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LibGuides Standards and Best Practices

Basics to Consider as you arrange your content:

  • Create a visual hierarchy. The top left corner is the “entry point” for reader’s eyes.  This area should include heavier elements, such as bold text or images.  Users tend to read in an “f-shape pattern” - consider this when laying out important content.
  • Arrange content in a “front-load” format.  Include the most important information in your guide on the first page, and above the “fold” or the area where readers must scroll down to continue reading.
  • Keep your guide clean and simple.  Don’t let lines of text span across the entire webpage.  Break up text in columns.  Paragraphs should be short, 5 or fewer sentences.  Keep your content clear and concise.
  • Give your reader’s eyes a place to rest.  Including every relevant resource can be overwhelming for readers.  Select the most important resources and arrange them in a way that looks nice and signals to your readers what their eyes should do.
  • Include a short description for your links.  This gives users an idea of the relevance of the linked resource.
  • Guide, page and tab names should concisely and meaningfully summarize the content they cover.  This allows your user to skip information as they need to.
  • Consult the PMA Consistency Checklist (below) to enhance uniformity across guides.

Consistency Checklist for PMA

To provide a consistent user experience across all of our guides, make sure your guide incorporates the following elements before publishing:

  • Use the phrase "Start Here" (rather than "Get Started" or "Getting Started") 
  • Set all links to open in a new window
  • Keep default colors
  • Include your profile box