The University has established additional guidelines maintained
by Public Relations which are based on the general recommendations by Web publishers
on campus. The bulk of these guidelines follow certain basic principles:
Standards are there for a reason
Because you can, does not mean you should. Pop-up windows, frames,
splash pages, etc., should NOT be used without a compelling reason.
Maximize your audience. Make your site usable and accessible and make
sure it does not have errors such as broken links.
Make it friendly. Minimize scrolling, use titles and meta tags, create page names in lowercase without spaces, etc.
Give it context. Create a navigation that includes umbrella organizations
such as a College but also the University as a whole.
Don’t have a intro or splash page that can’t be skipped.
Don’t have music. If you must, for heaven’s sake include an “off” or “mute” option.
Don’t assume SEO alone will bring the masses to you. Explore strategies to go to the masses. Social networking, YouTube channels, and traditional print media in targeted periodicals should be considered.
Do be user-friendly and easy to navigate.
Don’t impose an artificial veneer or template. Reflect the “look and feel” of the product or message. Your design can be boring so long as the content is not.
Don’t over-sell your content.
Do drive users towards an objective.
Don’t rely on users to figure out the navigation: keep it obvious.
Don’t load your website with gadgets. There was a time when “hit counters” were the “in” thing. It was like shouting to the world, “Hey, see, I’m popular!” Now it just says, “Hey, I live in 1998.”
Do avoid splash pages and over-use of flash.
Do avoid “ad” and “Banner” clutter.
Do include social networking links.
Do check for cross-platform browser compatibility.
Do design your website to be viewed from mobile devices.
Don’t look like an advertisement!
Do avoid animations on intro pages: they will take time to load on slower connections.
Don’t use pop ups or ads from advertisers you can’t control.
These guidelines are about usability. In general,
users should try to make their sites available to the widest possible audiences.
Well-constructed sites which are standards compliant will achieve
The Office of Public Relations maintains a Style Guide which includes a list of official University names (buildings, centers, etc.)
The Office of Public Relations can provide definitive answers to
any ambiguities in UK Web policies or guidelines. PR can also provide
advice on these and any other issues of site design and development including
questions of a technical nature.