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The University Web Standard (UWS)

Two gears* Current revision: 2.1

The goal of the University Web Standard (UWS) is to create a coherent and consistent online presence for the university. It has been designed to set clear standards that will give the campus-wide web presence strength, continuity and a framework for growth. By following the UWS, all campus departments and units, regardless of size, will contribute to this end.

All new and redesigned official university websites are required to use the University Web Standard after September 1st, 2007. The UWS web templates conform to Section 508 law and the Chancellor's Office Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI). Any exceptions must be approved through the Office of Communications.

In addition, all new and redesigned official university websites must be reviewed by the Office of Comunications prior to launch.

Background

The campaign to update all sites to the University Web Standard is a campus-wide initiative sponsored by the Office of the President, the Web Access Management (WAM) Committee and University Communications.

Five core principles have influenced the design of the University Web Standard:

  • Consistent Dominguez Hills State branding: Maintaining a consistent university look
  • Ease of maintenance: Enabling non-web developers to maintain website content
  • Accessibility: Guaranteeing accessible Web content for persons with disabilities (a legal requirement)
  • W3C standards compliant: Adhering to industry standards "under the hood", rather than vendor-specific solutions
  • Design flexibility: Allowing individual departments the freedom to define their own visual identity within the framework.

This latest version of the University Web Standard is a hybrid of various proven standards and methodologies. There are many benefits to adopting the University Web Standard.

Benefits of Adopting the New Standard

  • Speed of development time: By using the template layouts as a foundation, the Web developer does not have to spend time constructing and testing any page structure.
  • Accessibility: The sample layouts are built so they are easily read by adaptive technologies.
  • Sites load faster: By having the visual information separate from the page structure, pages download much quicker.
  • Sites are easily found by search engines: By having the visual information separate from the page content, the keyword density becomes much greater which makes a site easier to search and more likely to be found by search engines.
  • Pages look identical in all major browsers: By following W3C standards and semantic markup, pages run on all major standards-compliant browsers without extra coding
  • University look is already applied: University approved graphics are already in place and do not need to be constructed or approved.
  • Easy to change the visual design: Since all visual design information is controlled by stylesheets, changing the visual design becomes a much simpler process. A site does not have to be rebuilt to change the look.