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LibGuides Best Practices

Trinity's guidelines for creating new guides and maintaining guides

Tab Menu

The side menu should be simple and straightforward. Avoid using library jargon.

Examples of menu language on Subject Guides:

  • Get Help
  • Find Articles
  • Find Books
  • Use Internet Sources
  • Cite Sources
  • How to read a scholarly source
  • More Resources


  • Content inside the guide should be "best bets" for starting research
  • Avoid unnecessary images and text
  • Keep it simple
  • Provide video or screen shots to show users where to go
    • Use alt text for images


  • The navigation is the menu on the left. Your content will be in boxes on the left/center.
  • Our guides default to side nav (but this isn't locked)
  • If you have a reason to make a guide that doesn't use side nav, please be intentional with this creation. 
  • The navigation can be changed in the top right corner by clicking the image icon and selecting Guide Navigation Layout:

  • This will default to system settings. 

inherit nav settings

Why Side Navigation? (from WSU Libraries)

Side navigation is usually easier for our users to understand and navigate without being overwhelmed.

Here are links to information about studies exploring usability, eye tracking, and other studies indicating that students generally have an easier time seeing and using side navigation:

Responsive Design and SpringShare

  • LibGuides are made to be responsive to different screen sizes.
  • Side navigation on small devices brings the navigation to the top.
  • Your content in the boxes will automatically go under the side menu navigation.
  • Avoid placing boxes under the side navigation. This is given priority over the main column.
  • Test you guide on multiple screens to see for yourself. 
    • You can do this by right clicking on your computer
    • Select "inspect" at the bottom of the menu
    • Choose the device you wish to mirror