StaffGuide: LibApps Guide

Guidance and tips for creating and maintaining your content

Effective Communication on the Web

Star icon: best practiceBest 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.

Be Friendly

  • Write in a clear, direct, upbeat, and concise style.
  • Avoid jargon and acronyms.
  • Use active rather than passive voice.

Be Aware

  • Write for  your audience.
  • Write for their assignment.

Be Chunky

  • 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

Be Consistent

  • 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.

Be Accessible

  • 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:

Be Zen

  • It is okay to have white space. Let your pages breathe.
  • Tell less than everything you know.


Writing for the Web Resources