The active voice is a form of writing that's more direct, concise, and explicitly states who's doing what. When UX writers use the active voice, it empowers users to take action and enables clear web copy.
How does the active voice improve web copy?
The active voice tends to be easier for people to read, which is critical when developing written content for your audience. Readers can move quickly through texts when the writing is straightforward and concise, leading to better scannability. If users can follow instructions without confusion, they can complete tasks faster.
How does the active voice allow users to complete tasks?
As mentioned earlier, the active voice increases specificity. When wanting a user to act, use the active voice. For example, you're on a website, and a call-to-action says, "Go to checkout to buy this book now." The instructions are clear, and the user can complete the task which drives metrics and conversions. Conversely, a CTA in the passive voice such as, "The book can be bought in the checkout," is a lot more confusing and doesn't lead users down a direct path. When designing a CTA avoid using the passive voice as it may create ambiguity and may be vague. The active voice encourages users to interact with your platform and has more clarity.