Editorial Guidelines

Our must-haves for on-brand content and add-on assets.

Our editorial guidelines outline how we approach content, both written and add-ons such as images, links and keywords. In general, we use the preset Obvious doc template to maintain consistency in headers, fonts and formatting.

Types of content

Our content can fall under the following (often overlapping) categories:

  • Specialist how-tos: Instructional content pieces that show how we solved a particular design, engineering, or organisational problem

  • Features: Descriptive articles about work we’re doing, experiences (such as this post about our offsite), content on events (our own or others, such as conferences we’ve spoken at), and processes

  • Syndicated content: Material that might have been published elsewhere about our work, sometimes written by us, sometimes not (such as this interview about Dhruv’s vision for a design org, which was originally published here)

  • Case studies: These have a separate page and don’t fall under the ambit of the Obvious blog

Things to keep in mind

These pointers apply to all the content we produce (unless otherwise specified):

Themes We have three overarching categories for content: Product, Engineering and Culture.

Topics Our topic must be relevant and represent who we are to the outside world. Once we’ve finalised our topic, we notify the team lead, get a go-ahead, and then inform the communications team to have it added to the content calendar.

Goals and Audience We first get clarity on who we’re writing this piece of content for and what do we aim to get out of it. This helps us decide on the flow of the piece better.

Outline When drafting a fresh piece, we set up an outline before writing a draft that includes a headline, summary, introduction, possible subheadings, images and conclusion.

Keywords We usually identify one or two keywords/phrases that best describe the chosen topic and crux. We then either let the communications team know or mark the keywords in bold when writing, to later use those and boost the article to a broader audience.

For example, if writing about bodystorming, we will consider marking “bodystorming” and “design thinking” as keywords.

Word Limit Ideally, our content is anywhere between 500 and 1,200 words unless specified otherwise.

Sub-headings To make our content easy to consume even with one swift glance, we try to break up our article with 2 to 3 sub-headings.

Images We submit all images in a zip folder along with the draft. These can be either editorial illustrations commissioned in-house or photos and videos taken (or commissioned) in-house.

They can also be sourced from royalty-free and copyright-free websites such as Unsplash, Pexels, or Pixabay with a link to the source.

Sources and Credits When using an external quote, statistics or resources, we either hyperlink them or indicate sources at the end.