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Style Guide

Style Guide

Welcome to my personalized Style Guide! This living document serves as an embodiment of my journey in exploring documentation creation while forming a robust, consistent brand identity. It's a means to uphold a harmonious voice and tone across all forms of official communications and content that I personally curate and produce.

Aimed at unifying all written mediums, from marketing materials and website copy to email correspondence, this guide also brings together visual elements to build a cohesive brand aesthetic. It establishes precise guidelines on grammar, punctuation, formatting, and layout to ensure my content is not only professional but also coherent and easy to digest.

What sets this style guide apart is its commitment to accessibility. With respect for diverse audience needs, it aims to make all my content inclusive for people with disabilities, non-native English speakers, and individuals with varying educational backgrounds. Following the tenets laid out in this guide, my content is set to bridge gaps and foster inclusivity.

Most importantly, this guide is designed for my reference and use, as well as those who might collaborate in contributing to my website or other content. However, it isn't aimed at third parties or the general public. Nor does it claim to be an exhaustive manual on writing and design, but rather a compass guiding towards writing and design that aligns with my personal brand and style.

As a living document, this style guide will evolve and mature as I delve deeper into writing and design. Your questions or suggestions are always welcome - feel free to contact me anytime.

I. Writing guidelines

Voice and tone

Establishing a consistent voice and tone across all my communications and content is important. It's the foundation of a cohesive brand identity and ensures my content remains easily digestible. Striking a balance between professionalism and friendliness, my content voice aims to be engaging and approachable. Clear, concise language without reliance on jargon or overly technical terms is key. Moreover, crafting content accessible to all audiences, including those with disabilities, non-native English speakers, and individuals of varying educational backgrounds, is a significant part of my approach.

Here are some strategies to achieve this goal:

  1. Demystify Complexity: Encourage the use of plain language and explain intricate concepts in uncomplicated terms to avoid unnecessary barriers. For instance, instead of saying, "Utilize our proprietary algorithm," say, "Use our unique computer program."

  2. Active Voice: Favor the use of an active voice over passive. For example, say, "I created the website," instead of, "The website was created by me."

  3. Simplicity Over Complexity: Keep sentences short and straightforward. For instance, replace, "I created the website in order to provide a platform for me to share my work and ideas," with the simpler, "I created the website to share my work and ideas."

  4. Clarity of Language: Avoid complex or confusing language; instead, opt for simple expressions. For instance, instead of saying, "The website was created by me, and it is intended to be a platform for me to share my work and ideas," simply say, "I created the website to share my work and ideas."

  5. Short Words: Use short, simple words in place of longer, more complex ones. For example, use "use" instead of "utilize."

In essence, the goal is to make all content user-friendly, ensuring it resonates with the broadest possible audience while preserving the essence of my unique brand voice.

Personal-specific terms

To foster a personal and relatable tone in my communications, I will favor personal pronouns and possessive terms. Specifically, the pronouns "I" and "me" will replace more formal or impersonal alternatives like "one" or "the user." In the same vein, I'll refer to my digital domain as "my website," steering clear of more generic phrasings like "this website" or "the website." This approach encourages a personable, approachable tone and promotes clearer, more direct communication.

Grammar and punctuation

Accuracy in grammar and punctuation is important across all my communications and content. This includes capitalizing the first letter of sentences, ensuring correct spelling, and applying proper punctuation. The usage of grammatically correct verb tenses, pronouns, and subject-verb agreements is also essential. To maintain consistency and align with widely accepted standards, I will adhere to American English spelling and grammar conventions. This commitment to grammatical precision not only bolsters professionalism but also ensures clarity and ease of understanding for my readers.

II. Formatting guidelines

General formatting

The consistency of formatting across all content and documentation is pivotal to maintaining a seamless reader experience. Here's how this will be accomplished:

  1. Lists: Lists will be structured with bullet points or numbers, indented suitably to visually differentiate them from other page text.

  2. Headings: Headings will serve as visual separators for distinct sections of content, aiding user navigation. They will be logically ordered, with the most crucial heading being the largest and the least critical being the smallest.

  3. Paragraph Separation: Paragraphs will be marked by blank lines to set them apart from the rest of the text, enhancing readability and comprehension.

  4. Links: Links will be underlined and displayed in a different color from the surrounding text, making them instantly identifiable and distinct from other text elements on the page.

  5. Image Usage: Images will be strategically deployed to enrich the content visually and make it more engaging. They will be used to illustrate concepts, break up text, and add visual intrigue to the page.

Through these guidelines, I strive to create a uniform, visually appealing, and easily navigable content structure that enhances the overall user experience.

III. Design guidelines

Design principles

In a bid to curate inclusive, accessible content, I commit to adhering to the following design principles:

  1. High Contrast: Implement a high contrast between text and background colors to ensure text readability.

  2. Alternative Text: Provide alternative text for all images and non-textual elements to improve accessibility.

  3. Simplicity: Embrace a clean, simple, and clutter-free design that makes content easy to read and understand.

  4. Semantic HTML: Employ semantic HTML tags to effectively communicate the meaning of different content types.

  5. Resizable Fonts: Use resizable font sizes, offering users the flexibility to adjust as per their needs.

  6. Device-agnostic Experience: Deliver a consistent user experience across all devices, maintaining harmony in design and functionality.

  7. Accessibility Testing: Regularly test my website for accessibility and make necessary updates to continually enhance the user experience.

These principles form the foundation of my design approach, ensuring the creation of content that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also easily accessible and inclusive to all.

IV. References

In addition to creating my own style guide, I will be using the following resources to help me build my style guide:

Any feedback?

If you have any questions or feedback about this style guide, please feel free to contact me.