UT Tyler

Best Practices

UT Tyler Web Communications

Remember this rule: Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

NOTE: When publishing your page, always follow the site check by reviewing any corrections suggested. Prior to sending page for review, always run link-check and spell-check using the tools in OU Campus.

Layout

  • Always use H1 and H2 headings at the top of each page, but only at the top of the page. 
  • Keep all text left-aligned.
  • Avoid adding erroneous HTML code into the HTML editor.
  • Remove extra spacing between paragraphs.
  • The template font is pre-set. 
  • Overuse of "all caps" and exclamation marks should be avoided.
  • Use call to action links instead of graphic buttons.
  • Save your page often within OU Campus as you update content.

Links

 

  • Use a call to action (descriptive) link avoiding URL links, graphic buttons, and language such as "Click Here."
  • In general, text links are more easily recognized as clickable, download faster, and are easier to convey a link’s destination.

Correct:

Incorrect

For usability purpose, opening new windows and tabs should not be used in code. According to W3C standards, all links and tabs should open in the same window unless necessary (i.e. online secure form).

Don’t Break the Back Button

Documents

Naming:
Use generic file names when naming PDF documents and other files. By uploading/replacing your PDF documents with the same filename each time an update is needed, the website will remain clean of old content, search engines will continue to work properly and updates will be easier. 

See uploading files

Accessibility:
Documents such as PDF files should always be accessible.

  • Keep content concise.
  • Use general language and stay away technical jargon when possible.
  • Build machine-readable text pages.
  • Avoid publishing graphics with text content that is unreadable by screenreaders.

See accessibility policy

Readability

  • The UT Tyler template is designed for left-aligned text. Centered text is harder to read than left-aligned text.
  • Text in ALL CAPS takes up extra space, is harder to read and slows down reading. 
  • The UT Tyler template is designed with dark font, light background. Changing the style is not allowed.
  • Avoid using header tags to style entire paragraphs.

Unapproved logos/graphics, animated graphics and flash images should not be used unless they illustrate an important concept within your website. Usability tests have shown that animations distract users from the content on a page. If the purpose of graphics or animation is decoration, they should not be used.

Match link titles with their destination page.

Make the link text consistent with the title or headings on the destination page. Closely matched links and destination targets help provide the necessary feedback to users that they have reached the intended page. In addition, it is very important to alter the meta data within your page. Meta titles are different from page titles. For more information, contact web@uttyler.edu.

Contact Information

The appropriate style for phone number is to use periods instead of dashes:

     Correct: 903.566.7203
     Incorrect: (903) 566-7203

The appropriate contact email for department webpages:

     Correct: info@uttyler.edu 
     Incorrect: jsmith@uttyler.edu 

Please request a department email through itsupport@uttyler.edu

ALL pages are required to include department contact information, phone number and department email address.

Images

  • Use jpg (pictures), gif or png (graphics) formats.
  • Images should be sized appropriately for the section displayed.

Validation

Validate your web pages using the tool located within the UT Tyler CMS just before you publish your web page to check for broken links and typos. 

Duplicate Content

Duplicate content should be avoided. The UT Tyler website maintains extensive web-based information that should be referenced by linking to or using assets rather than duplicated.

Underlines

Avoid using underlines. Users will confuse underlined text with hyperlinked text.

Eliminate all happy talk.

All text on a Web page should be as concise as possible with all non essential information removed. Happy talk is the self-congratulatory promotional type text seen on many Web pages. Phrases like “Welcome to our website!,” “we provide the best ever…,” “Thank you for visiting our website!” should be eliminated. 

Use Familiar Words

Visitors are not necessarily familiar with acronyms and abbreviations used within your department or region. Use words that are familiar to your visitors and avoid the use of jargon. If acronyms and abbreviations are used, they should be defined on the page. Reviewing your site’s search engine statistics can give you a clue what words your users are looking for.

Avoid These

  • "Welcome to the Department of ... Website"
  • "Coming Soon" or "Under Construction" or under construction graphics.
  • "Check back often for new additions!!"
  • Click Here

Mission Statements

If necessary to include a mission statement on a department website, it is best to keep them short, concise and located on an inside page. 

Identify Your Audience

  • Can the user understand what each page has to offer and how to use your page within the first 5-10 seconds?
  • Give users information they are looking for, not how amazing your service or design skills are.
  • Do not use graphics in place of content.

A website is about solving a visitors problem. When adding content, ask this question:

What problem am I solving with the information I am adding to this page?

Stay Consistent

  • Use style, edits and content design that are consistent with top level pages and the UT Tyler Website.
  • Font style and size are to remain the same on all pages. (Be careful not to bring in erroneous code or add font sizes, spacing or colors and header sizes when pasting from Word).
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