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Common template to strengthen web presence

by Sherry Fisher - April 9, 2007

As part of a continuing effort to enhance the University’s visual presence, there is now a standard website design that all campus units are expected to adopt by the end of the calendar year.

During the last decade, UConn’s Internet presence has grown to more than 300 individual websites, with thousands of content pages.

The web domain is a resource for a wide array of University events and programs, and a vehicle for communication to a variety of audiences.

“Given the growing role of Internet-based communication, as well as the significant expansion of the University’s web presence, it is imperative that all University websites, emanating from all UConn campuses, be consistent in general presentation and navigation,” says University President Philip E. Austin.

“To help move toward this goal, we need to provide a common graphic identity to UConn web pages, similar in concept to the graphic standards established in 1998 for University print materials.”

He added, “A standard design will be of great help to all visitors to the UConn website, including prospective and current students, parents, alumni, Husky fans, the media, and all others seeking information about UConn.”

The standards apply to schools, colleges, departments, programs, institutes, and centers. Faculty members are also encouraged to use the standards and template for their individual University sites.

The web standards consist of a top banner with the UConn logo, a navigation system, and a second banner at the bottom of the page with a search tool.

There is a link to the University’s disclaimer, copyright, and electronic privacy policies, and to the LIFT Text Transcoder software, which converts UConn web pages with images, style, color, and text into accessible, text-only sites.

The template is sufficiently flexible to accommodate the specific attributes of schools and colleges.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has already adopted the University’s standard website design.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has already adopted the University’s standard website design.

The design was created by the Office of University Communications, in consultation with the Health Center’s Communications Office and University Information Technology Services (UITS).

“A common template helps the University communicate a clear and consistent identity to both internal and external audiences,” says Scott Brohinsky, director of university relations.

“Taking the print standards that were implemented several years ago and applying them to the web is a natural progression to strengthen the University’s identity. It will also make it easier for users to navigate thousands of pages of websites in the UConn domain.”

About 50 percent of academic and administrative units across all campuses have already adopted the standard web design.

These include the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of Law, the Division of Enrollment Management, the major administrative operations at the UConn Health Center, and the Waterbury Campus.

The Office of University Communications and UITS will provide a series of workshops to assist academic and administrative web managers in this transition in the upcoming months.

In addition, a website that includes reference tools, frequently asked questions, template downloads, and other information is available at www.webtools.uconn.edu

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