Styleguide FOR

How it works

This guidance is for everyone involved in the production and maintenance of non-info website content. It gives an overview of our editorial process and links to more in-depth support for each step.

To smoothly and efficiently create non-information content for the Mind website, we follow this six-step process. It helps us to produce high-quality, consistent content for our users and get the most out of Umbraco, our content management system.

Step one: Before you start

The process starts when the need to make changes to content, or create new content, is identified. Ideas and needs can be reactive or proactive, but should always be strategic and realistic. Considering a few important things at the outset saves us time, money and potential issues down the road.

What happens?

  1. The content producer consults the before-you-start guidance and does the necessary groundwork.
  2. If the content will: have a high volume of traffic, require changes to other pages, create a potential risk to the organisation, and/or include advice around mental health, the content producer submits a comms request.
  3. Digital resource managers review the comms request and make a plan, assigning the right people from the digital team.

Who's involved?

  • Content producer
  • Resource manager
  • Any or all of: content specialist, technical specialist, UX specialist

Step two: Choose the template

This step involves thinking about the layout, the design and the functionality that is needed to make the content the best it can be.

This will usually mean selecting the appropriate Umbraco template for the content. In rare cases, it will mean working with digital engagement to create a core content model.

What happens?

  1. The content producer chooses the appropriate Umbraco content type and template, unless the content is something brand new that is markedly different from any existing template.
  2. In this case, the content producer contacts digital engagement. The content producer works with a digital content specialist or UX specialist to produce a core content model. This then serves as the blueprint for building the page from scratch in Umbraco.
  3. If the content is the first of many similar pieces of content, the digital development team turns the core content model into a new Umbraco template.

Who's involved?

  • Content producer
  • Content specialist
  • Technical or UX specialist

Step three: Craft the content

This step is all about writing good words, selecting appropriate images, and collecting relevant internal and external links.

This is also when content is signed off by the right people to make sure any risks are reduced and that the content hits the right notes.

What happens?

  1. The content producer writes the copy, selects the images and/or video and collects links.
  2. The content producer seeks approval from relevant colleagues.

Who's involved?

  • Content producer
  • Possibly subject matter expert and/or information content specialist

Step four: Build the page

This step involves adding beautifully crafted content to Umbraco 7.

What happens?

  1. The content producer populates relevant (existing or newly-created) Umbraco template with signed off content, or content producer creates page using blank template based on core content model.
  2. Once the content looks great at all screen sizes, the content producer saves and requests to publish.

Who's involved?

  • Content producer

Step five: Approve the content

This step is about making sure that all website content is accessible, inclusive, user-centred, empathetic, accurate, consistent, engaging, and on-brand.

What happens?

  1. The content approver reviews content and workflow details.
  2. If the content is in line with best practice guidance and ready to publish, the content approver approves it.
  3. If the content approver identifies any issues, these are communicated to the content producer via a comment in the Umbraco workflow. If the feedback is complex, the content approver will also send an email from [email protected]
  4. The content producer fixes the issues and resubmits the content for approval.

Who's involved?

  • Content producer
  • Content approver

Step six: Publish (and maintain) the content

This step involves making the content live on the website and – crucially – planning for its future.

What happens?

  1. The content approver adds a comment for the content producer and submits the content for publication.
  2. The content producer receives an email notification from [email protected], letting them know that their content has been approved.
  3. If the content will age or expire after a certain date, the content producer sets a reminder to go back to the content on that date to update it or flag that it needs to be unpublished.

Who's involved?

  • Content approver
  • Content producer

Roles explained

Roles are like hats: people only wear one at time, but they may own several and put a different one on for a different occasion.

Content approver

Content approvers are content, technical or UX specialists with a second hat. They are adept at proofreading, have an eye for detail and have broad knowledge of content and web best practices. A content approver at Mind is likely to be someone from the Digital Engagement or Digital Development teams, for example a Digital Development Officer or Digital Content Officer.

Content producer

Content producers create the content. Content producers can be in any team and their content skills and experience vary. They rely on training and guidance to help them create high-quality content for the website. They may need to collaborate with a content and/or technical specialist to realise their content idea, or respond to the user and business needs driving the content. Their content is checked and approved by a content approver for quality, consistency and safety before being published. A content producer at Mind could have any job title.

Content specialist

Content specialists have skills in writing and editing and an in-depth understanding of digital content and channels, and audiences and personas. They know house style intimately and have a solid grasp of the Mind tone of voice. They understand best practice and the theory behind creating accessible, effective, user-centred digital content. A content specialist at Mind is likely to be someone from the Digital Engagement team, for example a Digital Content Officer.

Information content specialist

Information content specialists are subject matter experts who specialise in information support content. They check and, if necessary, hone, any content that contains advice for people affected by mental health problems. An information specialist at Mind is likely to be someone from the Information team, for example an Editorial Information Officer, a Senior Editorial Officer or an Information Officer.

Resource manager

Resource managers look after people and budget. They prioritise projects, needs and requests, they allocate money and they assign people. They have good knowledge and understanding of the organisation's aims and objectives, and how content contributes to meeting user needs and business objectives. They also have an overview of the organisation's activities and an understanding of how the various parts of jigsaw fit together. A resource manager at Mind is likely to be a manager or head who manages budgets.

Subject matter expert

Subject matter experts have in-depth knowledge and experience in a particular subject or area, such as community fundraising or mental health in the workplace. They often need to feed in to the substance of website content. A subject matter expert at Mind could be from any team.

Technical specialist

Technical specialists have in-depth knowledge of Umbraco and how it's set up for Mind. They know what's possible and not possible from a technical point of view. They have regular contact with our external web developers and know how to prioritise new capabilities and fixing issues. A technical specialist at Mind is likely to be someone from the Digital Development team, for example a Digital Development Officer or Senior Digital Platforms Officer.

UX specialist

UX specialists have a strong understanding of users' behaviour online, and a focus on excellent design. They can provide general guidance for UX best practice, and offer consultancy and advice for larger pieces of work.