The site review guidelines are broken up into the guidelines themselves and a checklist that will be used during the site evaluation process. The site guidelines are detailed descriptions of things that site creators should keep in mind when planning and building a site. The guidelines are grouped into categories that represent the major areas that site reviews focus on. Guidelines are further grouped by their relative impact on a site’s accessibility, usability, and compliance with overall UNC Asheville Web Policies.
- Site violates Web Policy
- Non-policy issue that must be fixed before launching
- Best Practices
The review process will include the following checkpoints:
- Are all pages complete?
- Is navigation consistent and easy to use? Does it employ clear and intuitive labels?
- Are all links clear as to their destination?
- Are menus well organized?
- Is the copy clearly written?
- Does the copy contain grammatical errors?
- Are styles such as H2 and Notification appropriately used (ie, no pages with only H2 text)?
- Do academic departmental sites contain all the required pages?
- Is the site’s organizational structure logical and does it promote a positive user experience?
- Does the content meet the information needs of the intended audiences?
- Are all links operable?
- Are there any information collection practices which are either not mentioned in, or in violation of, the posted privacy statement?
- Are there any materials on the website that could reasonably be seen as compromising the privacy of a UNC Asheville student, faculty or staff member, visitor or website user?
- Do all folder and file names conform to a logical folder and file naming convention set forth for this website?
- Are images used on the website of appropriate sizes for the intended purposes? Are images high-quality and in focus?
- Does the site use the UNC Asheville logo appropriately, and follow the branding guidelines set forth by Marketing and Communications?
- Do the images create usability issues due to file sizes?
- Are 'alt' attributes used with every non background image?
- Is alternate content provided for all multimedia resources?
- Does the site become unusable without client side technologies other than html/xhtml enabled?
- Does each page function adequately in each browser in the supported browser list?
- Is the page unreadable by Jaws/Fangs?
- Does each page validate with no errors using the W3C Markup Validation Service?
- Does each page validate with no errors using the Section 508 / WCAG 1.0 Validator?
The navigation should be consistent, easy to use, and employ clear and intuitive labels and be consistent in location and style on each page. All copy should be clearly written and without grammatical errors. The website’s organizational structure should be logical and promote a positive user experience.
All links must be operable - i.e., no broken links. All links should be identifiable as such to users because of their style, or location on the page. All links should include, within the context of the link or its surrounding text, a clear indication as to what a browser will find when arriving at the linked resource. Links to non-web pages - such as multimedia resources - should be clearly labeled with the resource's type and size (e.g., PDF 2.5M or WMV 3.5M), which will indicate to the user how long the resource will take to download and what plug-ins will be necessary to use it.
Metatags and Page Titling
Web pages must use clear, concise, and informative titles and header tags. As a general rule, the Meta Description tag should contain no more than 150 characters and the Meta Keywords tag should avoid duplication of words already present in the page content, and should be limited to 10 or less keywords (Note: Meta tags may not be available on all sites). Page titles and the labels of links to them should match. Keeping these titles consistent with link labels leading to the page reinforces the user’s orientation when clicking on a link. To ensure the title is properly displayed in search engine results pages, the maximum recommended length for page titles to 70 characters.
UNC Asheville is required by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to provide access to its programs and services to all qualified individuals, including effectively communicating information via the Internet and other electronic mediums. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 established federally recognized standards on web accessibility, and these standards have been adopted by UNC Asheville. All official University web pages must meet the standards of both Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 as published by the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI).
Access must be provided in an applicable alternate format such as in the form of captioning, subtitles, or a text transcript. Videos posted online as part of a course syllabus requiring authentication of enrollment must follow university’s accessible media policy. Pages with media (e.g. video, audio, non-html content, etc) content should include a link that users may use to download the appropriate required plug-ins.
The generally accepted image formats for the web are JPEG, GIF, and PNG. Images should be optimized for download speed and storage requirements. Use the 'alt' attribute in all <img> tags to improve accessibility. Screen readers for the visually impaired cannot render images, and those users with visual impairments must rely on the information presented in 'alt' attributes. If the image is used purely for decoration, or is used primarily for spacing, an empty 'alt' attribute is preferred. If the image contains pertinent information that is not described in text elsewhere on the page, e.g., a graph or diagram, the 'alt' attribute should describe this textually. If the image is used as a link, the 'alt' attribute should describe the action that will occur if a user clicks on the image.
UNC Asheville’s Web Presence
UNC Asheville is known and recognized throughout the United States and the world. Therefore it is critical that the visual elements that represent the institution and its image do so consistently and with integrity. Image consistency and cohesive visual identity standards enhance the value of the institution name and work together to build a foundation for successful branding. Successful branding occurs when an entity presents itself consistently over time, creating an emotional connection with desired audiences. A proliferation of independent, decentralized identities and symbols creates confusion in the minds of audiences whose support we seek: students, prospective students, parents, alumni, and supporters. While logos and symbols are not the sole elements of an institutional brand, they are its visual representation and extension. When that visual representation is disconnected or inconsistent, it follows that the perception of the institution can also become disconnected or inconsistent. A visual identity used consistently over time paves the way to an enhanced image, instant recognition, and higher recall among prospective students. These are all key components of the institution’s long-term success.
Website Page Contents
Each Page of a Website Must Contain the Following:
- Either a link to a contact page containing detailed contact information or a listing of the specific contact information. Contact information is to include a main contact email address, telephone, mailing address, physical address, and webmaster email.
- The website’s content should meet the information needs of the intended audiences.
- A link to the University disclaimer, which states that the website content reflects the website author's views and not necessarily those of UNC Asheville—e.g., Disclaimer. This information need not be prominent. Putting it in the footer is acceptable
- A link to the University’s Equal Opportunity Policy labeled "Equal Opportunity Policy" or, where space is limited, "EO Policy". This information need not be prominent. Putting it in the footer is acceptable.
Web Templates and Banners
Websites subject to this policy must use an official web template. Web templates are supported by ITS, and are developed in conjunction with University Communications to reflect the institution’s visual identity standards and brand strategies.
- Web templates are comprehensive, full-website templates and include page layout options, logo and nameplates, official font and color styles, footers, accessibility features and other elements as required by this policy. Web templates are designed for use within the Drupal CMS, though basic HTML templates are available upon request.
- Web banners are narrow headers which span the top of each page in the website. The banners include the horizontal logo, nameplate (in some cases), and a search box. The remainder of the web page, the area under the banner, is to be designed and maintained by the website owners; however, the entire website must meet the standards as set forth in this policy. Support for the banner option within Drupal is not available.
The CMS does not include options to arbitrarily change the font face, color, or size. This is an intentional choice, as it better ensures content remains visually consistent with the rest of the site. While it is possible to override the default font styles, doing so is a violation of this policy.
UNC Asheville is bound by federal copyright laws regarding the reproduction of all copyrighted material for use on a website. Web developers and editors should become familiar with copyright and fair-use requirements and obtain written releases for the use of copyrighted material.
Neither sensitive nor confidential information may be placed on any servers where unauthenticated or unauthorized access can be made. Application Developers must protect such data being passed to or from user agents using common strategies or techniques such as SSL (secure sockets layer) or other encrypted transport for all such data. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you require additional specifics.
Respect For Privacy
All official UNC Asheville websites must afford respect to the privacy of the University's students, faculty, staff and visitors as well as to the privacy of Internet users visiting these websites
- Web editors must use sound judgment and be cautious about collecting or releasing "directory information”. Directory information includes, but is not limited to: name, local (students and visitors) phone number, university office phone number, and UNC Asheville email address. The release of student information is covered by FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act). Please note that students may choose to restrict all information, including directory information. Students who have restricted all information will be indicated as “Confidential” in Banner.
- The release of directory information may require the permission of the individual involved. For example, permissions should be obtained (or the attempt documented) from those individuals who appear in photographs appearing on a website. Again, please note that students may choose to restrict all information, including directory information. Students who have restricted all information will be indicated as “Confidential” in Banner.
- Websites collecting directory information should have posted privacy statement, which outlines what types of information are collected from website users, how this information is stored and used, what protections are offered to individuals whose information is obtained, with whom this information may be shared, and how a user can request to have his/her information removed from the website owners' records .
- The collection or release of sensitive personally identifiable information via a university website or web form is prohibited. Sensitive personally identifiable information includes but is not limited to: credit card information, financial information, social security number, passwords and pass phrases.
- To process credit card payments, website owners must utilize the secure, off-site credit card transaction services administered by the Division of Business Affairs. Website editors must contact the Division to obtain approval for use and connection information.