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Webpage content for data pages

Follow all guidance in the Digital Services style guide.

All web page content should be at the 5th grade reading level. This grade level means more users can understand your page, and ensures that the translations of the page content are accurate.
Use the Hemingway app to confirm the grade level.
In particular, confirm that intro language and key messages are at a 5th grade level. For data notes with complex content, aim for 5th grade, but no more than 7th grade.

Your dashboard should be embedded at the top of the page, with the section title above the dashboard.

People are likely coming to a data story page for the data, so give them that first.
Your dashboard doesn’t need a dashboard title on the dashboard, instead be sure to clearly and concisely title each data visualization.

Put only essential information before the dashboard, and nothing else.

The only text above a dashboard should be the information needed to understand the data.
Explain any measures and their main purpose above the dashboard. The calculations and details can be in the data notes, but the sentence before the dashboard should explain the key information on why the measure is important and what it means.

Just like with the data visuals, simplicity is key.

Have as few words as possible on the page. The only way to increase the chance that your text is read is to limit the number of words and the complexity as much as possible.
Break content into smaller chunks. Avoid large blocks of text, which are hard to skim and intimidating.
Use section titles to help readers skim. These section headers can show up in Google searches, can be used in the page’s table of contents, and enable users to skim and get key messages. Review your page structure and titles to ensure they are clear.
Break up different topics into different pages. If a page is getting very lengthy, and has more than 3 dashboards, consider breaking these up into separate pages.
Remove or replace unnecessary jargon or acronyms.

Include metadata in a Data Notes section.

Metadata can include information like:
  • Link to source data
  • Update frequency and schedule
  • Who is the publisher of the data (where does it come from)
  • Caveats with the data, or limitations
  • Any other information you think is needed for users to interpret the data