explore how changing even a few words can make for a much more inclusive website.

This workshop covers:

Workshop slides

Brief: Make the WordCamp Brighton 2017 “Call for speakers” page more inclusive.

Download a PDF of this brief

This brief includes:

  1. WordCamp Brighton 2017 goals – what we’re trying to achieve
  2. WordCamp Brighton core values – about us
  3. User personas – about our audience
  4. A mini tone of voice guide – what our writing should sound like
  5. Key facts to include – details we need to get across to our audience
  6. An example website page – we’re going to make this more inclusive
  7. The inclusive website page quiz!

1. WordCamp Brighton 2017 goals

In 2016, we launched the first ever WordCamp in Brighton. We’d like to keep the legacy of an eco-friendly, accessible and inclusive event going.

Everyone with an interest in WordPress is welcome to learn, share knowledge and celebrate together. We aim to continue increasing the visibility of the WordPress community and encourage more people to get involved.

It’s important to us that the WordPress community in Brighton is open to everyone who has an interest in WordPress, and that people feel like they can get involved, regardless of gender or ethnicity.

We therefore need to reach out to a wider audience to increase the diversity of our speakers and attendees. We would like to be more inclusive and encourage more people from diverse backgrounds to apply to speak.

2. Our core values

Our three core values describe us. We express these values to our audience, without necessarily needing to state them in our copy.




Accessibility means:

Accessibility doesn’t mean being patronising to our users.

Diversity means:

Diversity doesn’t mean being inconsistent.

Community means:

Community doesn’t mean being cliquey or elitist.

3. User personas

The following user personas represent some of WordCamp Brighton’s attendees. Everything we write should assure them WordCamp Brighton 2017 is an inclusive, unmissable event for WordPress users.

Amelia Lee – Web designer

Amelia is a Brighton-based web designer. Specialising in UX, she’s always trying to make websites more enjoyable for the people using them. WordPress is just one of her preferred CMSs.

With around 10 years’ experience, Amelia is among the most senior members of staff at the agency she works in. She’s now thinking about starting her own agency so has important decisions to make about what to do next.

Amelia heard about WordCamp Brighton from a colleague and is curious about the local WordPress community. Even after so long in Brighton, she’s yet to stumble on a community of designers here.

Alex Knott – PR manager and part-time blogger

Alex is a local PR manager, while running a successful blog on the side. Alex’s website is on but they want to have more control over what they can do with it. So they’re learning to code at codebar Brighton, with plans to move over to and build the site of their dreams.

Alex first heard about WordCamp on Twitter but is a bit unsure about coming along. They’re worried about being out of their depth at a conference all about web development.

Alex is open minded and has a wide range of interests. Apart from wanting to learn more about WordPress development, they also wants to learn more about content and SEO. Alex is very sociable and keen to get involved with the local WordPress community.

Paige Lacado – Shop owner

Paige has a small shop in Brighton and about a year ago, hired a local web design agency to build her an eCommerce store using WooCommerce.

It’s doing quite well so far, but she has huge plans for future growth. Paige is very much an all-rounder. Aside from vast sales and marketing experience, she can do a bit of coding when needed, has strong SEO skills and is constantly keeping up with the latest in digital marketing.

Paige heard about WordCamp Brighton at a networking event. She thinks it could be a good networking opportunity, but has no idea what to expect other than that. As she’s so busy, she’s a bit unsure of whether or not to go.

John Black – Web business director

John runs a full-service web business, with a focus on web design and development. He’s lost count, but this will probably be at least his fifteenth WordCamp. He tries to get to at least a couple each year and encourages his employees to get involved too.

John’s lived in Brighton over 10 years and frequently attends and hosts meetups locally, speaks at WordPress events across the world whenever possible, and regularly gives back to WordPress at contributor days.

4. Tone of voice guide

Find a comfortable spot in the shade and let’s get started.

It’s nearly summer, so it’s time to bring WordCamp Brighton 2017 to life for another year.

Like a flock of seagulls soaring majestically over a packed Brighton beach, we’ll seize the attention of the masses. OK that was a bad metaphor – those seagulls are a pain in the neck. But you see where I’m going with this.

Everything you need to know about how we sound is right here in your handy tone of voice guide.

The most important part is to tell our stories about Brighton and WordPress. We’ll bottle the essence of Brighton and transforming it into words.

This is going to be big. Get ready to radiate the diverse, exciting Brighton you love. And make sure everybody feels welcome at this awesome event.

This guide will help you choose the right language for our audience. It explains how you’ll use our tone of voice in the run up to WordCamp Brighton 2017 and during the event.

Our personality

Our personality comes across when we communicate our core values. It’s what guides our wording and language choice.

Imagine WordCamp Brighton sitting across the table from Amelia, Alex, Paige and John: this is the conversation we’re capturing.

We talk to our readers by sounding:





How to sound relaxed

WordCamp Brighton isn’t a cliché, stuffy conference. It’ll be far more relaxed and we want our users to know it.

Choose language that’s:

Relaxed doesn’t mean being unclear or using bad grammar.

How to sound kitsch

When all’s said and done, Brighton is a bit kitsch. It’s part of our charm. So we’re going to embrace this in our copy and showcase our diverse city at the same time.

Choose language that’s:

Kitsch doesn’t mean sounding weird, exclusionary, or difficult to understand for people who don’t use English as their first language.

How to sound fun

WordCamp Brighton is going to teach us many things. But it’s also going to be super fun. Not too much fun though, folks. Otherwise no one will show up to contributor day…

Choose language that’s:

Being fun doesn’t mean sounding whacky.

How to sound cheerful

You’re excited about WordCamp Brighton, aren’t you? Let everybody know it by sprinkling some of that magnificent cheer through your copy.

Choose language that’s:

Cheerful doesn’t mean being inaccurate or sugar coating the facts.

5. Key facts to include

6. An example website page

Example non-inclusive page

Example non-inclusive form

7. The inclusive website page quiz!

I’ve pre-prepared some copy for you…all you need to do is choose which idea you think is best.

If you don’t like any of the ideas, feel free to suggest alternatives. You can make suggestions via email to

Remember, we’re aiming to connect with our user personas, maintain our tone of voice, plus be inclusive.

By taking part, you really are contributing to making WordCamp Brighton more inclusive.

That’s because the copy that gets the most votes will be published on the live WordCamp Brighton 2017 website here.

We’ll be putting this particular page live on Monday 27th March 2017.

In the spirit of continuous improvement, we can still make changes once it’s live, so keep your suggestions coming.

Ready? Let’s write…

🌞 ⛱ 🏄 😎

Question 1 – Which page title (h1) is the best?

A. Call for speakers

B. Apply to speak at WordCamp Brighton

C. Call for WordCamp Brighton speakers #WCBTN

D. None of the above

Question 2 – Which introductory paragraph is the best?

A. The Brighton WordPress community are putting on an amazing conference this summer and we’re now opening applications for speakers.

B. This summer, the Brighton WordPress community presents: WordCamp Brighton 2017. It’ll be an amazing conference and we’d love you to apply to speak.

C. This summer, the Brighton WordPress community presents: WordCamp Brighton 2017. We’re inviting everyone with an interest in WordPress to apply to speak.

D. None of the above

Question 3 – What h2s, in which order, should we include?




D. None of the above

Question 4 – What call to action copy will best encourage people to fill out an application form?


apply to speak CTA


go to form CTA


apply now CTA

D. None of the above

Question 5 – How should we frame the different application methods?

A. We should ask people to email us if they need to use an application method other than the form.

B. We should list the ways people can apply, but explain there is no preferred application method.

C. We should just use an application form and not allow any other application methods.

D. None of the above

Question 6 – What fields should we include on the form?




D. None of the above

Question 7 – What copy should we use on the form submission button?


submit CTA


Send CTA


Apply CTA

D. None of the above

Question 8 – What else can we do to make this page more inclusive?


Next steps:

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20th March 2017

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