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Bulleted lists

Bulleted lists are a good way to structure instructions or enumerations.

Bulleted lists that people and search engines like

  • Short and clear lists.
  • Instructions, preferably step-by-step.
  • Consistently structured.

Some texts benefit from being written as instructions. Bulleted lists are good for showing different steps that readers should perform or important things to link to, such as a checklist. However, this form should be avoided for longer and more narrative texts. Using bulleted lists only for layout is inappropriate because it makes it difficult for users of screen readers or other aids.

Digital accessibility - requirements and opportunities

Good things to keep in mind when writing bulleted lists:

  • Keep the list short. A long list is less clear.
  • Write briefly and clearly.
  • Build your sentences in a consistent way, such as starting with a verb in an instruction.
  • Do not put a bulleted list in the middle of a sentence.
  • Avoid multiple-level bulleted lists. They make the text harder to read.

Various types of lists

If the points in the list are in a certain order, a numbered list should be used, otherwise a bulleted list without numbers.

Numbered list

A numbered list is useful for describing a process that takes place in a specific order. One example is what happens when a student has applied to KTH:

  1. Register.
  2. Submit your application to CSN.
  3. Accept your place.
  4. Go onto the mandatory roll call.
  5. Attend the compulsory enrolment.

Do not use numbered list if things do not need to occur in a particular order. This confuses users and makes it more complicated for them.

Un-numbered list

A list without numbers works well when things need not happen in a certain order. At the same time, you should rank the list with the most important points first. An example of an un-numbered list can be seen further up on this page.

Capital letters or small?

If the points are a direct continuation of the sentence before the list, you should start with a lower case letter and only have a full stop after the last bullet point. Keep in mind that each point must be read together with the introductory sentence.

All employees

  • are entitled to a health and wellness contribution
  • are entitled to use one health and wellness hour per week
  • feel better if they move around.

If the sentences in the list are more self-contained and are not included in the sentence written before, start with a capital letter and end each sentence with a full stop.

These are the prerequisites for a staff benefit to be tax-free:

  • Aimed at the entire staff.
  • Cannot be exchanged for cash compensation.
  • Has a modest value.