Public & visitor feedback
Curated List
There are 2 types of Curated Lists: Links and documents; People and contacts.

Why use this content type?

The Curated List lets you create a streamlined page of 1 or more lists. You can include almost all content types on lists (with the exception of Topic pages), plus documents.
Curated lists can be used to create a staff directory or something similar by linking to Person and Contact subtypes.
These pages do not allow for images other than in the Overview field. They also do not allow for a lot of additional text, though you can provide context for the contents of this page by using the Overview field, breaking your lists into smaller lists with their own titles, and by using descriptions for the links and documents in your lists.
There are some issues when a user adds a document directly to a Curated List. While this issue is being resolved, please add the document into the CMS first and then click Add document when you're in the Curated list.

Alternatives to Curated Lists

Examples of when to use other content types for informational content:
  • If you require more text or images on the page to put links in context, use an Information Details template. Guide
  • You might also want to combine multiple Curated Lists into a Binder, where you can encourage users to read them in a specific order

Before you start

No matter what type of list you’re making, there are a couple of things to keep in mind before you create one in the CMS:
  • You can have up to 26 lists per Curated List page. These can be a mix of automatic and manual lists (we explain what these mean below).
  • For design and usability reasons, we don’t support including Service Details in Curated Lists. If you find yourself wanting to do this, there’s probably a better way to organize your content. We suggest you sign up for a strategy session with the Mass Digital Service content team to work on your information architecture.
  • You can link to Curated Lists in several places, including from Binders, the What You Need to Know section of a Service page, and What would you like to do section of an Organization page. Before you create a list, consider where you plan to put it and how that will help your users.

Overview tab for creating lists of documents and links

List Type

Choose if your Curated List will consist of links and documents or contact information. If your list will consist of mainly links and documents, select Links and Documents. If the list consists of mainly people and contacts, select People and Contacts to create a staff directory.

Title and Short description

The title and short description are the first thing your audience sees. In fact, they might see them before they get to the page: If they’re coming from Google, the title is what will draw them to the page.

Short title

Optional. This field is used to shorten the full title of a page when displayed in a breadcrumb. First aim to shorten the actual page title if it’s long, but not so much that the title is no longer clear if someone comes directly to a page from a search engine.
Short title

Overview

Use the overview to provide some context for your Curated List. Imagine a user landing on the page from a search engine. What context will they need to understand what’s on the page?

Parent page

The required Parent page field appears on all public-facing content types and it powers the breadcrumb-based navigation system.The Mass.gov team prepopulated the field based on an analysis of which child pages belong to which parent pages. Each child page can be assigned only 1 parent, or higher level page.These connections, displayed in the form of breadcrumbs (i.e., links) above the page title, will help Mass.gov visitors find their way to relevant information regardless of where they start on the site.
Parent page field

Organization(s)

You’ll find the Organization(s) field at the bottom of the first tab in every Mass.gov content type, and in documents. This field tells Mass.gov’s search which pages belong to which organization. Making sure your Organization field is filled out correctly will help users who land on your content find their way to your Organization Page.

Language

English is chosen by default, but you can choose another language via the dropdown or make a ServiceNow request if the language you need isn't in the dropdown.

Intended audience

This field isn’t being used yet, so there’s no need to fill it in.

Sections

Automatic lists

You can make 2 types of lists on a Curated List: automatic and manual. If you select “Automatic List,” you’ll be asked to enter a label:
Then, when you enter your label of choice into the Label(s) section in an automatic list, every item you’ve assigned that label to will appear. This also applies to any future items you assign that label to.
You can include multiple labels in any single list.
Learn more about using labels.

Display descriptions for each list item

You may want each item in your list to include brief descriptions to help users understand what the item is and how they might use it.
To include descriptions in automatic lists, check the checkbox in the Description section.
Listing description checkbox
This will display whatever content you’ve entered into the Listing description fields for each of the items on your automatic list. This might mean you need to add Listing descriptions to your items. You can usually find this field on the first tab, beneath a Short description. For example, here’s the Listing description on a document:
Listing description on a document
And here’s the Listing description for a Form Page:

Manual Lists

Use the manual list option to build a list of content that you haven’t labeled. You’ll add items one at a time, and items can be either documents or links. You can link to any of the content types listed at the top of this resource.

Tip: Watch out for “blocks” of content

You have the ability to upload multiple links or documents to manual lists at once. However, if you do upload several items at the same time, it will create a block of content. While you can reorder these blocks as a whole and the items within each block, you can’t move an individual item out of a block. If you need to order things differently, you may need to create more blocks. Keep that in mind while you upload items in case you need to have a document, then a link, then a document, etc.

How to display descriptions for each list item

You may want each item in your list to include brief descriptions to help users understand what the item is and how they might use it.
On a manual list, each item has a Description type dropdown. If you choose “manually entered description,” a new field will appear so that you can create a description for the item (320 characters at most).
Description type
You can also choose “Description from document item.” This will display whatever content you’ve entered into that item’s Listing description field. This might mean you need to add a Listing description. You can usually find a document or content type’s Listing description on its first tab, beneath the Short description. For example, here’s the Listing description for a document:
Screenshot with Listing description indicated

Related tab

Contact

The Contact field can either be filled with an exiting Contact Information item, or you can create a new one, to provide visitors with a way to get additional questions answered.
Add internal or external links to content visitors might find useful but that doesn't fit into any of the lists on the page.

Overview tab for creating lists of People and Contacts

List Type

Choose if your Curated List will consist of links and documents or contact information. If your list will consist of mainly contact information, select People and Contacts. If the the list is mainly links and documents, select Links and documents.

Title and Short description

The title and short description are the first thing your audience sees. In fact, they might see them before they get to the page: If they’re coming from Google, the title is what will draw them to the page.

Overview

Use the overview to provide some context for your Curated List. Imagine a user landing on the page from a search engine. What context will they need to understand what’s on the page?

Parent page

The required Parent page field appears on all public-facing content types--e.g., Service, Information Details, etc.--and it powers the breadcrumb-based navigation system being introduced on Mass.gov in late 2021.
The Mass.gov team prepopulated the field based on an analysis of which child pages belong to which parent pages. Each child page, say a How-to or Information Details page, can be assigned only 1 parent, such as a Service page or Binder.
These connections, displayed in the form of breadcrumbs (i.e., links) above the page title, will help Mass.gov visitors find their way to relevant information regardless of where they start on the site.
Parent page field and breadcrumbs below

Organization(s)

You’ll find the Organization(s) field at the bottom of the first tab in every Mass.gov content type, and in documents. This field tells Mass.gov’s search which pages belong to which organization. ‌ This field also powers the "Offered by" relationship indicator that displays at the top of all Mass.gov pages. "Offered by" displays on the top right if there is a "Part of" relationship indicator on the left in a desktop view, or on the top left if there is no "Part of" link. On a smaller screen, "Offered by" appears directly under "Part of" at the top of the page. ‌ Making sure your Organization(s) field is filled out correctly will help users who land on your content find their way to your Organization Page.

Language

English is chosen by default, but you can choose another language via the dropdown or make a ServiceNow request if the language you need isn't in the dropdown.

Intended audience

This field isn’t being used yet, so there’s no need to fill it in.

Sections

Automatic Lists

Just like with a regular Curated List, you can make a directory using either automatic and manual lists. Automatic lists are automatically sorted A-Z.
If you select “Automatic List,” you’ll be asked to enter a label:
After you’ve added your label(s), you’ll choose what information from your Contact Info or Person item will appear for users. You can choose to display some or all of the following:
  • Online — Email and Link
  • Phone
  • Address
  • Fax
Note: If a Person or Contact Information item doesn’t include the display information you’ve selected, the name will still appear in the directory.

Manual Lists

If you don’t want to use the label system, you can also curate a manual list of contacts. Keep in mind that if this list needs to be updated often, it’ll require a lot of manual work on your part. By comparison, an automatic list updates automatically.
As with the automatic list, after you’ve added your Contact Info or Person, you can choose what information from your Contact Info or Person item will appear for users.

Use Reports to review & analyze Curated Lists

Access the Curated list details report under the "Content" tab in the CMS (you must be logged in to the CMS to access this link) to search for your organization's lists that might be too long. You can view the number of automated and manual lists per Curated List, plus the number of links and downloads on manual ones.

Was this article helpful?