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Best Practices and Standards (NEW VERSION)

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Best Practice Guide vs Exemplar: What lives where?

Best Practice Guide (this guide)

Use the Best Practice Guide (the one you're in now) for advice on:

  • key changes for 2022 refresh
  • conventions to follow when creating a guide
  • common processes in guide creation, maintenance and deletion.
VT New Version Exemplar

Use the VT New Version Exemplar to:

  • see design principles in action.
  • find content that you can map or copy into your guide.

2022 refresh: Key changes at a glance

Below is a summary of the principles to follow for the new refresh. For more detail see the full checklist developed through our June meetings. You can see the principles in action in the VT New Version Exemplar.


  1. Review/edit curated resources and add value through custom descriptions for each guide user cohort.
  2. Maintain a consistent look and feel across MQ guides.
  3. Develop standard layout and content that can speed up guide development.

Left Hand Column: Use standard navigation and page names (see Exemplar layout. Note: you won't need every page type in your guide. Choose the ones that make sense for your subject and users).

Column 2 (central column): Add your main content here, e.g. convenor's/your selection of relevant sources.

Right Hand Column: Follow the GEM design of the MQ website and save this area for links — keep text minimal here.

  1. Be consistent in words and phrasing—look at titles of standard content and use the same terminology wherever possible.
  2. Reuse standard content where possible (i.e. map wherever you can). If necessary, some customisation for your users is OK.
  3. Reuse assets wherever possible (links, A-Z databases).
  4. Add value to your recommended resources with custom descriptions (why it’s of value to users of your guide, rather than the generic descriptions created by vendors). Keep descriptions pithy (1-2 sentences).
  5. Set descriptions to "Display on the page." This ensures pages are accessible to all users (hover text and information buttons are not accessible).
Still deciding
  • Glossary/terms to use: referencing/ citation, bibliographic referencing.