Links and documents

Curated Lists can include links to other content types and documents.

Summary

The Curated List lets you create a page of 1 or more lists. You can include the following on Curated Lists:

This resource will help you create useful listing pages.

Also, since working with Curated Lists often means working with documents, it might help to be familiar with how documents function on Mass.gov.

If you plan to create a staff directory or something similar, learn how you can use the Person and contacts subtype.

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.

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 edit.mass.gov:

  • 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 2 places: the What You Need to Know section of a Service Page, and the Featured Services 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

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.

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?

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 field is filled out correctly will help users who land on your content find their way to your Organization Page.

Intended audience

Choose the audience this content is intended for. This information will help measure how well these audiences are being served and won't be displayed on the public-facing site. This is currently only for internal use. Choose from:

  • Not Set (default)

  • Personal

  • Professional (For their jobs)

  • Both equally

  • Unclear

Sections Tab

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 labels 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.

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.

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:

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).

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.

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.

Add internal or external links to content visitors might find useful but that doesn't fit into any of the lists on the page.

Helpful tips for creating curated lists

If you’ve created a block of content (see above) in a manual list, the dropdown will apply to everything in that block. For example, if you upload 6 documents at the same time, and choose “none” for description type, then none of the items will appear with descriptions.

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