Writing clear but concise guidelines is always a challenge. Handing over a project or training a team to manage a new blog, Facebook page, YouTube channel or forum needs careful planning and enough hand-holding until the new team is confident that they’re able to manage on their own.
Guidelines need to tread a fine line between being bullet proof and overwhelming! Too much detail, and they’ll never be used. Not enough and users may miss out important steps in the process.
We approach guideline development in exactly the same way we would approach a website. We start with our audience. What skills and tools do they have to do the job? Do they prefer to keep everything online, or will they want a printed copy to keep on their desk? If they’re uploading a photo, do they know how to crop and save it in the right format? Do they have the right software to do that?
We always include screenshots and go through all the paces ourselves, putting us in the shoes of the user. It’s a useful exercise to go through the administration of a project in the shoes of a newcommer. What may seem obvious to us, may be confusing for someone unfamiliar with WordPress’s back end, for example.