Perfection for Writing General Articles Now

There are many competing things to think about when writing or editing an article. You want to be, at the same time, complete and concise; factual and interesting. It’s certainly not the easiest thing in the world to do. Here are some guidelines to help make this judgment a little easier. As it is also a Wiki, we can always revise something if we are wrong.

Writing for a general and non-technical audience

We want Firefox help to be usable by all Firefox users. This means that we write for a general audience rather than for a familiar with computer techniques and terminology. Suppose the person you’re writing to do not know how to change preferences or add a toolbar button without step-by-step instructions. We should also assume that they have not changed any of the default settings for Firefox or the operating system. You will need to know about the General Articles as well.

Choose a good title

The title of the article and its summary are the only things the user has to judge its relevance to his question. We call this “user trust”. It directly impacts the click rate. Even if we serve the right article at the top of the search results list, the user needs to mentally connect the query and the results we display to click on the article.

An article title should try to describe what the article is about. The first few words should be as understandable as possible and include important keywords. This will allow users to know what the article is about and click on it with confidence. In addition, a title should follow these guidelines:

Title length: The Google search results page displays up to 70 characters. Your title may be longer than this if necessary but make sure the important keywords are in the first 70 characters.

  • Try to vary the way you name the articles. Do not use the same verbs or sentences in all titles.
  • Try not to use the gerund (words ending in ing).

Remember that the whole explanation does not have to be in the title. You can use the summary to give the user additional information about what is in the article.

Correct the identifier

When you create a title, SUMO also automatically creates an identifier (the end of the article’s URL). It is limited to 50 characters. Spaces are rendered as dashes. The identifier should be consistent with the title but, given the limited length constraint, need not be the same. Check that the end of the auto-generated ID. Sometimes a word is cut or it ends with a dash. Please correct things like that.

Categories, products and topics

For the most part, an article belongs to either the “How to” category or the “Problem Solving” category. From time to time, we write articles “How to contribute” (like this one) or something in one of the other categories.The articles also relate to at least one product. They also belong to a main “subject” and, optionally, to a “sub-subject”.

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