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Content design principles

We share these principles to design and create the best content for people who use GitHub.

Articles in the "Contributing to GitHub Docs" section refer to the documentation itself and are a resource for GitHub staff and open source contributors.

About GitHub's content design principles

We create product documentation that helps, teaches, and engages everyone who uses GitHub. One step of this work is designing the content that we write. We follow these principles when designing and planning content.

  • Our content is user-centered and inclusive. We respect everyone who visits the docs and make content that works for them with our strategy, design, and style choices.
  • Our content explains why our products are useful and helps people achieve their goals and priorities.
  • We spend our resources creating high-quality, valuable documentation for GitHub’s community.
  • We create just enough docs - more content makes everything more difficult to find, and anything added dilutes everything else (GitHub Zen).
  • We iterate and ship to learn - as we learn more from experience, industry expertise, and working with our GitHub Docs community, we adjust our processes, practices, and guidelines.

We provide a style guide and content models as building blocks and guidelines for anyone to design and create documentation.

  • Our style guide and content models apply to a range of scenarios.
  • Decisions are based on what is best for people using our docs, not simply what is right or wrong according to grammar or style rules. We are flexible and open to change while maintaining consistency.
  • We focus our attention on documenting high-impact, high-value scenarios rather than attempting to comprehensively cover every possible use case for the many GitHub products and features.
  • Our highest priorities are clarity, meaning, correctness, and consistency.
  • When making a style or structure decision, we consider what people are trying to do with the information and how our content can best support their goals.
  • When a question specific to documentation is not covered by the style guide or content model, we evaluate it using these principles, then make a decision.