Content guidelines for the canton of St. Gallen

The canton of St. Gallen is getting a new website. A key part of the project is the new content. Liip supported the 200-strong editorial team by providing digital writing guidelines.

Kanton St. Gallen

The interactive content guide provides us with a tool that is available to the whole team anywhere and at any time, and has significantly improved the quality of our content.

Clemens Nef
Canton of St. Gallen Project Manager

Writing for the needs of web-users

Although the texts on the canton of St.Gallen’s old website were all correct in terms of content, they no longer met current requirements: no one reads long articles any more, and no one hunts down information within a long piece of continuous text. Lots of titles, short paragraphs, lists and bullet points are some of the ways we help aid skim reading and keep impatient web users happy. The interactive content guide helps the editorial team approach this ‘new’ method of writing in the best possible way.

Writing for search engines

Another challenge for online content is that it needs to be found by search engines: whether users want to renew their driving licences or contact the Department of Home Affairs, their first stop is Google. Liip created easy-to-follow rules to help the editorial team produce texts that fit these requirements and optimise them for search engines.

Accessibility first

The canton’s website contains information for all target groups, as everyone has to file a tax return or apply for a passport. We therefore drew up some rules to make the website content as accessible as possible. Together with the writing guidelines, style guide and SEO recommendations, the accessibility rules were compiled into a single website. No matter where or when a text is being written, the rules are just a click away.

A memory hook helps editors remember what St.Gallen's content aims for: 3Es as in efficient, effective and empathic.

The 3E principle – an aide memoire for the editorial team

The philosophy behind the user-friendly content guide is to make things as easy as possible for the editorial team, as this is the only way to help them produce texts that are as easy as possible to read. A core element is the 3E principle: our texts are efficient, effective and empathetic. In other words, visitors achieve their objective quickly (efficient), visiting our website provides a benefit and has an effect (effective), and our users are supported and feel understood (empathetic). And all with the same goal in mind: making the canton’s expertise available and usable for all inhabitants. The Liip team is delighted to be supporting this important work.