Content Style Guide: Headings

One of the best ways to ensure that our website is user-friendly is to follow industry best practices, keep the content focused on key user tasks, and keep our content up-to-date at all times.

Use descriptive headings to structure and chunk the contents of your page to enable users to quickly skim.

This is especially important when the information is complex or lengthy. Headings are also an important way assistive technology users navigate pages.

  • Be descriptive.
  • Use title case (capitalize principal words and only capitalize articles and prepositions when at the beginning) or sentence case (capitalize 1st word only) when heading is a punctuated sentence.
  • Don’t use all caps.
  • Don’t include a colon at the end.
  • Use active verbs where appropriate but avoid gerunds (verbs ending in -ing) unless doing so is misleading because makes it sound like more action is possible than it really is.
  • Use the heading style selections offered in LibGuides or the CMS (don’t just make the text bigger and/or bold).
  • Make sure headings are properly nested like you would in an outline. H3 must be nested under an H2 and H2 must be nested under an H1. Don’t select a heading based on the visual style.

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Matthew Reidsma
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Guide content originally created by Suzanne Chapman for the University of Illinois Libraries. Licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons By 4.0 license.

  • Last Updated: Apr 17, 2024 11:25 AM
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