Marcus Burk

Digital. Marketing. Communication.

Content Styleguide – A perfect Example

Every website, every blog and every professionally maintained social media profile needs a content style guide. A style guide regulates, as the name suggests, the style of how to do something. This is useful because the guide is operationally at your side. He is the tactic that complements the content strategy.

Content Styleguide of “A List Apart”

A List Apart” is a website / blog / digital magazine that has been dedicated to design, development and web content since 1998 – with many external authors. And who does that so long and so successful, probably has a content style guide from which we all can learn. The perfect example.

An Excerpt from the Styleguide

With this Link you get to the whole guide.

Articles written for publication on A List Apart
use an informal, conversational tone, though not at the cost of clarity or correctness. Experts require neither excessive formality nor excessive casualness to express their authority. If you write with ALA’s readership in mind and sound like yourself, you’re most of the way there already.

Our article space is intentionally limited to a single page. There is no room for meandering, no space for encyclopedic completeness. You need to get in, score, and get out. State your idea clearly and quickly. If your tutorial solves a problem, state the problem. Don’t warm up to your subject by preceding it with generalizations. You don’t need to tell our readers that Tim Berners-Lee invented the web before getting to your point.

Experienced web professionals read ALA. If you dumb down your article, you will offend these readers. But our readers come from many backgrounds—a reader who knows all 317 CSS workarounds might not necessarily have heard of Edward Tufte—so take time to define your terms and provide pertinent background information, if only as a link.

Extended metaphors can provide gentle uplift and support, but they make poor lifeboats. Avoid extended cooking and spell-casting metaphors unless you can carry it off in a truly novel and delightful way. They may be apt, but are without question overworked.

“A List Apart” – Content Styleguide

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