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Content Checklist

Create content with these tried-and-true guidelines to reach your target group.

Start with user needs

  • Ask yourself: Who is going to see this page? What do they need to know? How might they be feeling?
  • Help people find the information they need quickly and easily. Guide them through the process.

Do the hard work to make it simple

  • Use plain language and simple sentences.
  • Choose clarity over cleverness.

Build trust

  • Talk like a person.
  • Tell the truth.
  • Use positive language and concrete examples.

Start small and literate

  • Make sure your content works for users. Don’t be afraid to scrap what’s there and start over.
  • Write a draft, test it out, gather feedback and keep refining.
  • Test images to ensure webpage compatibility. 

Address the user

  • Refer to the primary user as you whenever possible. For example:
    • You can email us at websupport@sdstate.edu or find us on Twitter.
    • Learn more about setting up your MyJacks account.
  • If you’re writing text for multiple users—such as students and parents—address the primary user as you.
  • Refer to secondary users by their roles or titles.

Include only relevant content

  • Every piece of content needs a job. Content should fall under the purpose to: persuade, inform, validate, instruct or entertain.
  • If it’s not serving one or more of these purposes, is the content necessary? Can the text be condensed? Can images or multimedia be removed?

Resources

*NOTE: THIS GUIDE IS IN DRAFT FORM AS WE ADOPT AND EMPLOY VARIOUS METHODS FOR GOVERNING AND MAINTAINING CONSISTENT CONTENT.