Website Best Practices
Home Page Design
The general purpose of a home page is to:
- Concisely explain what your program does ― This can usually be done in 1 to 2 sentences. Keep it focused on how your work/services relate to the reader.
- Create a good first impression of your program ― Professional-looking design and a large central photo (or slideshow) are effective. The slideshow could also include brief text to convey your most impressive news items.
- Get people where they want to go as quickly and easily as possible ― The information architecture exercise helps inform you of your audiences and what they're looking for most.
As a public institution in the State of Kansas, all KU websites are required to comply with the State of Kansas Web Accessibility Guidelines. Please review these guidelines for a complete set of requirements, which include:
- Compliance with the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (priority 1 and 2 checkpoints)
- Federal Section 508 Guidelines (Subpart B - 1194.22)
KU web developers should ensure that every web page on their sites meet the above stated guidelines. If you have questions or concerns whether your site is meeting ADA compliance, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request a review of your site.
Tools and Validators
- State of Kansas Web Accessibility Guidelines
- WAVE accessibility check
- Section 508 Guidelines
- W3C Web Accessibility Initiative
- Jakob Nielen's useit.com
A web site is responsive when its layout and content responds to or adapts to the size of screen it is being are presented on. A responsive website automatically changes to fit the device, whether it is an iPhone, which has a 320 pixel wide display, tablet computer with a 768 pixel wide display, or desktop computer with a 1,600 wide pixel display. This negates the need to create a duplicate mobile site, thus reducing the labor required to create two sites and avoids the problem of keeping both sites updated.
To be responsive, KU templates use a flexible grid system in which content in the left side column retains its position at the top of the site, while content in the outer or right side columns will shift and reposition based on the device being used.