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Division & Department Web Guidelines

INTRODUCTION

This procedure facilitates the management of Arizona Western College’s web site and encourages consistent expectations among visitors to the web pages.

PROCEDURE

1. Abide by all local, state, and federal laws, as well as federal copyright laws and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

2. Abide by the Arizona Western College Technology Acceptable Use Procedure (223.1)

3. Division and departmental home pages require the approval of the deans, chairpersons or college administrators responsible for the content of the programs and services they represent. CIS staff who link in a new page must get approval from the appropriate dean, chair, or administrator before the page can become part of the official AWC website.

4. The sponsoring department, division, or program is responsible for periodically reviewing the web page for problems in content or appearance, as well as for removing out-of-date material and providing new materials.

5. Sponsors are responsible for keeping up with the current version of this procedure and for periodically reviewing websites to assure that they comply with any new provisions of this procedure.

6. The following elements are required on the page of an official department or College home page:

6.1 A standard header with a link to the College’s home page

6.2 A contact name and e-mail link for that contact. The contact information must be current at all times.

6.3 The AWC Logo from official online sources

6.4 The name of department, division, or group

6.5 The date the page was last updated

6.6 A link to return to the College’s home page

Note: The College seal cannot be used on any web page except by the approval of the President of Arizona Western College.

7. GUIDELINES FOR ORGANIZATION

7.1 Organize your site logically, using a hierarchy of information from general at the top of the site to more specific deeper into the site.

7.1.1 The user should see important content when the page first loads; the user should not need to scroll to find important components

7.1.2 Group similar functions together.

7.1.3 Keep the organization of the content simple.

8. GUIDELINES FOR NAVIGATION

8.1 The structure of the site should determine the type and number of navigation options.

8.2 Visitors should always know where they are, where they can go next, how to return to a previous page and to the home page of your site.

8.3 Provide a link to the College’s home page.

8.4 Test and update links periodically.

9. CODING

9.1 Your HTML should conform to the current standards--see HTML 3.2 Reference Specification. (Available at CIS)

9.2 Don't use tags that are specific to only one web browser.

10. DESIGN

10.1 Design your page to accommodate multiple monitor resolutions easily: 640 x 480 pixels, 800 x 600 pixels, etc.

10.2 Use a consistent layout from page to page whenever the content allows consistency.

10.3 Keep the length of your pages to no more that two or three screens’ worth (on a 480-pixel-high screen). Do not require the visitor to scroll through significant lengths of text.

10.4 Don't use tiled graphic backgrounds.

10.5 Use dark text on a white or very light background for maximum readability and to enable visitors to print their screens.

10.6 Make sure your page has enough visual contrast so that colorblind users can distinguish text and graphics.

11. TEXT

11.1 It is better to control the appearance of text with Cascading Style Sheets than to use the tag.

11.2 Use standard fonts that most users will have.

11.3 Don't use line breaks (the
tag) to force continuous text (e.g. a paragraph) to break at a particular point.

11.4 Don't use light-colored text inside a table cell with a colored background.

12. GRAPHICS AND COLORS

12.1 Keep the total number of bytes for your page and all of its graphics to 120 – 140K whenever possible.

12.2 Include descriptive text in the ALT attribute for all images.

12.3 For critically important sites, provide text-only alternative pages to make your site accessible to viewers without graphics viewing capabilities in their computer hardware.

12.4 Include the dimensions of every image in its HEIGHT and WIDTH attributes.

12.5 Don't scale your graphics using the HEIGHT and WIDTH attributes. Use Photoshop or similar image editing programs to scale them to final size.

12.6 Use animations sparingly and only when they will not interfere with reading the page.

12.7 Use colors from the browser-safe color palette only.

13. ACCESSIBILITY

13.1 Keep the needs of disabled visitors in mind by following the guidelines for accessibility.

13.2 See the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 (Available at CIS) for more information on designing pages that are accessible to everyone.

14. OTHER FEATURES

14.1 Avoid using frames unless absolutely necessary, and if you must use them, provide a NOFRAMES alternative.

14.2 Don't make the functionality of your pages reliant on JavaScript, Java, Flash, sound files, or plug-in features that many people may not be able to use.

14.3 Downloadable files should be in PDF or RTF file format so that they will be readable by most computers.

15. FINISHING UP

15.1 Review websites each semester for their accuracy.

15.2 Proofread your pages carefully and eliminate all typos.

15.3 Test your site in as many browsers and on as many computer platforms as possible. (Assistance is available from CIS)

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