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Official University Web sites are electronic publications and must be reviewed by the Office of Public Relations! Obviously it is not reasonable to have every Web page one creates reviewed, therefore only new or dramatically redesigned sites must be sent to PR for review, although sites will be audited once a year.

The Site Review performs two functions. First it allows PR to make sure sites comply with University policy and obligations, and to notify site editors of potential problems, conflicts or misinterpretations that would reflect poorly on the site's unit and/or the University as a whole. Second, PR will do a full assessment of the site at no charge and provide feedback on compliance, accessibility, usability, browser compliance and other technical problems or concerns.

It is easy to underemphasize the importance of the dual issues of Accessibility and Usability. However, this University has committed that all new Web sites will meet federal Section 508 guidelines. Not to mention the bad PR that comes from choosing to exclude people with disabilities. Equally, under pressure to improve design and update content, it is easy to lose track of the fact that unless a site is usable, the design and content are worth much less. Site Reviews should help in both these areas.

A PR Site Review consists of the following:

  1. Check for proper use of UK logos and unit signatures.
  2. Check for proper use of names of university buildings, programs and administrative staff.
  3. A cursory check for spelling and grammar.
  4. Consistency with Web Policy and Standards.
  5. Compliance with Section 508 guidelines as interpreted by W3C Markup Validator Service.*
  6. Minimum validation of HTML and other code.*
  7. Consistency in design.
  8. Coherence of navigation.
  9. Errors in the HTML, CSS or Javascript.**
  10. General usability issues.
  11. Proper display in the latest versions of IE , Firefox and Opera on the PC and Safari and Opera on the Mac at several display sizes.
  12. Accessibility of the site when using a Lynx text browser and when using a Jaws reader.
  13. Any context concerns relative to superior or subordinate units for the site.
  14. Compliance with copyright law as well as other legal issues that may appear.
  15. General suggestions that may better help market the site or improve usability.

In all cases, the review will consist of an itemized list. Where an item indicates a suggestion only, it will be clearly indicated with the words "your choice" or "FYI". Whenever possible solutions or corrections will be provided as part of the response.

*Although PR will use AIS's Web Accessibility Toolbar to review each site, UK Web Publishers are expected to use the online utility provided by W3C while developing their site prior to submitting it for a Site Review and to pay particular attention to Warnings, not just Errors.

**Where possible specific code recommendations will be made.

2009 University of Kentucky Public Relations
An Equal Opportunity University
Updated January 12, 2009 by Chuck Ham