Here at Turtl, we strive to make the content creation process easy and timely. We acknowledge what it takes to produce content that is stand-out and also something to be proud of. The behind-the-scenes work prior to publishing a Doc may feel overwhelming at times. You may ask yourself: Should I choose another layout? Could another widget be added to the page? Did I check the mobile view? We've compiled the three top tips to bear in mind for each aspect of the content creation process.
Getting started on your Doc
Check the theme
Make sure you're always working with the correct and most up-to-date brand theme. This should be 'default' in the settings or selected from the dropdown when creating new Docs. If your brand works with multiple themes, get to know each one as if trying on a new item of clothing – see how you can style it up!
Create a wireframe
Place all of your copy in the Doc and create a logical page flow. Group content into chapters where possible (to reduce clicks) and use page breaks in Immerse to define natural page splits. Try doing all of the above before you start committing to layouts!
Plan for widgets
While at the wireframe stage, loosely place potential widgets and plan for the placement of sign-up forms. This is your chance to re-imagine your source material (flat PDFs, we're looking at you), instead of re-creating it like-for-like.
Sourcing your visuals
Think editorial - Whitepapers, reports, newsletters... You can't go wrong with an 'editorial' look and feel. Embrace the human element and stay away from tacky. If you're lost, go abstract rather than literal. For consistency, try having a thread of color running throughout.
Add via URL - Fast-track adding images by inserting them via the hosted URL, rather than saving them to your local files.
Source it - Videos, GIFs or even cinemagraphs – use motion to remind your reader they're far from a PDF. Pexels is a handy, free video resource.
Trim it - Downloaded a video to use on Surf? Load up QuickTime (probably pre-installed on your machine) and follow the steps in the GIF below to trim to around 10 seconds.
Set the still - On Surf, hit the 'cover' button below the uploader and use the slider to select your still image. On the cover, this image will pull through on the sharing thumbnail so it's key.
Designing for Surf
Go cover to cover - It sounds obvious, but it's a rule we try to follow – where possible, use the Cover styles for the Cover of your Doc.
Pare back styles - Within a Doc, choose one Surf style and stick with it – we'll change up positioning and possibly the colours – but try not to mix Banner, Inset, Clear etc.
Secret text styling - In some brand themes, you can add text in asterisks inside Surf heading and subheading fields to unlock bonus styling. This isn't the case for all themes, but it's always worth a shot so check out the possibilities below.
Designing for Immerse
1. Column widths - Getting to grips with column widths? Think of designing for Immerse like designing mini magazine spreads. Pick up some (real life!) mags, or gather some inspiration online with Pinterest, for example.
2. Existing templates - Fear the blank Turtl Doc? Use the existing templates saved in the 'templates' area of your tenant. These are generic and have been around for a little while, but we're in the process of updating these over the coming months so sit tight.
3. DIY templates - Just created a Doc you love? Kicking off a series? Turn the Doc into a template and use it again next time to speed up your own workflow. Just hit 'Make a template' in the dropdown.
Subbing and typesetting
Use letter spacing - Shake off unwanted orphans and widows with letterspacing. Hold 'control' + 'alt/option' and use your left and right keys.
Find and replace - Use the search function in the Contents menu as a 'find' function to highlight and (manually) replace words or terms when making blanket edits throughout a Doc.
Review text sizing - Take stock of your text sizes – use large text and extra large headings sparingly and review across different screen sizes. Try for consistent heading styles throughout.
Want to know more about letter spacing? Click here to learn more.
Master Mobile View
Hide and show - Hide images on Immerse (often those that are portrait orientation) that take up too much real estate on mobile.
Resize icons to fit - Make use of our brilliant new (-ish) feature in the mobile settings that allow you to resize icons independently of the desktop view.
Mobile road test - While the live mobile preview is a Turtl luxury, it isn't 100% accurate due to all the varying screen sizes out there – always cross-ref with your own phone or tablet.
Click here to download the QR Code Extension
Finish up with QA
1. Banish blank space - Keep an eye out for rogue spaces/returns between widgets or at the end of Immerse – these will show up on mobile.
2. Try comments - We love the comment function. It's the best way to collaborate on Docs internally, provide feedback and also leave notes to self.
3. Apply labels - As your Doc moves through the workflow or approvals process, utilise labels to make it clear what stage of sign-off you're at. Think 'With stakeholders for review', 'Design amends in progress'...