10 Things to Remember
The form and function of sc.edu is vital to meeting the expectations of our current
and future Carolina family members. Here are 10 ways you can create a better web experience
for our site visitors.
The university is composed of myriad campuses, classes and experiences, but they all,
like the website, share a common thread. Every college, school and center is part
of a large, beautiful picture that is the flagship university of our state: the University
of South Carolina.
Content Has One Home
Never duplicate content within your website. Content should live in one place in your
website, and, from that location, it can be cross-promoted through linked text or
callouts where it can add context for the viewer. When you update content where it
lives, the changes update there and any other locations where the content is linked.
However, if you do need to put the same content on multiple pages, be sure to build
them as assets; that way you still only have to update it once.
When you get someone to your website, the last thing you want them to do is leave
right away. Where possible, link to pages and sections within your website. Don't
exit your viewer to a different part of sc.edu or outside the university website unless
it makes good sense to do so.
Sections, Not Pages
When you build a page, create it as a section so it's future-proof. Pages cannot be
turned into sections and must be rebuilt if they ever need to be turned into sections.
If you build your page as a section from the get-go, your page can become a section without
requiring you to rebuild it.
Brief Intros = Better Intros
If you think people don't like to read, you're right. When faced with a wall of words,
many readers will simply click through. Try to keep your high-level page content to
the point — especially introductions. If your reader is looking for specific content,
make sure it's presented in a clear, concise and consistent manner.
We've created our site structure and visual design to be a lively, engaging experience
for viewers. At every turn, helpful content can be presented in varied and unobtrusive
ways that help the viewer learn what they want to know or complete a task with minimal
Subtract Inline Images
Dropping images into text, an old web standard, has been rendered obsolete by today's
lightning-fast responsive site designs. Use banners, galleries and callouts to present
one or more images to your viewer without risking the jumbled, out-of-place look that
occurs with inline images.
"Click Here" Is So 2008
The web has become so second nature that you no longer need to include page-focused
language such as "click here," "browse this section" or "welcome to our website!"
The modern standard is to insert links into the natural sentence structure and let
link styling signal the link to your viewer.
Label that Link Out
Your viewer should fully understand what a link will lead them to before they click on it. If you are going to send your viewer to a form, off of the university
site or to download a file, clue them in before they click. The CMS automatically
adds important viewer visual cues to links that are set to open in new windows.
Share Your Assets
Since we're all on the same team, sharing is encouraged. If you have information that
would be beneficial to other units and can improve the experience for our viewers,
create it as an asset and share your resource with other offices and divisions. Likewise,
take advantage of the shared assets that other units have created by adding them to your pages.