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Unordered lists

Also known as a bulleted list. Bulleted text is often used to break up a paragraph for readability. By definition, a bulleted list is unordered, and could be rearranged without affecting user understanding.

Use a single hypen - followed by a space to activate a bullet point. Do not use single asterisk or single plus characters for bullet points.

Make sure that:

  • You use a lead-in line where possible so each bullet reads as part of a sentence with the lead-in line.
  • You use at least two bullet points in a bulleted list. Never use a bulleted list for a single bullet point.
  • You avoid using "and" or "or" at the end of a bullet point.
  • You don't make the whole bullet a link (URL) if it's a long phrase.
  • You end each bullet with either a fullstop or no punctuation. Do not end with a comma or semicolon.
  • You end a bullet with a colon only if you are introducing a nested list.
  • You end the final bullet with a fullstop.

If it makes sense for a bulleted list to not connect directly to the lead-in line, this is okay but should be applicable to the entire list.

Numbered lists

Also known as steps or ordered lists. By definition, ordered lists are arranged in a logical fashion and to rearrange the steps would affect (confuse) user understanding.

  • It's fine to let your text editor auto increment each step as 1.. This is safer than trying to increment manually.
  • Use steps when guiding a user through a process that is best described in bullet point form.
  • Steps should form complete sentences and should end in a fullstop, unless ending in a colon to signify a nested list.
  • Steps do not require a lead-in line.