Get familiar with our standards and guidelines which include general guidelines, text standards and what not to do.
By no means is this an exhaustive list, but more a “tips and tricks” when working on the web.
- Think about what you are putting on your Web page. Include only important information and be clear and concise. Minimize different content formats: if you have a PDF or document, can it live on the website as an actual page, or does it need to be a linked-PDF or linked-document, uploaded to the website?
- Use Gender/Pronoun Neutral Language. Omitting the use of gender labels and pronouns neutralizes written text. The phrasing he/she could assume specific roles on the reader. This could alter how the information is received. Use phrasing such as, “the reader” or “the student” provides a gender-neutral text. Pronouns can detract viewers from reading a text. A common practice is to use the pronoun, “you” in written text. However, information with pronouns could unintentionally place blame and/or point fingers at the reader.
- If it’s not ready, don’t include it or don’t publish it. Don’t use “Coming soon...,” “Under Construction,” or any other similar wording.
- If any user fails to meet these standards, their access to edit pages may be revoked.
- All pages on the website should have a consistent look to maintain a cohesive brand.
- When copying and pasting content from another source (e.g. Word or PDF), use the 'Clear Formatting' icon in OU or the ‘Paste as Text’ icon . (From Edit mode see the ‘?’ icon to open up the Toolbar Help window for specifics between both options.)
- Make sure to proofread all text and perform spell check.
- Make sure the most important information takes precedence.
- Put yourself in the shoes of someone coming to your page for the first time — identify your audience.
- Speak to your audience, don’t dumb-down your content, but make it simple and easy to understand.
- Don’t change the font face.
- Don’t change the font color.
- Don’t change the font size outside of the predefined size options within Styles and Formatting.
- Don’t add background colors to text unless it is specified within the Styles menu.
- Don’t bold, underline or italicize text — if it’s all bold, italicized or underlined, none of it will stand out.
- Don’t add additional space between characters.
- Don’t use excessive exclamation points or all caps — your audience will think you’re yelling at them.
Rules of Editing
Learn the rules before you start editing in OU Campus.
This Strategic Communications and Public Affairs (StratComm) resource provides campus communicators, editors and writers with clear, consistent guidelines for writing about San Diego State University.
This StratComm toolkit provides campus communicators, departments and groups with resources and guidelines for building websites and using the university's logos and images.