On each project page is a complete text editor with space to create your project description. This content is crucial to catching attention and encouraging participation. We recommend keeping your description to a maximum of 200 words.
You can use the following to structure your project description:
Title and introduction: This should give readers a basic understanding of the project in one sentence. Be concise, use an active voice, and use plain language. Titles should be a maximum of five words, while the introduction should be around 25.
Feedback period: In one line, explain when feedback opens and closes. This is important, so users can quickly see when they can participate.
Background context: In one paragraph, explain the project’s background information and why their contribution is essential.
Embed interactive content (optional): To provide additional context or information, you can embed third-party videos, maps, slides, or documents. Remember, some of this content might fit better in a widget.
Best practice tips
When writing online, there are a few guidelines you should follow. You may also find it helpful to write as though you’re talking to someone; test your content by reading it aloud to find errors.
Here are some tips:
Write in plain language avoiding jargon and redundant words. Be concise and clear with your project information, explaining how people can get involved, how their feedback will assist with decisions, and why this project is relevant. We also recommend using active voice to keep your writing easy to read and comprehend.
Use emotive language to help your community engage with your content and encourage participation.
Don’t assume knowledge; limit the use of acronyms and abbreviations and explain what they mean the first time you use them. If you use them, be consistent and double-check the spelling for external organizations or reports. Additionally, avoid complicated words and industry-specific terms to make your writing accessible to all users and remove participation barriers.
One way to structure your description is the inverted pyramid. This is a journalistic tool in which you write the most critical information first and the least important at the end. Users will often pay more attention at the beginning, and this structure ensures that they won’t miss the most essential content.
In EngagementHQ, you can check the box to Truncate description to the first 100 words. This puts the rest of the content behind a Continue reading link, which can disorientate readers. If you use this option, first check if your description is overly long and complicated; perhaps you can shorten it and instead put information into a news article or widget.