Please note, these web standards and style guide are currently in development and are likely to change over time.
Web content is often scanned rather than read line-by-line. Jargon, acronyms and technical terminology can make this difficult, and give the impression that a page is written for experts rather than for everybody.
This leads to a perception that the council is not accessible. It also inevitably leads to people seeking information elsewhere, or through other means.
Poorly written content online often leads to an increase in telephone calls and emails to the council to clear up confusion.
Could you understand your page with no prior knowledge?
Your page should:
- set out its purpose within the first sentence
- be interesting but serve a purpose
- be approachable but not too chummy
- feel modern but not try to be ‘down with the kids’
- focus on your council’s customers not internal services
- present information in a common-sense order. Don’t assume the customer already knows what you’re talking about in your introductory sentence
- use headings to break up the page but don’t use too many and clutter the page