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LibGuide Design: Best Practices and Guidelines

Best practices for text

Avoiding small font sizes ensures usability of LibGuides. Use the following typeface and minimum text size: 

  • Typeface: Arial 

  • Tabs text size- 16pt 

  • Body text size- 14pt 

Headings are a useful visual aid, allowing readers to quickly skim a page to identify the content they are looking for. This is also true for people using screen readers. 

  • Do not use headings to apply formatting to non-heading text. 
  • Use the correct heading level. Every page should have one and only one heading level one (h1). This heading should provide the title of the page.
  • Do not skip heading levels. For example, a heading level two (h2) should not be followed by a heading level five (h5). (It is fine to skip from a lower level back to a higher level, such as from h5 to h2, however).
  • Avoid changing the font size. If you need headers within a text box, use Heading 3 and Heading 4 in the rich text editor, or use <h3> and <h4> tags in the HTML.
  • Underlining text that is not a hyperlink is best avoided as it causes confusion.
  • Use bold or italics in the rich text editor (or <strong> or <em> tags in HTML) to indicate emphasis. Use these tags sparingly. When using HTML, avoid older-style bold <b> or italics <i> tags as they denote style rather than importance.

Inclusive Language

Keep in mind that words can sometimes carry meanings you don’t intend.

Inclusive language is language that is free from words, phrases, or tones that reflect prejudiced, stereotyped, or discriminatory views of particular people or groups. Even when a remark or action based on a stereotype is not based on a conscious prejudice, it can still be hurtful and cause harm or damage to the person on the receiving end.

Be open to learning about the impact of language, and be respectful of those who may receive words differently from how you intended them.

Inclusive language for Library websites checklist - created by the HSCL DEI Team

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