Content style guide

Make content on the operator manual is findable, useful and clear.

Use these content design guidelines for planning, writing and managing content for the operator manual.

The manual copies content design practices used on the award-winning GOV.UK. British Red Cross has also started a style guide, but it is early days.

Content design principles

Both style guides recommend:

  1. Use active verbs
  2. Short, simple sentences
  3. Use Plain English
  4. Write few words as possible
  5. Break big blocks of content into small, understandable parts
  6. Test content with your users
  7. Avoid acronyms
  8. Avoid technical or expert language

Review content before publishing

Have another editor review any new pages you add to the operator manual. Other editors can review pages as drafts.

Review content checks it is it:

  • Accurate
  • Clear
  • Short as possible
  • Not duplicated elsewhere in the manual
  • Spelt correctly
  • In the logical section of the manual

Reviewing content for someone before publishing is sometimes called ‘second eyes