Guidelines for websites
University units can exercise flexibility in designing websites that meet their needs. The following guidelines promote basic consistency across websites and pages, helping users navigate and clearly identifying official UI web resources.
Good web design is essential for usability, accessibility, message clarity, and reputation. University units are strongly encouraged to utilize professional web designers and developers. Units should also strive for accuracy and currency, updating pages frequently and removing outdated pages.
Logo and wordmark on websites
The University of Iowa logo and wordmark are the core of the university’s graphic identity system, distinguishing UI communications at a glance. All official university web pages—including college, department, unit, and course pages—should include the university’s logo and wordmark.
See Graphic identity for general information about the logo and wordmark, and for downloadable graphics files. Following are basic guidelines for using the logo and wordmark on web pages:
- The logo and wordmark must be clearly displayed and legible.
- The logo and wordmark must be linked to the university’s home page (www.uiowa.edu).
- The wordmark should appear in the top 133 pixels of each page. The logo should appear on each site’s home page, but need not appear on other pages in the site.
- Preferred colors for the logo and wordmark are black, white, or gold. When they appear together, both the logo and wordmark should be the same color.
- Minimum size for the logo is 31 pixels in height. Minimum size for the wordmark is measured by the initial capital “T,” which must be no smaller than 11 pixels high.
- The logo and wordmark should not be animated.
- Use only the approved logo and wordmark files available on this site. Please do not redraw, reproportion, or embellish them in any way.
All official university websites, resources, and content must be accessible to users with disabilities. The university has adopted the World Wide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) as its standard for accessibility, establishing that all sites should strive for WCAG AA conformance. For more information, see the university’s IT accessibility website.
See WebAim for information on making PDF documents accessible.
Page titles are set with the HTML <title> tag and are essential for search-engine indexing. Most web browsers display the page title at the very top of the browser window.
All page titles should include the text “The University of Iowa,” preferably at the end of the title. (Note: Use the university’s full name, including the “The”—“University of Iowa” is not acceptable.)
It’s a good idea to include names of colleges or central administration units in page titles, too. This enhances search-engine indexing and identifies where a page falls within the larger university organization.
- Department of American Studies – College of Liberal Arts & Sciences – The University of Iowa
- Our Faculty – Department of American Studies – College of Liberal Arts & Sciences – The University of Iowa
- General Catalog – Office of the Registrar – The University of Iowa
- The University of Iowa College of Law
All pages should include a link to the University of Iowa home page. The UI wordmark or copyright statement can satisfy this requirement.
All pages also should provide clear links to the following:
- Their college or central administration unit home page
- Their department or program home page
- For web applications or resources (examples: ISIS, HR Self-Service), their home or start page
- For web applications or resources, the home page for their sponsoring unit(s)
The hex value for the official university gold color for the web is FF E1 00. A sample of this color is included below:
Use of the university gold is required as a design element in collegiate and primary central administration sites, though it need only be an accent and not a dominant feature. Use of the University gold is encouraged as a design element in all other official University sites.
All web pages should include a contact link, at minimum an e-mail address formatted with the mailto: protocol.
The best practice for every site is to include a single contact information page to which all other pages can link. This makes it easier to list compete contact information and to update contact info when it changes.
Links to contact information pages should be worded clearly. Examples: “Contact Us” or “Questions and Comments”
Contact information should include:
- E-mail address or HTML form for questions or comments
- Telephone number, including area code
- Campus mailing address
- Off-campus mailing address
Directions to the unit’s main office and a corresponding link to the campus map also are helpful.
All pages should include a copyright statement, preferably at the bottom of the page. The statement must include:
- Copyright symbol
- The words “The University of Iowa” linked to the UI home page
- The year in which the page was published or substantially changed. A routine content update doesn’t represent a substantial change—a visual redesign or reorganization does.
- The statement “All rights reserved.”
Example: © The University of Iowa 2011. All rights reserved.