Coda doc publishing playbook
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Doc publishing playbook

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3. Pre-launch checklist

Make sure the content & design are ready to go.

Craft clear, useful content

Content status:
000
0

(
0
% of the Content tasks complete)
Content must-haves
0
Type
Done
Tips and guidelines
Doc onboarding
6
Clear and catchy doc title? The doc title is clear, engaging, and scores well in a
Clear purpose? All the content on the front page (above the fold) provides enough information about the doc—who the doc was designed for and what key problem(s) it aims to solve. Succinct subtitles can add helpful context and details.
Customizable tables? Create one button on the top page, or near the instructions, that removes all sample data across every table in the doc.
Is the navigation logical & clear? The doc, pages, tables, content, and controls should be structured in such a way so people know how the doc is organized, how it flows, and where to go for what.
Are the instructions clear and action-oriented? Clear instructions make it easier for people to get started (i.e. Instead of ‘This is section is for you to add new ideas’, use ‘Add new ideas to the table below...’)
Is database schema logically organized and foolproof? Do you use table titles that clear, and differentiate themselves from other views of a table (or from its root table)? Might someone be able to delete a root table unintentionally?
Doc usability & UX
3
Doc-objects < 50? The number of doc object is <45(so it has room to grow) so makers on the free plan don’t hit the 50 object limit immediately after they’ve copied the doc (To view, go to Settings gear > Statistics, then count Pages, Tables & View, Buttons & Controls + Formulas)
Any real people mentioned? Remove any references to real people or Personal Identifying Info (PII) on the canvas, in tables, in Pack settings. Replace with fake names/accounts. Set up pack logins so they are only accessible to you (and NOT shared with others) otherwise others will be able to view/access your account info (i.e. Gmails).
Any blank row or cells? Add sample data to any blank cells.
Scannability
2
Scannable pages? Pages and subpages have short, clear names and are organized, tidy, and flow in a logical sequence. Pages have a good balance of text and images. Nested pages are limited to 2 (at most 3) levels.
Scannable text? Effective use of the hierarchy of headers, line separators, columns, bulleted lists, white space, and collapsible text blocks so it’s clear what people’s focus should be on (and what it shouldn’t be on).

Content nice-to-haves
0


Design delightful experiences

Delightful-ness status:
000
0

(
0
% of the Design tasks complete)
Design must-haves
0
Type
Done
Tips and guidelines
Visual design
6
Engaging cover images? Cover photos are complimentary, engaging, and unique (stock photos ok, but custom images are better).
Subpage card views uniform? If using sub-page card views (large), are the subpage subtitles getting cut off? Do all the subpage cover images look visually cohesive on the parent page?
Visual elements to engage and reinforce content? Images interspersed appropriately to support content, engage viewers, and break up longer text blocks. Test your doc in dark mode.
Limited use of red/orange colors? Red and orange colored buttons avoided unless purpose is to 'alert’ or ‘warn’ users.
Clean & crisp layout? Good use of white space, color , images, collapsible text, and divider lines to break up the text. Limit the number of colors on a page to 1-3 max, and the number of emojis. Consider using columns to break up bulleted lists or reduce the need to scroll down a long page. Set to ‘standard’ page width by default.
Tidy tables? Table titles are clear (and visible only if necessary), use filtered views. Visible and hidden columns are all necessary, show no errors, display clear column names, and minimal column widths.
Text formatting & styling
3
Page titles and sub-titles consistently used/formatted? Add sub-titles to all top-level pages or to none of them; Can be useful for way-finding/onboarding to doc.
Are doc pages referenced as permalinks? Use the `@page_name’ markdown to automatically create permalinks to doc page objects.
Body text consistently formatted? Copy on page should be left-aligned by default, with short sentences/paragraphs, and is consistently formatted/positioned across the doc (i.e. instructions are always italicized below page or header titles).
Doc usability & UX
8
Interactive experiences? Doc has a number of interactive elements such as reactions, buttons, checklists, ‘clickable’ cards to engage doc viewers and make the doc easier to use (i.e. use add row buttons, especially when tables have grouped elements)
Spot any ‘red error’ dots? Clear all errors found on the canvas, in tables, on buttons, or in table columns (yes, even hidden ones). Often it’s a datatype issue.
Include any complex formulas or filters? Attempt to leverage as many built-in Coda building blocks and features as possible to avoid the risk of less-experienced doc builders breaking formulas.
Any possibility of disconnected table views? This is particularly important to check for when you’ve included a duplicate page button, have inserted a drag and drop template, or are using the cross-doc pack to connect to another doc.
Anticipate potential perf issues as table/docs grow? Tables where number of rows will grow substantially, for example, may cause perf issues, especially if button columns exist. Consider archiving data no longer needed.
Anticipate potential disconnected tables or perf issues?
Anticipate missing Packs sample data or broken Pack connections?
Any doc pages locked or hidden? Remove doc locking if you’re publishing a template, and know that any hidden pages will be un-hidden to all free plan doc viewers. If doc locking is necessary, make sure to change ‘All editors’ can unlock to 2-3 other admins.
Scannability
3
Scannable pages? Pages and subpages have short, clear names and are organized, tidy, and flow in a logical sequence. Pages have a good balance of text and images. Nested pages are limited to 2 (at most 3) levels.
Scannable tables? Keep sample data in tables to 2-3 rows to keep things tidy.
Scannable text? Effective use of the hierarchy of headers, line separators, columns, bulleted lists, white space, and collapsible text blocks so it’s clear what people’s focus should be on (and what it shouldn’t be on).

Design nice-to-haves
0


Publish elegant solutions

Publish readiness status :
000
0

(
0
% of the Publishing tasks complete)
Publishing must-haves
0
Done
Tips and guidelines
1
Confirm who the author(s)/owner(s) of the doc should be and transfer ownership before publishing if necessary.
2
Tidy up side nav bar and move any behind-the-curtain, admin pages in an ‘admin’ or ‘datasource’ section towards the bottom of the list. Note: These pages can be viewed even if the pages are hidden or locked.
3
Clear doc of all personal/test/confidential data, emails, people names that won’t be used as sample info or the names of people you’ve shared the doc with.
4
Disconnect Pack-related accounts (i.e. Gmail, Gcal, etc). Instead, set as ‘Personal’ only (not Shared account) and use a test account.
5
Clear/Resolve all comments, or make a new copy without the copying over comments and publish the new copy instead.
6
Test and ensure all doc links and automations work properly.
7
Remove page locking if you’re publishing a template others will make copies of.
8
Share doc for quick review with 1-2 others via email.
9
Once published, make a copy (or ask others to make a copy) to test all aspects of doc.
10
Ensure doc title & URL permalink are consistent.
11
Confirm whether you want the doc to be discoverable; if so, add a few relevant categories
12
Confirm whether or not you want people to be able to copy the doc, and whether or not you want people to be able to request for edit access (do you want to get emails notifying you that someone wants edit access to the doc). Note: These are both enabled by default.
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