Web Communications Design Policy
Stage 1: Initial Meeting between Web Communications and Department Web Liaison
Discuss goals and determine site structure. Some questions to think about:
- How will the text and other content be provided by the department?
- What logos, photographs and images will be used?
- Will the site need online forms?
- What are the main links?
- What should be included in the navigation?
Stage 2: Web Communications will draft design ideas and present to Web Liaison
- Liaison to review and select final designs.
- Web Communications solicits feedback on drafts from Liaison.
Stage 3: Refine homepage design, and create lower level pages
Stage 4: Present complete design and get approval from Liaison to go to development
Stage 5: Development
- Images are cut appropriately, exported as pngs, gifs or jpgs. Image file size is then reduced for optimum load time.
- Web site is built with images, active links and navigation structure in place.
- Quality assurance testing is done in common browser versions – Internet Explorer, Safari and Mozilla Firefox, on both PC and Mac platforms.
- Liaison reviews the site and gives approval to launch.
In keeping stride with technology, Web Communications designs and codes all web sites to function in current browser releases. We are conscious of earlier browser versions, but cannot always develop a site to perform optimally in the earlier versions.
Web Communications uses CSS and XHTML, and other technology only in departmental web designs that are maintained by Web Communications.
Unless requested by Liaison or warranted by Web Communications, frames structures are avoided.
Visible site counters are discouraged. Those departments wishing to track usage of their sites should adopt a Maintenance Agreement, which includes access to information generated by the server’s site usage statistics package.
Advertising and sponsorships on sites is to be governed by the Advertising and Sponsorship policy, as provided by Web Communications. Generally speaking, advertising will not be allowed and sponsorships can only be recognized on web sites of departments that have sponsored support outside of their web presence.
Maintenance is important since it keeps the site current and allows for a useful, interactive tool for students, faculty, staff, and other visitors. Web Communications establishes a relationship with the key contact of the department (Liaison). The Liaison is responsible for the nature of the content that goes into the site and should take initiative in having someone deliver that content to the Web Communications department for updates. For more information on how updates are executed, please see the Web Communications Maintenance Agreement.
Once a site is complete and live, Web Communications can continue to maintain the site. Departments that rely on a staff member or skilled student inevitably run into problems due to turnover and transitional periods.
Web Communications cannot make estimates as to the timeframe needed for completion, as all department sites are unique in size, content, and complexity. Web Communications accepts all jobs on a first-come, first-serve basis, and are subject to availability of resources. Fees subject to change as needed.