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This document is a work-in-progress. Last modified: March 2015

1. Headings/Paragraphs/Lists

  1. Never use directional cues in text, such as "sign up below" or "refer to the list on the right" because if the layout changes (e.g. mobile devices), these cues will be wrong.
  2. No duplicate content. If ever there exists 2 or more pages with nearly identical content, steps should be taken to consolidate information into a single source.
  3. Never type in all caps. If text needs to be all caps (like in a heading), it will be accomplished with proper code for styling that way.
  4. Follow appropriate capitalization rules for proper nouns, job titles, etc. Generally this means a job title is capitalized if it's in a list, but not if it's part of a sentence.
  5. Avoid acronyms. After the full title is established followed by the acronym in parentheses, then the acronym may be used on the same page. However, for maximum search engine benefit, avoid acronyms in all situations (unless the acronym carries a national reputation).

2. Hyperlinks

  1. Always use meaningful text for links. Never use "click here". Rather, use "email the web team" or "sign up for our mailing list" as your link text.
  2. Never explicitly show a web URL in text. Always link a URL behind meaningful text that describes the destination page.
  3. Never explicitly show an email address in text. Always link an email address behind meaningful text such as "email Jared Brown."
  4. Only open a link in a new window when the link takes the user away from
  5. If link text doesn't adequately describe the destination page, a title attribute should be used to create meaningful text on hover. (hovering refers to putting the mouse cursor over a web element but not clicking)

3. Contact Information

  1. Name prefixes should are not to be used except on directory profiles.
  2. Use this format for displaying phone numbers: 706-542-0000
  3. Never show an email address in text. Instead, link a name or an action phrase (example: "email us)".
  4. Use departmental email addresses instead of individual email addresses where possible. This reduces maintenance risk during faculty/staff turnover.
  5. The first mention of any COE faculty/staff member on a webpage should be hyperlinked to their directory profile.
  6. Links to faculty/staff emails should not be used. Instead, a link to their profile should be provided and profile information kept up-to-date.

4. Files

  1. Word documents must be converted to PDF before posting on the website. Reason: PDF is a universally available format; Microsoft Office is not accessible to all users. Fillable PDFs may be created for documents that a user needs to download, fill out, and submit electronically.
  2. All PDFs must be verified to meet accessibility requirements set forth by the federal government in what's called Section 508 in popular vernacular.
  3. Filenames should not contain spaces. Replace spaces with underscores or hyphens.
  4. Filenames should not contain special characters. This includes periods, apostrophes, colons, ampersands, etc.
  5. Filenames should be descriptive but concise. Once downloaded, will a user know what it is when it's on their computer among unrelated files?
  6. Best Practice: Filenames should be all lowercase for consistency and ease of reference.
  7. Filenames should not contain time-related data such as a date of revision. In other words, do not name a file 2013-csse-application.pdf because when 2014 rolls around, you have to add a new file, delete the old file, and update the links on the website. If you name this file csse-application.pdf, simply overwrite the old version with the new and voila!
    Exception: When multiple files exist for date-sensitive information (example: two versions of a program of study when students who began their program according to the older version have yet to graduate).