Reinforce the University Brand
The website's design presents a strong identity that goes beyond the singularities of the logo and the garnet and black color palette. Regardless of the page of entry, there should be no mistake that a site visitor has landed at the University of South Carolina.
Strive for that same consistency in how you present the brand of your area. Everything from images to text and tone will impact the way your brand is perceived by your site visitors.
Deliver a User-Centered Design
A major challenge for an expansive site, like sc.edu, is providing meaningful navigation for users who have no knowledge of the university or its organizational structure. That's why it's critical that you take an outside-in look at your website. Plan it with your key audiences' needs in mind along with any site goals you have.
In keeping with this principle, there are two types of websites within sc.edu: a marketing site and an internal site. Marketing sites are used for the main web presence of academic and administrative units of the university. Internal sites are used to provide specific information for internal audiences of academic units, such as faculty, staff and current students.
Balance Engaging Content with Ease of Maintenance
In conjunction with its CMS underpinnings, site design must strike a balance. It isn't enough to look elegant and offer engaging content. Sites must also be easy to maintain by content managers who range from novice to expert.
As you create your website, strive for a similar balance. You will need to curate your content on a regular basis — editing, adding and eliminating content to keep your information current, consistent and relevant.
Be Viewable on Screens of Any Size
Responsive design allows a website to rearrange and resize itself based on the screen it is being viewed on. Responsiveness ensures that the site is useful and usable whether the user is on a desktop computer, tablet or phone.
The site is programmed to detect the width of each user’s web browser to determine how it should display the site. For example, on a desktop computer screen, the page displays as originally designed, but on a smartphone, the navigation disappears into a drop-down menu, and the elements on the page stack to allow for better viewing.
Be clear. Be consistent. Be concise.
Strive for less quantity and more quality. Don't make your audience search for information. Instead, help them by parsing your information into the essentials and then lead to more detailed information should they desire it. Site visitors don’t mind clicking if they feel they are getting closer to the information they want.