Digital content articles are collaboratively written with the Digital Content team and aim to improve the interest and understanding of the citizen audience rather than experts.
Digital content articles:
- are usually on a timely topic
- are written for the inquiring citizen user persona
- range from 1,000 to 3,000 words, with minimal chart notes
- feature visualisations designed to be easily embedded in news websites
- are mostly standalone, rather than part of a series
Digital content articles have a conversational approach. Complicated concepts are explained simply, with the inquiring citizen user in mind. They contain analysis and commentary rather than method.
This article type does not suit content which require substantial methodological detail or navigation between sections. Use other article templates instead.
Structure and navigation
Digital content articles read more like stories with a beginning, middle and end. They do not feature:
- a table of contents
- main points
- numbered sections
- numbered charts
- methodology or quality sections
Title and headings
Titles are shorter than other statistical releases and focus on the main findings. They do not include time periods or geography. In contrast to statistical bulletins and articles, they can be descriptive rather than labels.
Bulletin title: Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain: 22 October 2021
Digital content article title: Eight in ten adults think social distancing is important – but four in ten actually do it
Digital content article titles can be written as questions, such as How green is your street?
Each section heading will be descriptive of a main finding. Users will be able to see a narrative from reading the section headings alone.
Tools and automation
Digital content articles make greater use of tools such as calculators and interactive maps.
Some articles contain elements of semi-automated journalism that allow people to select a variable, such as a geographic area, to get a more personal story. This is known as “robo-journalism”.
One example is the article Age of the property is the biggest single factor in energy efficiency of homes. This has a postcode look-up tool that displays a few lines of basic comparative text about the selected area, for example “Fareham is above average in England for…”
“Scrollytelling” articles make greater use of graphics and interactive elements, with minimal supporting text. Users view a continuous visualisation, triggering interactions as they scroll.
In the example of the article Mapping regional differences in productivity and household income, users scroll down a page featuring an interactive map. Accompanying text pulls out the main trends and the user can select different areas on the map to see data.
Articles based on qualitative data focus on the human impact and may feature quotes predominately.
The lasting impact of violence against women and girls uses quotes provided by third-sector organisations to provide qualitative context.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about digital content articles.