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Communications and Public Affairs

10 Things to Remember

The form and function of is vital to meeting the expectations of our current and future Carolina family members. Here are 10 ways you can create a better web experience for our site visitors.

Create a Better Experience


One Website

The university is composed of myriad campuses, classes and experiences, but they all, like the website, share a common thread. Every college, school and center is part of a large, beautiful picture that is the flagship university of our state: the University of South Carolina.


Content Has One Home

Never duplicate content within your website. Content should live in one place in your website, and, from that location, it can be cross-promoted through linked text or callouts where it can add context for the viewer. When you update content where it lives, the changes update there and any other locations where the content is linked. However, if you do need to put the same content on multiple pages, be sure to build them as assets; that way you still only have to update it once. 


Navigate Locally

When you get someone to your website, the last thing you want them to do is leave right away. Where possible, link to pages and sections within your website. Don't exit your viewer to a different part of or outside the university website unless it makes good sense to do so. 


Sections, Not Pages

When you build a page, create it as a section so it's future-proof. Pages cannot be turned into sections and must be rebuilt if they ever need to be turned into sections. If you build your page as a section from the get-go, your page can become a section without requiring you to rebuild it.


Brief Intros = Better Intros

If you think people don't like to read, you're right. When faced with a wall of words, many readers will simply click through. Try to keep your high-level page content to the point — especially introductions. If your reader is looking for specific content, make sure it's presented in a clear, concise and consistent manner.


Add Context

We've created our site structure and visual design to be a lively, engaging experience for viewers. At every turn, helpful content can be presented in varied and unobtrusive ways that help the viewer learn what they want to know or complete a task with minimal fuss.


Subtract Inline Images

Dropping images into text, an old web standard, has been rendered obsolete by today's lightning-fast responsive site designs. Use banners, galleries and callouts to present one or more images to your viewer without risking the jumbled, out-of-place look that occurs with inline images.


Accessibility Is Key

The university has made a commitment to providing accessible content in all of our spaces, including websites. The Guides & Tutorials page on the Digital Accessibility site will help you create inclusive content, and avoid website faux paus like generic link text, missing alt text, and incorrect heading hierarchy.


Label that Link Out

Your viewer should fully understand what a link will lead them to before they click on it. If you are going to send your viewer to a form, off of the university site or to download a file, clue them in before they click. The CMS automatically adds important viewer visual cues to links that are set to open in new windows. 


Share Your Assets

Since we're all on the same team, sharing is encouraged. If you have information that would be beneficial to other units and can improve the experience for our viewers, create it as an asset and share your resource with other offices and divisions. Likewise, take advantage of the shared assets that other units have created by adding them to your pages. 

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.