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Style guide alpha

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Best practice

Today we’re releasing another stage in the alpha of the style guide. We’ve added 2 new sections, writing for the web and the style guide for services, to help content designers throughout government and new editors at arm’s length bodies.

New navigation

The first thing you’ll see is the new navigation. A while ago, I wrote to content people working on GOV.UK across government to ask them what improvements they wanted to see in the guide. One thing a lot of people wanted to see was guidance for each of the different content types, so we’ve done that.

Writing for the web

This section is a short guide to introduce people to writing for the internet. It has links to research and explains why we have some of the rules that we do. It goes into identifying user needs, how people read and what matters most to the user.

Transactions style guide

This is the first iteration of a style for writing for GOV.UK services. We’ve been working with the design team to make sure service managers have very clear guidance on what services should look like.

It’s not done

We know this isn’t perfect. We know we have a lot of work to do to add more content, make the navigation better, make it look better. We’re working on it. Meanwhile, the content on it is correct and up to date, so be assured that it is the latest style guidance.

Featured image by  ADoseofShipBoy on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons.

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  1. Comment by Mike Parkinson posted on

    The writing for the web guidance is excellent. One thing, in the user needs section, it's numbered 1, 1, 1...

    • Replies to Mike Parkinson>

      Comment by Sarah Richards posted on

      Hi Mike,
      Thanks for the comment. Unfortunately, I can't replicate what you are seeing. Do you mean the bullets are 1,1,1? I'll try and fix asap.

  2. Comment by Mike Jones posted on

    Are they are plans to use this to replace the multitude of (varying quality) style-guides that each department has for it's publications? It would seem to make sense since these documents inevitable end up on GOV.UK and the reason for most of rules in this guide would apply to corporate applications (single Gov identy, easy reading).

  3. Comment by Jackie Shirley posted on

    in Alan Maddrell and Simon Kaplan's excellent blog on 'Consultations: style and content format guidance' ( it states: 'You should include documents that are part of the consultation as attachments (eg the official government response and final impact assessment).' in the Final outcome section'.

    However, 'How to publish content on GOV.UK' guidance ( says: 'Add links to supporting documents such as impact assessments in the body copy (impact assessments should be publications in their own right).'

    I have been adding IAs as attachments up to the govt repsonse stage, and then only IAs published after that (for enactment of the Bill) are given their own publication page.