In countless organizations, I have seen efforts poured into documenting policies and standards only to have them saved to the Intranet as a multi-page PDF document. Not only is the PDF format one of the most unfriendly web-based file formats, but there is a significant assumption that staff creating and producing digital will print the PDF and use it as a reference handbook. While this may seem like a good idea, it is a poor user experience that drives many digital workers away from complying with the required guidance.
Instead of creating static, flat-PDF files, consider creating a centralized repository for all digital policies and standards that
1. Presents content as chunks of information that can be searched, sorted, filtered and bookmarked based on a user’s preference. (e.g., allow users to locate information dynamically and create a custom set of guidance that applies to their unique use case).
2. Allows users to view related policies and standards based on information currently displayed (e.g., something to the effect of “users who viewed the branding policy also found the website header treatment standard helpful”).
3. Incorporates an easy feedback mechanism for users to relay how clear and useful are particular policies and standards for their digital efforts (e.g., a thumbs up/down, or useful button works well).
4. Has the ability to email a policy or standard to a user or share the information within collaborative Intranet groups (e.g., enables teams to collaborate and inform each other on the go).
5. Signals users when there is new guidance available (e.g., have a way to alert digital workers when a requirement they previously accessed has changed).
6. Provides examples and design/code pattern libraries as resources (e.g., encourages collaborative best practice sharing to complement policies and standards).
Making your digital policies and standards repository easy to navigate and easy to use will encourage your digital workers to actually reference and use the tool, enabling them to make the right choices around digital.