We created content principles for nsw.gov.au to help content authors build consistent, user-friendly content.
Use these principles across all content types when you are:
- creating new content
- revising older content.
While these principles should help you to align with government design standards and policies, it doesn’t replace them.
- Content isn't there to look pretty.
- Content serves a purpose to inform, educate, inspire, or entertain.
- Define the purpose of the content and meet it.
- Use evidence to support the purpose of each piece of content.
- Create content that is easy to access, understand and act upon.
- Use audience-appropriate language.
- Ensure that images, audio and video content convey accessible messaging through use of:
- alt text
- closed captions
- Ensure content is accessible on multiple devices.
- Content should be respectful and considerate of all kinds of users, their backgrounds, abilities, and needs.
- Use plain English that is inclusive to native and non-native English speakers.
- Content should not exclude any user or user group in terms of:
- subject matter
- intended tasks.
- Content should be on topic, direct and concise.
- The most important information should be up front.
- Consider the audience and their specific needs when creating content.
- Content should be self-contained and make sense if read out of sequence.
- Content should provide information that is new or more valuable than what is already published.
- Create content that is relevant to the intended audience and is written with authority on the given topic.
- Ensure that the user experience is matched across content types.
- Ensure there is consistent formatting in style, language and design.
- Users should be able to easily identify their place within the content.
Good content should:
- exist within context
- link to other related content
- have sources referenced where relevant
- be housed within a well-designed information architecture
- be mapped logically within the website.
Good content should:
- be truthful and transparent
- protect privacy and ensure security
- foster an open relationship between citizens and government.