How users know its the right content

In my post ‘How to get quality content’ I showed how much people value BT’s intranet and are confident about the integrity of the content they use.  BT’s intranet standards mean publishers must keep information up to date and clearly owned so users can rely on it.

In this post I’m going to cover BT’s intranet standard on naming of pages that helps users to find what they need more easily.

Each page should have a title relevant to the content to help users when they bookmark your site or scan search results. The title also appears in the top of the browser window giving users extra reassurance they have arrived at the right place.

Also try to pick a title which will help users when looking in an A-Z (so publishers in BT don’t need to start everything with BT) or call your page ‘homepage’ or ‘index’.

Title tags are in the head section of the HTML. Users of content management systems can set the page title in the properties section of the page.  Aim for having enough information in the first 20 characters of the title to identify the page.

Headings help users scan the page, search engines summarise it and text readers to skim it. Sub section headings help break up the page and allow the user to understand the page structure.

Some assistive technologies have a “skip to next heading” option, so use the <H1>, <H2>, <H3> and <H4> tag (or choose a heading style in the content management system) rather than just make ‘normal’ text look larger.

Choose your heading text with care, aiming to maximise ‘scanning’. The main page heading should ideally match the title tag and give a clear reassurance to people arriving at that page that they have chosen the correct link.

5 responses to “How users know its the right content

  1. Intuitive naming of pages is important, but what about outdated content?

    How does a BT intranet user know whether the content is the current version?

    Janus

    • Hi Janus!

      Have a look at this post https://markmorrell.wordpress.com/2010/03/24/how-to-get-quality-content/.

      Every page on BT’s intranet has a review date on it. This complies with our Information Retention policy. Content has to be reviewed at least once a year and either update or removed. We have an automated tool which informs page owners 4 weeks in advance they need to do this. If they don’t after being reminded then the content is removed so users DON’T use out of date content.

      Mark

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