The purpose of this guide is to define standards and provide templates for the UT Dallas Web. These standards have been developed as part of the Brand Standards that address the University’s presence in all media. This guide is for all Web developers and Web site managers who create or maintain official UT Dallas Web sites.
The UT Dallas Web site is one of the most visible and important ways in which we communicate with all of our audiences. Individually and collectively, the University’s sites create an impression about the University: who we are, what we do, and the impact we have through research, outreach, and teaching. North Texas is a crowded higher-education market. Unifying design elements across our Web sites increases our odds of “getting through” the clutter of hundreds or thousands of logos most people experience on a daily basis to make a lasting impression.
It is critical that UT Dallas Web sites meet the highest standards in terms of content, ease of use, and accessibility. There are tremendous potential benefits, both for developers and users, to adoption of uniform requirements:
* A stronger and more coherent Web presence.
* Improved usability.
* Enhanced institutional branding.
* Improved conformance to state legal standards for accessibility.
* More efficient design, development, and maintenance.
* Improved portability to new standards and technologies.
Standardization simplifies the user experience, which is one of the most powerful ways to improve usability. With standardization, users are not required to learn a new navigation scheme or labeling system every time they visit one of our many rich Web sites.
Standardization can also greatly help those who design, redesign, develop and maintain sites. With adoption of carefully selected standards for layout, design elements and navigation comes the freedom to focus on the quality of the content. In addition, use of common tools and techniques saves time and money, allowing us to reinvest resources in other vital areas of the Web.
These guidelines were developed in 2009 by the Office of Communications.