What are your thoughts on where terminal punctuation should be used in microcopy? Titles, touts, and help text, error messages, bulleted lists…

I tend to think periods only have a place in body text or paragraphs, or in any instance where the is more than one sentence. We're currently having a polite debate about the attached image. What do you think?enter image description here

4 Answers 4


For material design, their guidelines recommend no periods on one sentence of UI text.

I don't have access to research verifying the material guidelines, but here is their viewpoint on making text concise and readable:

From Material Design writing

enter image description here

enter image description here

Salesforce's lightning design system:

Omit the period after items in a bulleted or other type of list only if the items are fragments rather than complete sentences. However, a period is necessary at the end of a sentence whenever more than one sentence exists for that bullet. In this case, make all bullets complete sentences that end in periods so that each bullet is parallel.

Again, I don't have cited research links, but these are organizations that have put in research into a large amount of design decisions.


If you're sure about the wording (and I don't think this is good wording for a hyperlink, but that's a different discussion), I would keep the excalamation point, and explore different ways to demonstrate the CTA's function - making it into a button, for example.


This is one of those things that you'll see everybody doing but it's hard to find anybody trying to define in an article because it's such a broad subject.

Don't use punctuation. Only use it to separate sentences in bodies of text.

This issue is really broad. I guess the main thing is that UIs are different than text even though they're full of text. In general, UIs are like graphics, not text.


The rationale could lay in the history of punctuation. Full stop . was invented to separate sentences. So don't use it if there is nothing to separate.

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