App writing

Keeping our app nice and giffgaffy

In short:

  1. Keep it short
  2. Add personality in the appropriate places such as success pages
  3. Be consistent with the words you use (it’s “credit” not “top-up”)

In long:

Writing for the giffgaff app is much like writing for giffgaff on mobile. And not too different to writing for giffgaff anywhere else.

The key to writing for any device that fits in your pocket is that you must be brief.

Make the words micro

You only have a tiny amount of space to get, often, quite a lot of info across to people. So be as short and punchy as possible. We’ve already got a bit of a guide on that over here. But remember things like:


“They’re” and “that’s” as opposed to “they are” and “that is”.


Certain words just have far too many syllables, so words like “information” can become “info” and “application” becomes “app”. It’s best to not overdo this though or you can quickly dissolve into text speak.


Do you need to explain absolutely everything, all the time? Possibly not, get the crucial info down and leave longer explanations for pop ups or modals.

We’re not explaining everything right there and then, but people should get the gist.

Of course, get too short and functional and all of a sudden we sound like a robotic answering machine. Which brings us to point 2.

Add personality, where you can

So given how short we need to make things, getting our personality in there can be tricky. And in general it’s best to be less giffgaff-y when it comes to instructions.

  • Set your goodybag to recur each month. You’ll have one less thing to remember and you can cancel it anytime.
  • Why not set your goodybag to recur each month? You’ll have one less thing to worry about and you can cancel it anytime you fancy. Nice one.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of places you can’t digitally sprinkle some personality across the app. Particularly on:

  • The welcome journey
  • Success pages
  • Feedback pages

And what does the giffgaff personality look like? Luckily we have a whole guide to that. Hint, it’s a bit:

  • Informal
  • Inclusive
  • Anglocentric (i.e. we use British English, not American)

In practice, it looks a little like:

Woohoo. That last text message was free.

And not:

You were not charged for the most recent text message you sent.

If you’re wondering about some words that you might want to add to such pages. Well, we’ve a guide to some of our most commonly used words too.

Be consistent

We have some peculiar names for things and we like to stick to them, so as not to confuse our members. So check out our A - Z to get the lowdown on how you should refer to things like: goodybags, credit (not top-up) and so on.