Content Considerations

Content Considerations

Content Reigns Supreme

Think about the following when building or editing a website.

Content is useful and up-to-date, providing answers to the most common questions asked by users. There are no long instructions.

A page should always have purposeful content and not any “coming soon” or “under construction” language. That may have worked in the mid 90’s but users don’t have the time or patience for that. It is always better to take longer and think about what you want the page to be, and then publish it with real useful content.

People use the site menu to access site pages. Why? Because our memory stinks! The menu offers a think free way to get to content. Therefore, every page in a site needs a menu item* (*with VERY few exceptions). If a page lives in your site but is not added to the menu, do not expect a user to find the content.

Watch for Broken Links by running a broken link report in Cascade.

Content should be accessible for anyone with a disability. There are accessibility controls in Cascade and you can also run your own report at https://wave.webaim.org/. Want to learn more about web accessibility?

Content should load fast and this could be accomplished by ensuring any media (images, video, etc) and files have been optimized for web use. Keep in mind the growing use of mobile devices means that processing and Internet speeds may not be as strong as on a desktop.

FACT: Current research indicates that 53% of users will leave a mobile page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.

Other checklist items to consider

  1. Use recent (within the past two years or so), high quality photography. Users will be able to tell if photos are old – how people dress changes, technology changes, etc.
    1. Feel free to use photos from our Division’s Flickr – search for “tags” to find exactly the type of photo you’re looking for.
    2. Avoid stock photography.
    3. Include a mix of staged and candid photos.
  2. Do not stretch images. Use correct proportions.
  3. Be mindful of diversity, including all types of students. Think of gender, ethnicity and age.
  4. Stay away from large, identifiable logos in your chosen photography – we want to showcase the Rowan brand, not have the user focus on the “Nike” emblem
    1. Never include another university’s logos
  5. Be mindful of distracting elements within photography, such as messy backgrounds or items that need to be edited out (stains on a sign, for example.)
  6. Think mobile first. Check your edited site on phones or tablets to see how it appears to users on mobile. Usually, you’ll find that you originally thought your wording was short enough, but appears quite long on mobile.
  7. Check for typos by using a spell check tool, but also having others proofread your work.
  8. Check for clarity and usability by having others, such as student workers, look at the site.
  9. For ADA compliance
    1. When adding photos, you must complete the “alt text” field. A screen reader will read out loud the “alt text” to your user, so be descriptive.
    2. Videos must include closed captioning.
    3. Add “Accessible View” option to all infographics and/or text-heavy images.