Public & visitor feedback
Guides
Use for an overview of a complicated process or service.

Why use this content type?

Guides walk people through an involved process or service that has interrelated steps. They’re especially useful if the process involves multiple organizations and links to more detailed information, which can be called out via bold Key actions boxes.
Examples of Guides include:

Alternatives to Guides

The Information Details content type has a fairly similar look to that of Guides, so can be used for less involved processes if you don’t require the bold “Key actions” buttons or 3-column format available in Guides.
How-to pages can be used if the process you’re describing is relatively straightforward.

Overview tab

Title

The Title should be specific and use words people would likely put into a search engine.

Short title

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.

Guide intro

Offer a brief, high-level overview of what information can be found in the Guide.

Header image

Optional. The Header image should be at least 1600 x 400 pixels. Like all Mass.gov images, it will adjust to the size of the user’s browser or screen.
You can adjust the focal point to make sure the right part of the image remains in view on small screens (e.g. mobile phones). Once you’ve added an image, use the little white crosshair in the Header image preview to pick the focus.
Choose focal point of image

Image credit(s)

How the header image appears on the page
Image credits appear at the bottom of the page and should have the format: Image Subject (Image Source).

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. ‌ This field also powers the "Offered by" relationship indicator that displays at the top of all Mass.gov pages.

Intended audience

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

Labels

This is optional, however it is very helpful. Add one or more labels to be used to used for grouping and finding related content and documents within the CMS.
Start typing in the Label(s) field to choose an existing label from a dropdown menu that will appear or add a new label by entering it directly.
Label(s) field

Sections tab

Most of your information will be contained in sections. As a general rule, none of your Guide’s sections should be too detailed. Instead, summarize each topic and link users to more detailed How-to Pages, Information Details or other content. We recommend that Guides include at least 3 sections, but not more than 8.
You can create a 1-column or 3-column section. You may only add Contact Information to 1-column sections.
In general, we recommend 1-column sections, as 3-column sections can be challenging to read. For mobile users, 3-column sections will be collapsed into 1-column sections.
Contact Information location
Each time you create a section, its title will appear in your Guide’s table of contents:
Table of contents
This is a "sticky" table of contents, meaning it will remain on the top of the screen as a user scrolls down the page.

Time callout

Complete this if there is a consistent amount of time users should expect that task to take. Here’s what it will look like for users:
Time callout

Stats and alerts

Stat

Use the stat field to highlight a takeaway statistic. Your section’s title and stat work together to make your guide scannable:
A stat is made up of the stat, the actual figure ("60 cents" in the above example), and the stat label, which briefly describes the stat or adds context ("Maximum liability...").

Alert

Alerts can help emphasize important deadlines and reminders:
Alerts

Key actions

Use the Key actions to link users to more detailed pages, such as Information Details or How-To Pages. Using Key action links this way can help you limit how much content you need to include in each section, and reduce how much content users have to scroll through.
Key actions

Additional resources

Related internal or external links.

Related tab

You can add up to 6 related Guides that will appear at the bottom of the page:

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