Work with your web team to determine the best way to include the long description information. It won’t tell you what your messaging should be -- again, that’s an entirely separate process. Listen for key phrases (beyond the ones on the page) that stand out to you or ideas where there’s a lot of consensus. While it doesn’t need to be fancy, you still need to have a proactive and defined rollout strategy for your style guide that includes trainings and follow-up, as well as a start date of when you will begin using it. Number of daily food servings for children, teens and adults. (e.g., âContent Chasmâ first use; thereafter, Content Chasm throughout). They'll guide you on how to make sure the image is accessible to people using assistive technology. But while content style guides Write: You have until April 30 to file your tax return. The complex table easily converts into simple tables. Write: If you started a new claim within the last 52 weeks and there are still weeks payable on that claim, we will automatically renew your existing claim. Organize your content using an inverted pyramid structure to: Inverted pyramid divided into four sections, from top to bottom. When taking notes, do so on a single sheet -- a copy of each word cloud will work. Make sure that the: Give your table a clear title that describes the information in it. Please take the time to review the entire document. If a client doesn’t have one, we may put a few notes here but, more than likely, we won’t include it at all. Businesses with lower revenue and those that deal in certain goods and services might not need to charge tax. For copywriters, content creators, editors, and digital marketers, an editorial style guide is an invaluable reference for optimizing content and polishing copy. Functional images add value to the content because they provide more information than can be provided through text alone. That sounds straightforward enough, right? While that’s true, that doesn’t give you any sort of structure that will guarantee the results you’re looking for. Lowercase the short form of proper names. Write: that is, in other words Instead of: i.e. The page title, headings and subheadings help people find information on the screen easily. No matter how you format this section -- our way isn’t the only way -- your goal is to create a moment where the brand comes to life, as if it were a person, and speaks directly to your team to say, “This is who we are, and this is who we aren’t. Plus, you’ll run the risk of people tossing your style guide to the side in frustration, because you’re giving them way too much to consider. For that â¦ It’s kind of like when people look at the HubSpot marketing automation platform and. Labs & Web Research Group, UPF How Users Read on the Web, Nielsen Norman Group Introduction to Administrative Justice and To Plain Language (PDF), Council of Canadian Administrative Tribunals Introduction to content design, Government Digital Service, GOV.UK Language Portal of Canada, Government of Canada Literacy and Access to Administrative Justice in Canada (PDF), Council of Canadian Administrative Tribunals Literacy and Numeracy in Canada, ABC Life Literacy Canada Lower-Literacy Users: Writing for a Broad Consumer Audience, Jakob Nielsen, Nielsen Norman Group Minimize Cognitive Load to Maximize Usability, Kathryn Whitenton, Nielsen Norman Group Mobile User Experience: Limitations and Strengths, Raluca Budio, Nielsen Norman Group Negative contraction, Richard Nordquist Plain Language Clear and Simple, Public Works and Government Services Canada (reprinted 2003) Plain Language Association International Plain Language, Please! identify your highest weeks of insurable income in the shortest period below: return the completed form in person to the, Spanish and Portuguese, write "(Spanish and Portuguese only)", be Canadian or legally able to work in Canada, have lost your job through no fault of your own, be ready, willing and able to work each day but still can't find work, stay in Canada while you're getting EI help, created a list out of the items in the text, replaced complex nouns with verbs and complex verbs with simpler forms, divided a complex table into several simple tables that are more accessible and can be viewed easily on mobile devices, applied the inverted pyramid approach to provide the summary or conclusion first, followed by increasingly detailed information, updated titles to reflect capitalization requirements, used existing subheadings embedded in the original example to create table headers, made sure that the last 3 column headers reflect the unit value of the information in each column, added zeros to provide relevant information in otherwise empty cells, removed empty cells, rows and irrelevant information (underlining) and subheadings (such as those that were not aligned with the column headers). It should be used by anyone on your team -- or freelancers who work with you -- who will be creating content for your brand. Using plain language actually makes critical information accessible and readable for everyone. A casual and conversational tone is acceptable and appropriate; overly informal language, slang, jargon, and disparaging or heavily opinionated comments are not. To make your content accessible, consider how assistive technologies work and how some writing practices may impact people's ability to read or understand text. 2 A SAMpLE STYLE GUIDE Other style issues: Unfamiliar terms: Put in quotation marks for the first reference, but do not give special treatment after that. Try to keep paragraphs to 3 sentences. In Chapter 4, we’ll discuss how you pull that part of your style guide together, but there’s no need to dedicate a part of the workshop to grammar rules and formatting conventions. Readability tools help you check if content is too wordy or complex. Whether you’re talking about visuals or content, there’s one golden rule when it comes to brand style. Content and style guide that makes an impact Our SME, content designers, and strategists can set the tone for all communications that happen via your SharePoint Intranet. If: In your page title, accurately describe what's on the page. Links to your pages from other pages may also help improve where your page ranks in search results. Then, check the table of contents to make sure you've correctly structured the page title, headings and subheadings. A content style guide is a documented set of guidelines and rules that break down your brand personality, and how it is (and isn’t) expressed through your content. It also won’t tell you how to win the internet. To make your content readable, consider your audience's reading level and literacy needs. Research whether they're understood by a wide audience before using them. Remember to also refer to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. In the following example, all the cells in the first: Fourth quarter of the April 1, 2009, to March 31, 2010, fiscal year. We have, however, worked with brands where we had to do more heavy-lifting than usual in the drafting phase based on the results of the workshop. Internally, you’ll also be able to promote best practices with your team around how your brand should be portrayed and perceived, which means your brand presentation through content will be consistent, no matter who’s doing the typing. Legal and technical terms and "government-speak" confuse most people. Why Don't Screen Readers Always Read What's on the Screen? Other times, those changes might be significant. For example, you can write: Place only one idea in each bulleted item. This tool is available as part of Microsoft Word. Not everyone reads at the same level or understands content in the same way. Remember to also refer to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. No matter what you say or how compelling your ideas are, your physical presentation of how you showed up would be a complete distraction, sending an entirely different message than what you were intending. Simple words have 2 syllables or less. For example, listing provinces and territories in alphabetical order could be appropriate. Start your content with the most important information, and be direct. Ideas delivered with clarity move people to take action. A tone pillar groups together tactical copywriting and content creation instructions under a larger tonal “theme,” which ties directly back to the story of your brand that you’re trying to convey. This is where the magic happens -- the words on the page prompt participants to share their real feelings. Has your group has chosen a lot of the same words for the same reasons? This article is for organizations outside of the publishing industry who can benefit from the introduction of a style guide.A style guide is a reference point that sets standards for writing documents within your organization. They can’t do that either. You’re a content manager who wants to get better work out of your writers and internal contributors in a way that makes creating content easier and more enjoyable for them. for new staff members; especially freelance writers. Again, ask clarifying questions and challenge people to go deeper, as appropriate. That said, it’s our experience that developing your messaging strategy in advance makes developing your content style so much easier, since they build on each other. You’re laying the foundation for everything else by establishing the boundaries of your brand personality sandbox. Your audience will fall in love with your brand, but only if what you want to say and what you’re communicating are aligned. In this scenario, we usually say at the conclusion of the exercise (so no one person is singled out): , collect all of the worksheets, but take notes during the discussion period. We’ve found, however, that the sweet spot is between two and four tone pillars for a style guide. If you have any questions, please see your instructor for assistance. For example: Check your analytics to find out what keywords your audiences are using to find your content. internet vs. Internet). The ImpactTerms site has an encyclopedia style structure. Period.”. Instead of: There are 15 CCCs across Canada. Whenever possible, tell people what they may or must do instead of what they may not or must not do. What Doesn't Go into a Content Style Guide? Was this niche previously ignored or underserved? It may be more information than you need. Write: The evaluation team will submit its final report on the training program in September. The Readability Statistics dialog box will appear and show the Flesch-Kincaid grade level. Let’s be honest. If the link leads to content only available in: Write: Find out how to renew your French passport while abroad in Canada (French only). to walk-through it with your writers and marketers, so you can ensure they understand it, and you can address any questions or concerns that may come out of that discussion. The goal of a style guide is to ensure your content stays consistent and high quality no matter who is writing or editing the article. In fact, going back the example from our friends in North Carolina, their voice and writing guide is really short: Their messaging strategy is simple, so it makes sense to have it featured here. You must provide a long description if you can't describe the content and function of the image in less than 140 characters. Keep sentences and paragraphs short to make them easier to scan on any screen size. , while you’re making larger decisions for your business. This exercise creates an opportunity for the group to see that they don’t always have shared definitions of the same words; something that’s critical for the voice and tone exercises. What Kind of Pushback Will You See in These Exercises? You can do this by: When explaining a requirement that comes from an act or regulation, avoid mentioning the act or regulation by name. To understand why, however, you need to learn the true purpose of a content style guide, beyond its surface-level definition. Content style and flow of web content consists of short, concise, and grammatically correct text. Don’t do that. Close the topic before referring to other obligations under different legislation.