Spell out acronyms at first mention unless they’re well known, eg BE, EU, VAT, etc. This includes departments or schemes.
If you think your acronym is well known, please provide evidence that 80% of the population will understand, and commonly use, the term.
Evidence can be search analytics or testing of a representative sample.
The first time you use an abbreviation or acronym, explain it in full on each page, and then refer to it by initials. For example – Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Don’t use an acronym if you’re not going to use it again later in the text.
Don’t use full stops in abbreviations – BBC, not B.B.C.
You can use bullet points to make text easier to read. Make sure that:
Use numbered steps instead of bullet points to guide a user through a process. You don’t need a lead-in line and you can use links and downloads (with appropriate markdown) in steps. Each step ends in a full stop because each step should be a complete sentence.
DON’T USE BLOCK CAPITALS FOR LARGE AMOUNTS OF TEXT AS IT’S QUITE HARD TO READ.
Don’t use full stops after or between these notations.
If you want to use the long form (‘for example’ instead of ‘eg’, ‘specifically’ instead of ‘ie’ etc) then this is at the content designer’s discretion. User testing has shown that some people are not familiar with abbreviations such as eg, so consider your audience before abbreviating.
Write email addresses in full, in lower case and as active links. Don’t include any other words as part of the link.
Don’t use italics. Use ‘single quotation marks’ if referring to a document, scheme or initiative.
Use single quotes:
Use the block quote markdown for quotes longer than a few sentences.
Use ‘Telephone: 011 111 111’ or ‘Mobile:’ not ‘Mob:’.
Use spaces between city and local exchange:
When a number is memorable, group the numbers into easily remembered units, for example 0800 80 70 60.