1. General Recommendations
1.1) Text Optimization
Content displayed on Web sites should be written specifically for the Web as a medium. Content that has been written for print does not always translate well to the Web. The following are some ways to optimize text for Web:
Keep it brief. Short sentences without extraneous words work best. If the topic warrants, use the pyramid structure by keeping summary information on primary pages, then linking to pages with in-depth information.
“Chunk” content into categories, and display the different content chunks on separate pages or clearly separate them on one page.
Make text scannable by breaking text out into bullet lists, bolding important terms and using headings.
Include links in the body of text to direct visitors to more information about certain topics.
Web users are on a mission to find information. Make it as easy as possible for users to find information on the site – keep content on an individual Web page relevant to its page title. Avoid including additional information that is unrelated to a page’s main topic – create a new page and link to it.
Do not include links to pages that have not yet been constructed or upload pages that are “under construction.” Every page should contain useful information, and pages should be fully formed before they are uploaded and linked.
Keep Web pages up to date. Remove time sensitive information promptly after it expires. Include a revision date on every page in order to keep track of changes and know when content needs to be reviewed. For additional information, read the recommendations on the Updates page.
Content presented on a UMKC Web site should be professional and consistent with the rest of the University’s Web sites. On UMKC Web sites, do not post material that might be reasonably considered abusive, profane, harassing, or sexually offensive. Please see the UMKC Web policy for more information.
1.5) Photography & Graphics
Use of photography or other artwork on sites is strongly recommended. The images used on Web pages should reflect the diversity of UMKC and the Kansas City community. Photography should be appropriate to the subject matter of the Web site.
The standard UMKC Web templates provide for large, engaging photos on the landing page of a site as well as smaller photos on secondary pages. Optimize photographs for Web viewing by sizing them to the exact height and width at which they will be displayed. Setting size parameters within the HTML code or through a program like Dreamweaver can distort the photograph, increase load time for the page, and could result in the page not displaying as expected.
Audio & Video Multimedia on University Web sites should be used primarily as a content element, not as a navigation or design element (such as a Flash intro page). See the Technical Recommendations related to Audio & Video for more information.
2. UMKC Homepage Content Recommendations
2.1) UMKC Homepage Features
The UMKC homepage will display five rotating features. These features are intended to reflect and illustrate the goals and mission of the university.
a) Story subjects should focus on the UMKC community. Examples of appropriate subjects could include stories about professors, students, alumni and staff, scholarly and scientific research, curriculum/program innovations or national or international recognition. UMKC community members are encouraged to submit story ideas by using the following online form: http://www.umkc.edu/news/Releases/submissionpage.asp
b) Stories should be no more than 700 words in length and should include accompanying photos or other artwork. Audio and video elements may also be included.
c) Stories should include a headline, 4-10 words, and a descriptive sub-heading. Additional sub-heads should also be used where appropriate throughout the story to break up the copy and add interest.
d) Images should be of high quality, visually appealing and express movement/action, preferably not head shots. Web features should include three images – two images sized 490 pixels x 270 pixels at 72 dots per inch (dpi) and one image sized 200 pixels x 230 pixels at 72 dpi.
e) Images should be accompanied by an one-line caption that describes the image. See the Features Requirements for more information.
2.2) UMKC Homepage News and Announcements
a) UMKC News and Announcements should feature links to current University news releases and/or significant campus-wide announcements. See the News and Announcements Requirements for more information.
2.3) UMKC Homepage Important Dates
a) Calendar entries appearing in Important Dates should focus on student-centric information - such as the start and end of semesters, official Orientation and Welcome Days and other major events and deadlines – and information with wide appeal to multiple audiences, such as commencements, special events and notable speakers. See the Important Dates Requirements for more information.
b) Events with the estimated potential to attract at least 200 attendees should be given preference.
2.4) UMKC Marketing Tiles
a) The Marketing Tiles should be used to highlight and raise awareness of events and programs that are of interest or affect a majority of the UMKC community, including external audiences.
b) Preference should be given to marketing messages that will reach future students, promote major events/activities that add to the overall campus experience and have the potential to generate revenue (please note that programs and events that are non-revenue-generating may be considered for homepage News & Announcements and/or inclusion in the Important Dates section).
c) Marketing tiles will serve as links to a single Web page or Web site with the appropriate corresponding information. See the Marketing Tiles Requirements for more information.
3. UMKC Audience Page Recommendations
3.1) Featured Links
a) These should link to information that is relevant and visitors would expect to be quickly and conveniently accessible.
3.2) Section Categories
a) Section categories should be clearly titled so that visitors can easily determine what information can be found via the links within each category.
b) Links should be organized under each of the four titled section categories based on level of importance to the audience. Link text should clearly identify the information offered on the corresponding page and should not exceed 10 words in length.
3.3) Marketing Tiles
a) A space should be dedicated for the display of Marketing Tiles. These tiles should focus on marketing information relevant to those users who will be visiting the specific Audience Page.
3.4) News and Events
a) News and announcements, calendar and important dates should reference existing Web site information. New content should not be created for these sections. See sample Audience Page.