Web content guidelines

Your website represents all of UAB. Its content should be professional and consistent with university standards. These guidelines can assist you. When in doubt, contact your unit’s website administrator or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Good content includes the following elements:

 


 

Revealing page titles  The title should reveal exactly the content on the page. Employ commonly used, concise language; avoid abbreviations, jargon and slogans. Do not use the same title for multiple pages.

Consistent and logical organization  Content should be grouped according to subject, time, audience or any way that will make sense to your audience. This means ignoring internal department reporting structures.

    • Use a consistent method of organization throughout your site.
    • Each block of text should have an appropriate heading to give the content structure.
    • Use headings, subheadings and small headings provided by the CMS. Creating your own  in HTML leads to inconsistencies in the site's structure and appearance.

Interesting, accurate, concise copy  The text on each page should interest the target audience. Be thorough. Include all information needed about a subject and acknowledge any that is incomplete or unavailable.

    • Ensure accuracy. This includes names, dates, locations, course information, policies and descriptive text. Outdated or wrong information is never acceptable.
    • Impeccable spelling and grammar. Use a proofreader, and bookmark UAB's online Style Guide and the Campus Directory for easy reference.
    • Be concise. Brevity is important in writing for the Web. Do not use 100 words when 50 will do. Tighten language, be direct and omit mundane details that  bury the point or bore the reader. Ask yourself: Is it clear? Is there a simpler way to say this? Is this necessary?

Good:
Transportation Services provides information about campus parking and alternative modes of transportation to reduce single-occupancy vehicle trips.

Needs improvement:
Transportation Services provides transportation resources to the campus community with the ultimate goal of reducing single-occupancy vehicle (SOV) trips to UAB. Resources include an employee transportation coordinator dedicated to providing information and guidance to faculty, staff, and students for using alternative modes of transportation.

    • Make it easily skimmed. Begin with a conclusion and a short summary of content. Divide large blocks of text into manageable groups, using headings or subheadings to clarify content and add structure. Use lists when possible; they are easy to skim and understand.

Appropriate and consistent text styles  Default type styles are set to make text easily readable. Text in all caps is difficult to read and often ignored. Use bold sparingly. Do not use underlines, colorize text or manually adjust font size.

Appropriate use of images and photos  Images and photos should be used to add context and meaning and support the page text. They should be sharp and recognizable.

    • Images must be original and free of copyright or granted permission for use.
    • People in photos must have a signed release on file.
    • Image resolution should be 72dpi.
    • Maximum suggested image size is 40KB.
    • For most photos and images, a minimum of 60px by 60px or a maximum of 400px by 300px is suggested.
    • All images and photos must have alternate text.
    • Captions are recommended.
    • Use appropriate image format to ensure best image quality and smallest file size: JPEG for photos and full-color images; PNG for line drawings, low-mid color images, and images with transparency; and GIF for line drawings, low-color images, and images with transparency.