Best practice: Follow these recommendations to make your guides inviting and accessible.
Get to the Point
- Place the most important information first on a page.
- Cut unnecessary words. Cut, cut, cut… and keep cutting.
- Write in a clear, direct, upbeat, and concise style.
- Avoid jargon and acronyms.
- Use active rather than passive voice.
- Write for your audience.
- Write for their assignment.
- Make your guide "scannable."
- Break content into segments that cover only one topic at a time.
- Use layout to help your reader:
- headings and sub-headings (use H3 and H4 tags)
- lists - bulleted or numbered
- short blocks of text - avoid long paragraphs
- Use Page Titles (Tab Titles) that are shared across a number of guides:
- Books or Finding Books
- Articles or Finding Articles
- Recommended Journals, Journals, Finding Journals
- Getting Started, Backgrounds and Context, Reference Sources, Dictionaries and Encyclopedias
- Citing Your Sources, Managing your Research, Style Guides, Citation Managers
- Using Interlibrary Loan, Borrowing from Other Libraries, Other Libraries
- Go with the flow: organize your content in a logical progression.
- Use alt tags / descriptions on images to help visitors with low vision.
- Do not include essentinal information only in an image; provide a text description.
- Avoid using text color for emphasis or contrast.
- Make links that are friendly to screen readers; do not use link text such as "click here."
Instead name the thing being linked to:
- It is okay to have white space. Let your pages breathe.
- Tell less than everything you know.