This manual will explain how you, a Content Writer in the Digital Content Team, can create a Manual for using Typecase.
Step one: Decide why you are writing a Manual
After talking with all members of the Content team, you will decide that your main goal is to write a collection of guidance for all Typecase users, to help them to create clear, functional, and accessible content for the University of Bath website.
With the recent implementation of new components and Lens content types, you and your team will agree that the Typecase guidance currently published on the website needs to not only cover these changes but will also benefit from a complete restructure.
Step two: Do some research
Run a Google Analytics report on the current guidance on the website to assess its performance. Be pleasantly surprised at how popular some of the guides are.
Have a look at some other people’s editorial style guides and CMS manuals, like Gov.uk, Mailchimp, University of St. Andrews, and Oxford Brookes. Create a document to list the pros of these guides (so you can adopt them) and the cons (so you can avoid them).
Step three: Build the Component Matrix
Your next task is to understand all the Lens components and what they do. Set up a spreadsheet that cross-references all 60 components and the Content types they can be used on. Subsequently, name it ‘The Matrix’ and refer to it throughout the Manual planning process.
Optional step: Feel like Susie Dent in Dictionary Corner every time someone asks you where a component can be used and you know it (almost) off the top of your head.
Step four: Take part in a user story planning session
Go to the real-life office (with a face mask and hand sanitiser) to see the Content team. Raid the stationery cupboard for Sharpies and sticky notes.
On the sticky notes, write as many user stories as you can think of about the work Typecase users do and the tasks they're trying to complete. For example:
As a: Typecase editor
I need: to know how to write a good page title
So I can: make sure people can find my page on the website
Using a whiteboard or row of windows, arrange everyone’s sticky notes into a diagram of user journeys, also known as a Wall of Crazy. Use the Wall of Crazy to plan the structure of the Typecase Manual and decide which sections you will tackle first.
You will decide that writing guidance on Lens components should be the first step, followed by guidance on each Lens Content type, then, in the future, guidance on formatting, language, content maintenance, and writing for the web.
Just over the horizon, you will see a cloud of impending doom in the shape of a Typecase for Courses Manual. Don’t look at this. Don’t think about this.
Step five: Write the manual
Applying every last drop of the knowledge you have of Typecase, write the guides. Write in plain English, use accessible formatting, and follow the editorial style guide, lest you be accused of not following your own rules!
Step six: Find someone to user test the manual
At this point in the process, you will have a new Content Writer in the team. Go for a celebratory lunch!
As they haven’t used Typecase much before, the new Content Writer will be the perfect user tester for your guides. Get them to make some content in the Typecase Training site using the instructions from the Manual and ask them to write down anything that doesn’t make sense or seems to be missing.
Use this feedback to edit the guides until they are clear and can be understood by everyone.
Step seven: Request review and publish
Let the Content Designers and Head of Content Strategy know that the Manual is ready to be reviewed so that, by utilising the combined genius of the Content team, you can produce, quite frankly, The Greatest Manual Ever Written.
After review and edit, you will be able to publish the Typecase Manual on the University website so editors can read it and create their best content.
Sit back and relax in the knowledge that nothing will go wrong on the website ever again.
Optional step: Print the Manual out. Bind and autograph it. Return to the office and, à la Susie, set up your own Typecase Manual Corner.