Self-Help Guides: Understand the Structure

A Self-Help Guide (SHG) can be laid out in one to three column format depending on the scope of the content.  

Multi-Column Self-Help Guide

A multi-column self-help guide can be used to convey a robust understanding of a tool or a process. Multiple columns are also useful if content needs to be divided into related but separate categories. 

Three column self-help guide. 

Single-Column Self-Help Guide

A single-column self-help guide can be used to address a specific problem or a limited set of instructions.

Single column self-help guide

Structure of Columns

The structure of a column resembles an outline: major categories, sub-categories and supporting resources being linked at the lowest level. Resource links can go to an article for further reading, a website, or to media files.

A self-help guide column with main categories, sub-categories and linked resources highlighted.

Displayed Content Inline in a Single-Column Self-Help Guide

An effective use of the single-column self-help guide is to display the step-by-step instructions inline instead of as a linked resource.

Inline text displayed in the single-column self-help guide.