The University of Texas at Tyler
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UT Tyler Web Publishing Standards

UT Tyler Web Best Practices, Guidelines

Avoid 'Click Here' Type Links

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.

Time, Date and Phone Number Style

           Correct: 903.555.5555       Incorrect: (903)555-5555

 Time  Day  Month
 6 p.m.  Saturday,  Feb. 28
     
 NOT  NOT  NOT
 6:00 pm  Sat,  February 28

          Correct: Passport Day 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, at the University Center
        Incorrect: Passport Day Wednesday, January 28 @ 1:00 pm in the University Center

        Correct: Friday 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.
        Incorrect: Friday 7:00am-7:00pm

PDFs

Always use generic file names when naming PDFs.

Example of bad file name:  "university_committies2011_rev0001.pdf"

Example of correct file name: "university-committies.pdf.

Each time the file needs to be replaced, ovewrite the file. NEVER upload a new file with a new name and update the link.

NOTE: Word docs may be read by Mac computers, convert Word docs to PDFs.

Images

  • Ensure images are sized exactly as it will be displayed on the page. NEVER upload an image larger than it should be displayed on the page. Questions? Email web@uttyler.edu.
  • Use jpg (pictures), gif or png (graphics) formats.

Validation

  • Validate your web pages using the tool located within the UT Tyler CMS just before you publish your web page.

W3C Validator tool

There is also a validator tool located in OU Campus.

Check for Broken Links

  • Use the link checker in OU Campus to check for broken links just before you publish your web page.

Underlines

  • Avoid using an underline within your text. Users will confuse underlined text with hyperlinked text.

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. Avoid using all caps.
  • The UT Tyler template is designed with black type, white background. It is against UT Tyler Web standards to edit the text to a different color font by altering the HTML.
  • Avoid using the header tags for sizing paragraph fonts. Using header tags (H3, H4) for paragraph titles can help your pages in search engines. Do NOT use header tags for entire paragraphs.

Avoid Gratuitous Use of Flash and Animated Images

  • 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 their only purpose is decoration, they should not be avoided.

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.

Clean Pages

  • Avoid overwhelming visitors with cluttered links/text/images.  A clean page requires judicious use of images and scripts.  Home pages and pages designed primarily for navigation should not scroll endlessly.  It is important not to obscure information with excessive images or the use of trendy scripts. Visitors are typically looking for specific information, specifically on a university site.

Use Familiar Words

  • 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. Visitors are not necessarily familiar with acronyms and abbreviations used within your department or region. Reviewing your site’s search engine statistics can give you a clue what words your users are looking for.

Mission Statements

  • If department mission statements are included on a department website, it is best to keep them short and concise and on an inside page. They should be linked from the left-side menu under "Department Information."

Use Text for Links

  • Use text links rather than graphics for hyperlinks. In general, text links are more easily recognized as clickable, they download faster, and it is usually easier to convey a link’s destination in text, rather than with the use of an image.

Search Engines

  • To aid searches, repeat your keywords and their synonyms throughout your copy, particularly in headers and subheaders.

Don’t Break the Back Button

  • Use standard redirects instead of a “refresh” or on links from front pages to redirect a website. With refresh, every time the user clicks "Back", the browser returns to a page that bounces the user forward again. For correct redirect code, contact web@uttyler.edu.
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