UW Brand

Guide to creating content

  1. Be concise
  2. Trim unnecessary words. Get your word count low.

    Before: Too long
    Volunteers at the University Faculty Housing Service render a useful service to new and visiting university faculty and staff requiring short or long-term housing. (24 words)

    After: Shorter
    The University Faculty Housing Service helps new and visiting faculty and staff find housing. (14)

    Shortest
    We help new faculty and staff find housing. (8)

  3. Use plain language
  4. Use simple, clear language. Spell out acronyms. Avoid jargon.

    Before: Academic with jargon
    We mitigate the social and academic effects of campus food insecurity.

    After: Clear
    We provide food assistance to members of the UW community.

    Clear and concise
    We provide food assistance to the UW community.

  5. Use headers and bullet points where appropriate
  6. Some paragraphs are easier to read if the sentences can make up a list. Use a heading to summarize the list if appropriate.

    Before: Paragraph hard to read
    This summer we are excited to announce that the Waterfront Activities Center and the Golf Range will be reopening, we have a new Rec Class Pass which will allow users to attend unlimited virtual classes, our Intramurals program has some lively new challenges, and our Personal Training program is now open to all IMA members.

     
    After: List is easier to read, with headline

    Summer announcements

    • We are excited to announce that the Waterfront Activities Center and the Golf Range will be reopening on July 1.
    • A new Rec Class Pass will allow users to attend unlimited virtual classes.
    • Our Intramurals program has some lively new challenges, including relay races and Ironman.
    • Our Personal Training program is now open to all IMA members.

  7. Use pictures or videos to get your point across

  8. Work out at home with our virtual personal training program, open to all IMA members.

  9. Mind your links
  10. No broken links
    Double-check each link to ensure that it goes to the correct page.

     
    PDF or document links – lowercase, no spaces
    In general, we avoid linking PDFs or Word documents on the web. This is because most PDFs or documents can be converted to web pages that are more accessible and mobile-friendly. However, if you absolutely need to link to a PDF or Word document, make sure that the file name is in all lower-case, with no spaces. Spaces cause browsers to create %20 signs in the web address, making it hard to read. Mixed case in web addresses are hard to read.

    Good name: your-form-lower-case-with-hyphens-no-spaces.pdf
    Bad name: your%20Form%20Mixed%20cAse%20with%20spaces.pdf

     

    Avoid “click here.” Be descriptive.

    Before:
    Join us for virtual painting classes! Just click the link here to register and you will receive further details on how to participate.

    Too wordy and says “click the link here” which is unnecessary.

     
    After:
    Join us for virtual painting classes.

    The link is direct and descriptive.

     

    Use a button or add a picture if you want to emphasize the link.


    Take your art to the next level. Professor Jane Lee teaches oil painting through Zoom.

    Painting classes