Web Content Responsibilities

Content

MarCom produces Web content for the University and assists others with their own content.  “Content” refers to everything on the websites – text, images, videos, etc. – that is intended to inform, entertain, or persuade site visitors. 

The quality of website content has a direct impact on the University’s business goals and reputation.  Therefore, MarCom applies several criteria to all University website content.

General criteria

All content on the University websites should be:

  • Focused on the needs of site’s defined key audience(s)
  • Appealing to the key audiences, e.g. in tone, vocabulary, etc.
  • Accurate and up-to-date

All website content should be of professional quality, because it reflects directly on the University.  Specific kinds of content – text, visual, video – have additional requirements.

Text

Text content should also be:

  • Well-written (e.g. proper grammar, spelling, punctuation, use of headings, etc.)
  • Concise
  • Consistent with MarCom writing style in all particulars such as personal titles, location names, capitalization rules, etc.
  • Text should be actually text on the webpage, as opposed to text that is inserted in an image file.  See note under “Imagery”).

Imagery

In addition to the general content criteria, visual content should also be:

  • Properly sized (image dimensions are the same as the visual size. on the web page)
  • Properly compressed (file size is the minimum possible while retaining reasonable quality). Visit Squoosh.app  for easy compression.
  • Of the most appropriate image file format, e.g. JPG for photos, GIF for flat-color graphics, PNG for transparencies.  Typically, the format that has the smallest file size for acceptable visual quality is the right choice.
  • Properly described in the webpage code with “alternate text” for people who cannot see the image.  For example, an image might have an “alt” tag like “Two students laugh with a professor near the Fisher fountain”. Rule of thumb: describe what you see in the photo.

Photos

Photos should have good lighting and composition, and contain appealing-looking subjects that are relevant to the context.  Target audience members have told us that, in particular, pictures of campus and of diverse people interacting with each other are interesting to them.

Graphics

Graphics should appear professionally made, and should be consistent with website design.

Text within images

Note: The use of text as part of an image is poor web practice.  There are multiple reasons, including usability, maintainability, accessibility for disabled people, and design consistency.  Avoid adding text into images, or do so very sparingly, with complete alternative text added to the webpage code for users who cannot see images.  (See more under Accessibility.)

Video

In addition to all general content criteria (above), video content should also have:

  • Clear audio
  • Good lighting
  • Appropriate length (shorter usually better)
  • Professional editing
  • Full text description associated with the video
  • Must be captioned, either open or closed captioning is acceptable (See more under Accessibility.)
  • Full transcript – this is the legal expectation under federal law.  Transcripts have additional benefits in usability and findability of the video content.  (See more under Accessibility.)

Branding

The Marketing & Communications Department can answer all your questions about how to properly represent the University of Detroit Mercy brand in all web content. Adhering to the University’s approved brand standards is a requirement for all University communications. 

Design

The MarCom controls the visual design of the main University websites.  Centralized control of website design is essential for consistency and maintainability.

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Functionality

Marketing & Communications helps with designing, evaluating, selecting, and integrating functional components of the University websites.

Functionality Considerations

Usability and Accessibility

Federal requirements for accessibility and the importance of usability.

More

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    Copyright

    Website content must never infringe on copyrights.  Do not use unlicensed content like images or music in any of the University websites or University videos.  For example, if you found an image or music online, you must ensure you have specific, express permission to use it.  This may involve paying money for it.  Without express permission, you likely don’t have the right to use it, and will be forced to remove it when the holder of the copyright finds it.  This applies to any kind of content, but images and music have been the most common problems.

    For any copyrighted material used on our websites, the Marketing & Communications Department must receive a copy of the license to use the material.