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Information Technology
Member, Texas Tech University System The Princeton Review - 373 Best Colleges, 2011 Edition

Guidelines for Creating ASU Web Pages

These guidelines have been produced and disseminated as part of the university’s marketing effort to provide consistency in design and quality of university and departmental web pages. A standard template has been designed with a consistent color scheme, fonts and design elements to provide a unified look for university web pages. At the same time, some flexibility has been provided for the informational components that departments may choose to use.

The Template

A sample ASU page template

The ASU website template provides a professional starting point for departmental content providers to focus on the informational rather than design components of their respective pages. It is intended to simplify the process of departmental web updates and enhance the university’s overall marketing to prospective students.

The template design applies to all university Class I and Class II Pages as defined by the University Web Policy to ensure that all of the pages within the ASU website have a consistent layout, colors, fonts, navigation and overall look and feel.

The unifying elements of the template are the top banner, left sidebar, content section and footer.

  • The Top Banner contains the ASU logo, department name, recruiting navigation (with links to important items for prospective students), and search box.
  • The Left Sidebar contains departmental-specific navigation and the Audience menu.
  • The Footer contains ASU contact information, frequently used links, and social media.
  • The Content Section contains an automatically-generated Bread Crumbs menu that displays the file path of the current page and may also include several optional elements including a top photo or photo slideshow and a right sidebar.

Web page authors should use only those colors approved for the ASU site as specified in the style sheet.

Primary Website Colors
  R-G-B Hex Code Usage
  1-69-117 #014576 Headings (Level 1-5) Text Color, Sidebar Headings Background Color, Feature Box Headings Background Color, Footer Background Color
  48-115-174 #3073AE Link Text Color, Left Sidebar Background Color
  239-227-185 #EFE3B9 Page Background Color, Right Sidebar Background Color, Feature Box Background Color
  51-51-51 #333333 Main Text Color

Each page on the ASU site must use the approved template to ensure a consistent look and feel. The editable region within each template is available for departments to use to fit their specific needs. This area can be used for both text and graphics.

Home Pages

The opening page for academic departments is the place to start recruiting students. Each academic department should have an opening page that provides a brief description of the department, its programs and the associated career opportunities, as well as departmental contact information. Do not overwhelm prospects with information. Inform them about what makes your department special and intrigue them with opportunities within a particular field.

The opening page for non-academic departments and offices should include a brief introduction with information about what the office does. Contact information should also be readily available on the homepage.

Page Titles

  • Page titles are seen by visitors at the top of the browser window, in the bread crumbs menu, in the ASU website search results, and in external search engine search results.
  • To help visitors identify pages when searching on the ASU website, page titles should aim for global uniqueness.
  • To help search engine users choose to click a page in search results, page titles should be descriptive of the pages they belong to and can contain additional information associating them with ASU.
  • As an example, for the Biology home page, instead of simply using ‘Home’ as the title, ‘Department of Biology | Angelo State University’ would be more appropriate.

Content

Examples of
Appropriate Material

  • Policy statements, reports, and procedures.
  • Course descriptions and schedules.
  • Instructional materials including syllabi, lecture notes, tutorials, etc. (All copyrighted materials must be used with permission).
  • Campus calendars and guides.
  • Announcement of events.
  • Descriptions of units, their services, resources, and locations.
  • Research project descriptions.
  • Faculty information and publications.

Examples of
Inappropriate Material

  • Derogatory or libelous materials or materials that infringe on the rights of others.
  • Materials that violate policies or laws.
  • Confidential materials including records protected by the Family Educational Rights and Protection Act.
  • Materials that are abusive, profane or sexually offensive.
  • Advertisements for commercial products or enterprises.

Keep the length of your pages to one or two screens of information. Limiting the amount of information helps with download time and generally results in a more visually appealing page. Use white space wisely. Breaking your content into sections, including headings, and using lists can help users scan your page and find relevant information more quickly. Be brief, concise and specific in your wording. You can often say more with less.

Photos/Graphics
  • Including a high quality photograph or slideshow representative of your department is recommended. But keep in mind that a poor quality or low resolution photo can do more harm than good.
  • Optimize all graphics in an image editor prior to placing them on your page in order to keep the file size as small as possible. Keep graphics small by using a resolution of 72 dpi. Larger images can drastically slow down retrieval times.
  • All photos must include an alt attribute that provides a clear textual description of the content or purpose of the image in order to ensure accessibility.
  • Appropriate university icons, including the new ASU logo are available on the Communications and Marketing website.
Links
  • Make sure you describe each of your links, and avoid using the words ‘Click Here’ when adding links.
  • Validate and verify all links. Don’t leave broken links active. 404 errors (file not found) leave people frustrated.
  • Links to websites that are not part of the ASU website should contain an icon designating them as “external” and should open in a new window.
  • Links to a non-html documents or files, such as PDFs, should include an appropriate icon designating the file type.
  • E-mail links should include an envelope icon, designating them as e-mail addresses, and the link should be written out with the address in the text, rather than simply “E-mail me.”

Need Help?

If you would like more guidance about the information to share on your website, contact the Office of Communications and Marketing to schedule a website enhancement project.

Content Providers

Content providers are those individuals who have received web training from Information Technology Web Services and are responsible for creating and updating web pages for a specific department or unit according to these guidelines.

Because the ASU website is a major window into the university, visitors make judgments upon the university based upon what they see. Attention to accuracy, detail and design are important in making the best possible impression upon website visitors. Therefore, all content providers have the following responsibilities.

Responsibilities

Accuracy
  • Page information must be kept accurate, current and appropriate for online use.
  • Pages must avoid unnecessary duplication of information as well as contradictory or erroneous information.
  • Proofread all text, captions, alt tags, etc. and spell check all text before it is posted.
  • Get someone else to review your work.
  • Official pages must be updated as necessary or at least once a semester.
Style
  • Minimize sentence length, use a conversational vocabulary level and avoid jargon and obscure acronyms.
  • Official pages are the only documents allowed to display the official Angelo State University logo and should be denoted by that logo.
  • Pages should be constructed in accordance with good design practice.
  • Only approved styles are allowed on the ASU website. Use appropriate elements and apply existing styles when necessary. Do not add style attributes to elements in order to override or prevent the default rendering of an element.
  • The usual rules of print publication apply to Web page design and text. Try to follow AP Style as much as possible.
Technical
  • Pages should load quickly as determined by Information Technology.
  • Pages should be checked regularly for validity of all hypertext links.
Legal
  • Pages must comply with all policies and laws, especially those governing copyright and Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.
  • Pages are subject to university publication regulations and policies.
  • Be mindful of copyright infringement—do not plagiarize written work and do not steal photos from other websites.
  • Public domain information contained in official pages must have requisite permission and appropriate citations.

Recommendations

  • The Web is a diverse environment and not all browsers are equal. Test your page with browsers such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Safari.
  • Don’t use graphical gimmicks such as animated GIFs. They quickly become annoying.
  • Don’t use blinking text as it is distracting.
  • Keep the total image file size to a minimum.
  • Review all pages though an online accessibility program such as Cynthia Says, WebAIM WAVE or FAE.
  • Don’t use the university seal as it is reserved for official ASU documents only.
  • Use the ASU logo in the format it is provided. It may be used larger or smaller, but should be kept in the proportion in which it is provided.
  • Don’t use any logos without permission or without marking them as trademarks.
  • Avoid dead links by checking all links regularly.
  • Don’t make something look like a button and not work like a button.
  • Don’t steal someone else’s graphics.
  • Test, test, test-especially after a page is live.

External Sites

External sites are sites that either reside on a web server other than www.angelo.edu but are considered official university pages, or sites that reside on the www.angelo.edu server but are classified by the University Web Policy as Class III pages.

Third-party sites affiliated with ASU:

Sites hosted on other web servers, whether on- or off-campus are considered “third-party.” Third-party sites that have affiliation with ASU should have a general design theme similar to the ASU design. These types of sites are considered official university pages and should follow the guidelines as described on this page whenever possible, including the use of approved colors and fonts. While not all third-party software and web servers allow for the same capabilities, and not all applications warrant identical layouts, care should be taken to ensure that design consistency appears across all ASU pages. Third-party sites should be reviewed and approved by Information Technology in conjunction with Communications and Marketing.

Class III Pages

Examples of appropriate
Class III materials:

  • Class projects.
  • Class materials, including syllabi, assignments, etc.
  • Original works of art.
  • Original writings.
  • Resumes and biographical materials.
  • Research results, data and/or discussion.

Class III pages are instructional and educational pages that are created and maintained by individual faculty, staff, and student organizations. The university encourages Class III Pages in support of the university’s institutional mission. Faculty and staff may create Class III pages linked from Class I or Class II pages.

The following disclaimer must appear on the first page of all Class III Pages:

“This document and its contents reflect the views and opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ASU or The Texas Tech University System.”