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Web Standards

Content strategy

Good content design allows people to perform tasks or find information they need from our website simply and quickly using the most appropriate content format available. Our content design principles are based on research into user behavior, analytics and feedback.

If you need web content assistance please contact Sarah Rose in Communications and Marketing.

Content principles

1. Appropriate

Publish content that is right for the user and for our business

There’s really only one central principle of good content: it should be appropriate for our business, for our users, and for its context. Appropriate in its method of delivery, in its style and structure, and above all in its substance.

2. Useful

Define a clear, specific purpose for each piece of content; evaluate content against this purpose

To know whether or not you have the right content for a page (or module or section), you have to know what that content is supposed to accomplish. Greater specificity produces better results.

3. User-centered

Adopt the cognitive frameworks of our users

On a web project, user-centered design means that the final product must meet real user needs and fulfill real human desires.

4. Clear

Seek clarity in all things

When we say that something is clear, we mean that it works; it communicates. Good content speaks to people in a language they understand and is organized in ways that make it easy to use.

5. Consistent

Consistency, within reason

Consistency of language and presentation reduces the reader’s cognitive load and makes it easier for them to understand what they read. Inconsistency, on the other hand, adds cognitive effort, hinders understanding, and distracts readers.

That’s what our style guides are for.

6. Concise

Omit needless content

Does it matter if we have too much content? Yes. More content makes everything more difficult to find. Also, more content results in a decline in quality because we have finite resources to manage it. We should only publish what we’ve learned that our users really need.

7. Maintained

Publish no content without a support plan

Good content design practice ensures that content on this site stays accurate, relevant, current and optimized both for users and search engines. When content is no longer accurate or useful it needs to be deleted. The Governance Guidelines explain how we maintain and review content.