Any website master or business owner realizes that content is king. This has been a mantra in website development for decades. As a result all Kent State websites must include and/or adhere to these nine content-oriented standards.

Academic websites

To support recruitment and retention, it is required that Kent State University’s academic units include standard call-to-action items on their websites in the required order.

Images and Graphics

All websites are required to have a hero image under the Kent State banner on their homepage.  If a site does not want a hero image at the top, it must display a video. View the Video Specifications below and request support to add a video to your homepage.

Elements Library

All websites are required to present their sites public facing content with the best visual presentation possible.  A variety of elements have been created for you to select from.

Forms

BY LINKING TO OR EMBEDDING A FORM ON A WWW.KENT.EDU WEBPAGE, DRUPAL USERS ACKNOWLEDGE ACCEPTANCE AND COMPLIANCE WITH THE WEB FORM OPERATING PROCEDURE.

The Web Form Operating Procedure is an operating procedure attached to Section B of the  Administrative Policy Regarding Web Publishing Policy Register 9-01.3.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tips

Grammar

  • All individuals who are responsible for preparing copy for electronic communications will want to purchase copies of the Associated Press Stylebook and Webster’s New World College Dictionary for handy reference.
  • The AP Stylebook is organized alphabetically by general category. For example, for a question about whether “B.A.” requires periods or “bachelor’s degree” needs an apostrophe, look under the entry academic degrees. Style questions regarding numbers are answered under the entry “numbers.” The stylebook has specialized sections for “Sports Guidelines and Style,” “Business Guidelines and Style” and a “Guide to Punctuation.” If a style question is not addressed in the university style guide, then consult the AP Stylebook.
  • If an answer is not found, call University Communications and Marketing at 330-672-2727 and ask to speak with an editor, or post a question by email to info [at] kent.edu.
  • Web Editor Reference Guide

Link/Content Review

  • Website owners must conduct an annual review of their website to ensure information is current and without misspellings, grammatical or style errors. Inaccurate information diminishes a website’s credibility.
  • University Communications and Marketing offers web-based software called Siteimprove to help university website owners repair broken hyperlinks and fix misspellings. Contact the Web Team for more information.

Video Specifications

If a website chooses to have a video under the Kent State header, the following guidelines must be followed:

Filter

Kent State blue solid with 50 percent opacity, blending mode with a hard/soft light or overlay.

Length

30 seconds (three 10 second shots)

Resolution

1400 x 788 (16:19)

Bitrate

1 mbps (2 pass VBR).

File format

h.264 mp4

Homepage Video SVG example.

Video Background Image Still (displayed on mobile)

The video background image still (displayed on mobile) should be sized to 3840 pixels x 2160 pixels and uploaded using the homepage video content type.

Video background image still (displayed on mobile)

Copyright Regulations

Site editors may not add content to the website that violates the following copyright policies:

Writing for the Web

Information to be conveyed must be explained in graphic displays and short, easy-to-read blocks of text. These techniques are necessary because people rarely read web pages word by word; they scan the page, picking out individual words and sentences that catch their interest.

The following are main guidelines to be used when writing for the Web:

BREVITY

Write no more than half of the text you would use in a printed publication.

Keep the text short and provide hypertext links to detailed information.

SCANNABILITY

Don’t require users to read long continuous blocks of text. Because it can be so difficult to read text on screens and because the online experience seems to foster some amount of impatience, users tend not to read large blocks of text. Instead users scan text and pick out key words, sentences and paragraphs of interest. Writing for scannability means structuring articles with two, or even three, levels of headings (a general page heading plus subheadings — and sub-subheadings when appropriate).

Use meaningful rather than “cute” headings.

Use emphasis (bold/italic) to make important words catch the user’s eye.

Use links to split up long information into multiple pages. Make text short without sacrificing depth of content by splitting the information up into multiple sections connected by hypertext links. Detailed background information can be relegated to secondary pages. Similarly, information of interest to only a few readers can be made available through a link without penalizing readers who don’t want it.

CLARITY AND FOCUS

Consistency and accuracy ensure that the university conveys the same messages to all its audiences throughout its many diverse recruiting and promotional materials produced by University Communications and Marketing. University Communications and Marketing provides the Guide to University Style as an aid for all those responsible for preparing written university communications (both electronic and printed) that accurately and consistently achieve their intent while reflecting the excellence of Kent State. To obtain a guide, visit the University Communications and Marketing website.

Consulting the Guide to University Style and the other resources listed below will enable production of effective, accurate and consistent copy for communications.