Standardized Banners Initiative

Date: 
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
 
Announcements
  • New discussion forum and book database options are now available within the members only area of the Web Dev site; Next meeting: Sept 13th: Website Usability Best Practices; October 10th meeting: IT Classification Study; we are looking for additional topics to cover for both of the next meetings. Please send suggestions.


Standardized Banners Initiative:

Presenters:
Kate Jensen: kmjensen@email.arizona.edu
Leslie Johnston: lesliej@email.arizona.edu
External Relations

 

Background
  • President Shelton requested External Relations look into ways to make the site more consistent stronger with a stronger branding identify; They developed a plan for the initiative and presented it to the president?s cabinet, deans, marketing committee and web developers group. The initial response raised concerns with the implementation process and with departments wishing to keep their existing identity; the options need to be more flexible. External Relations opened up the initiative back up to campus for more feedback based on this responses received. They are now looking for more input from campus.

Goal
  • To build the UA brand/identify and be flexible enough so the process is easy enough to use for webmasters to implement.

Technical Support / Resources:

The redesigned Red Bar Café (redbar.web.arizona.edu) provides a link to "Beta Test Web Banners"; This site includes:
 

  • Displays 3 basic banners in our UA colors: blue, red, and gray;
  • Displays designs submitted the web dev group others on campus;
  • A no banner/white background was design is included;
  • Site license for Berkley, friz, Helvetica fonts;

  • There are lots of depts who don't have tech support, admin assistants with little skills. How will they implement the new banners? Reply: External Relations has hired LTC to provide tech support for depts on an hourly basis to help depts meet the standards.
  • When does that tech support start? Reply: once the policy is finalized
  • After the 3 months of support, is there a place for someone to go look at code and have resources; Red bar cafe will have resources; includes links to tutorials for dreamweaver, frontpage, and css code; banner graphics, xhtml code.

Design Options:
  • Rita from BioMedical is building a web page that will display all the design ideas for everyone to vote on.
  • 3 basic banners in our UA colors: blue, red, and gray; these banners are not the final but can be used now for testing;
  • Designs submitted the web dev group others on campus; these will be narrowed down by technical subgroup and they open up for vote by campus.
  • A no banner/white background was design is included;
  • All options use 42 pixels;

Comments on Design Options
  • Is a text link to "UA Home" necessary when the logo links to homepage;
  • can that 42 pixels but used to display a department name or logo? Reply: the way we are looking at is that the top 42 pixels is reserved for the standardized banner -- below it is for dept info.
  • Some of the original designs tried to incorporate space for department but the group felt that the area should stay clean; if we do something like that, it would need to be controlled. . . specific font, font size, other restrictions; but not left open
  • Do you have a specification for the width of the banner? The width is up to the webmasters: fluid or set width
  • Are you going to want the UA logo in the upper right corner? Reply: Yes. logo can slide to the left to allow it to align with your content; Must be flushed left with content... not centered on page. The right edge of the logo can't go beyond the center point of the site;
  • white/no banner open; how does it look? In general, a favorable response. It may be easier for sites that were developed in non UA colors; fits well into the site; the UA Home text link would look funny in the upper right in the no banner option; a text link does need to be in the footer with link to the homepage so maybe link within banner may not be necessary.
  • Will there only be one color option? Reply: We plan to have up to 6 options to choose from.
  • There has been some discussion about having a department?s name with a customized logo? That is pretty much for print should not be necessary for web.
  • what if a dept wants to use the banner on the current UA site on their site now.. with campus map, phonebook, etc. The goal is to have the block A and our name on every page; the current banner does not have it and will the main site need to be changed? Yes Is there a option to keep this current banner? So many sites already use it. No. needs block A. There should not be a site where the block A is not displayed; How about changing the logo but keeping all the links, campus map, phonebook; goes back to the issue of do we want to allow other links in the top bar; not yet decided but would need restrictions; immunobiology uses the standard banner with a red bar below that includes navigation; look like current website design but conforms to the standard;
  • Is there a way to add the block A to the current look but still have the red/blue as an option?
  • you showed a large select of submissions, then you said 2 will not be considered? which ones will not be considered? 2 designs will not be considered; we will be designing that later;
  • are you still taking submissions? we are presenting tomorrow in the group meeting, so no.
  • displayed elleremba.com and how they integrated the standard banner with their existing site design;
  • Part of the vote tomorrow to allow other links or will it go to campus for vote? Reply: not campus wide vote; will be decided in the smaller group meeting
  • Do you want to have the option to put navigation in the 42 pixels or dept name? Reply: It should not be limited to just name; it should not include other graphics; there would need to be a cut off point -- like it could not extend beyond the center point.
  • When you send out the vote; can you include examples? Reply: this will be discussed in small group meeting tomorrow.
  • If you put text up in the right corner of the banner and allow fluid text font; it could bleed over; could make it a graphic (not a good idea for accessibility) might need to specify in the policy that the text must be a specific length (example 14 pts) and require font family specification; Should not be a graphic for navigation links because it not accessible for low-vision users; need tech people to give input on these technical issues in small group meeting tomorrow.
  • The last time you were here, you talked about server side includes so webmasters can just include the banners? Will that be available? Reply: looking into this issue
  • Some suggested the possibility of using included banners so that emergency message can be posted; be careful about making it a requirement since it might open up security issues.
  • Are you looking for beta sites to use the banners: should we wait until the policy is final before using? You should feel comfortable using the 3 current options now; the graphic will be refined and the logo image may need to be swapped later on.

Scope
  • Should faculty member be required to add the banners to their sites? Reply: If it is a course webpage is should conform to the standard but it will not be a high priority.
  • What about applications like webmail; student link that require logging in? Reply: The banners would not be needed for intranet sits; It may be difficult to implement the banner within 3rd party applications;
  • We bought some third party software that provides knowledge base for eternal users that provides questions/answer for UA applicants. Would we have to modify the application to comply? Reply: that may be at your discretion; the scope needs to be clearly defined in the policy on how it covers web applications that server external users.
  • How do you know if your site needs to implement the banners or not? It is not clear what would be a level one or two.
  • Web almost got Athletics to go along with the standard;
  • Will .com sites need to include the banners? Do you want .com sites looking like the UA? Reply: May depend on the .com site;
  • What about sites like kuat.org, uanews.org, bookstore.org? The bookstore is an issue that needs to be dealt with. uanews & kuat will implement banners
  • What about research centers? sites that may already have very strict requirements for design and sites that are only partially UA? Reply: that will be worked on and will be specified as a part of the policy
  • You can?t assume level 1 Depts are not being managed by admin assistants. Reply: that is why we are offering help with LTC;
  • The levels defined in the current web standards might not work well; will need to redefine levels;
  • Colleges really need to confirm within 3 months. Service departments -- maybe reasonable to adopt banners by January.

Policy Development
  • External relations will be working to develop a policy that will determine scope;
  • Will a draft of the policy come to web dev group? Yes
  • Will this policy go through the new policy procedure? 8 weeks for drafts; focus groups; time for comments, etc. maybe 6 months before it is official; Reply: we already have the approval of the president & cabinet so we may not need to go through the formal process;

Policing the Policy
  • What happens if a department is not compliant? relying on friendly persuasion; peer pressure, next step would be to have the VP levels/department heads to work it out;
  • We are currently updating our site, do we need to go through External Relations for approval? it is a self policing

Timeline
  • Target: mid September for the policy, scope and resources to be available at that time for webmasters to start implementing the banners;
  • The 6 months timeline set in stone? nothing is set in stone; wanted feedback on timing; level one sites should have webmasters that can make the changes within the timeline; Admin assistants are hopefully not managing level one sites
  • What can be done for a department who has a site with banners/colors that will not work well with the standard banners? What type of time frame for implementation for depts may need to redesign in order to make it work? Reply: Look at them on a case by case basis; flexible depending on the websites exposure to external users
  • Is it possible that the there will be different implementation dates for the different levels of websites; Higher profile sites that provide information to external users would need to be implemented sooner;
  • Question: Do you feel a reasonable end limit would be the end of summer? Maybe reasonable for higher profile websites