Digital Standards

Introduction

Digital Standards Statement

To ensure proper representation of the University of Florida brand across all web and digital properties, Digital standards will be established. Compliance is required by all entities who represent the University of Florida (UF or the University) and who publish material through official UF digital channels.  

Compliance by all persons managing UF-branded web and digital property will protect the reputation and project the best representation of the University. The implementation of the digital standards and guidelines best practices will ensure standardized methods to manage, secure, optimize, and track web data as well as meeting WCAG 2.1 AA requirements.   

Purpose

The purpose of the Digital Standards & Guidelines standards is to identify guidelines, processes, and best practices to ensure proper representation of the University of Florida brand across all web and digital properties. These standards should be adopted by all entities who represent the University of Florida (UF or the University) and who publish material through official UF digital channels.  

By following these established digital standards, any person managing a UF-branded web and digital property will protect and project the best representation of the University. In addition, the implementation of the guidelines and best practices in these standards will ensure standardized methods to manage, secure, optimize, and track web properties, as well as keeping them within WCAG 2.1 AA conformance.   

Term of Use 

Welcome to UF digital standards and guidelines. Use this resource to help you find information about the University. By accessing or using the web standards and guidelines resources, you signify that you have read, understand, and agree to be bound by these Terms of Use (“Terms”). The web is an evolving medium. UF may change these Terms from time to time without notice. By continuing to use these web resources and following the posting of such changes, you agree to be bound by these Terms, as modified. 

Applicability 

These standards apply to any UF faculty, staff, student, extension, center, institute, organization, agency, and vendor who owns, manages, creates, and/or publishes content on any web or digital property that represents the UF brand. These standards will be strictly enforced for web properties that have a subdomain under the .ufl.edu domain and/or are hosted on UF’s webservers. 

Ownership & Maintenance  

The UF Office of Strategic Communications & Marketing (SCM) and UFIT Web Services will have oversight and provide strategic direction for UF Digital Standards & Guidelines standards. Due to the changing nature of the digital ecosystems, SCM and UFIT Web Services will conduct a comprehensive review of these standards once a year.  

Definitions: 

Alignment:  Ensures proper and consistent usage of elements across the institution’s digital properties by creating cohesion among the University of Florida websites and supports the vision set forth by Strategic Communications and Marketing. 

Style Guide: The organization’s design system that sets the voice and tone of web and print.  Contains pre-populated accessible components, such as a pattern library, logos, and fonts. 

Institutional Utility Bar: Consists of navigation items that give users quick access to a common productivity tool.  In addition to providing quick links to important campus websites, the utility bar makes it clear that a website is part of the University of Florida's digital ecosystem. It is recommended that all websites include the institutional utility bar for consistency and branding. 

Web Property: A point of presence on the Internet that is used to represent an entity such as an individual or organization. Web properties include websites, landing pages, microsites, blogs, social media accounts, web apps, etc.  

Landing Page: A standalone page that can live under a main website’s domain, a subdomain, or its own domain and is typically used for advertising purposes.  

Microsite: An abridged version of a website (2-5 web pages) that can live under a subdomain or its own domain. Microsites are often used to highlight specific campaigns or initiatives or services/offerings within an organization pertinent to a niche audience.  

Mobile App: An application software designed to run on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. 

UF Policy:  A policy that governs compliance for UF-affiliated staff. University policies set expectations for individual and organizational behavior and apply to the entire institution. 

Audience

Pages deeper within the website might serve different audiences. For every page, it’s essential to consider:  

Who is the primary audience for this page? 

What action do I want my audience to take here? 

The standards apply to any UF faculty, staff, student, extension, organization, agency, and vendor who owns, manages, creates, and/or publishes content on any web property representing the University of Florida brand.  

Digital Standards Checklist

General
  1. The website is supported by the developer, vendor, or manufacturer to address fixes for defects, flaws and security issues and is in compliance with the Systems Security Policy  
  2. The website represents the University of Florida, not UF Health
  3. The website complies with UF copyright policies.  
  4. The website does not promote commercial activity outside of official  
  5. University business. 
  6. If the website contains sexually explicit content, a written warning statement is provided, and the content is accessible only through a password mechanism. 
  7. If the website is a unit's primary web presence, it is not a blog.
  8. The website has at least one current staff who is a site owner or technical contact provided.  
  9. Departments must link back to the UF home page 
  10. Adhere to the element style guide here: identity.ufl.edu 
  11. Must meet accessibility standards. 
Web Apps
  1. Intellectual property owned by UF must be properly branded. Visit www.identity.ufl.edu
  2. An  official UF logo must be visible on the landing page 
Social Media
  1. All content including images must be accessible.   
  2. Any social media account created on behalf of a UF Department, Unit, College or group should prominently reflect University of Florida's name and logo 
  3. The UF logo cannot be modified or used for personal endorsements, nor trademarked 
  4. The University of Florida name cannot be used to promote a product, business, cause, political party or candidate. http://identity.ufl.edu/web/ 
  5. Social media accounts created on the behalf of your department must include the University of Florida.edu email address of a technical contact or the web administrator.  
  6. Two-factor authentication is always recommended to be used to prevent unauthorized users from gaining control of social media accounts.  
    https://it.ufl.edu/2fa/
Accessibility: Federal
  1. The website includes skipping to content links on every page.  
  2. The website includes unique title tags for every page. 
  3. If the website has form inputs, these inputs have associative labels.  
  4. The website is equally functional and navigable when using the mouse, keyboard, or both. 
  5. The website provides alt-text for non-trivial images. 
  6. The website provides links with meaningful text and information as to its end location. 
  7. If the website provides PDF files, these files properly allow highlighting text in a logical order and copying its contents to another program. 
  8. If the website provides videos, these videos are captioned.
  9. The website has an appropriate language set on every page. 
  10. The website utilizes suitable color contrast ratios between text and background.  
  11. If embedded rich media is utilized, use appropriate aria labels  
     
    Users may use the centrally supported tool such as SiteImprove to conduct an accessibility audit on their website. Visit https://accessibility.ufl.edu/siteimprove/ for more information. 
    Useful links on Accessibility at UF 
    Electronic Information Technology and Communication Accessibility:  https://accessibility.ufl.edu/ 
    Accessibility recommendations: https://webservices.it.ufl.edu/web-standards/accessibility-recommendations/ 
    Accessibility Training - https://training.it.ufl.edu/training/ 
Accessibility: University of Florida
  1. The website follows standards as outlined in the EITCA Accessibility Policy.pdf (197 kb) 
  2. The website passes or following WCAG 2.0 Level AA accessibility standards. 
  3. If the website provides PDF files, these files pass WCAG 2.0 Level AA accessibility standards. 
  4. The website does not contain HTML validation errors. 
  5. The website contains a link on every page to a “text only” version of itself. 
  6. A div with the id of “skip-links” with a series of skip links enclosed is included after the opening body tag of every page within the website.  
  7. The website is readable with stylesheets disabled. 
Branding
  1. The website loads the approved UFL branding at the top of every page and is not obstructed from view by visual elements. 
  2. The website does not use unofficial UFL logos or seals on any page. 
  3. If the website is for a unit that serves a specific part of the university, the unit name is prefixed or used in conjunction with its title or parent unit. 
  4. Must consistently use elements and patterns from the UF style guide.  
Captioning
  1. If the website contains audio/visual media intended for the general public or any UFL employee who has a relevant accommodation agreement on file with the ADA Coordinator, these materials have appropriate captioning.  
  2. If the website contains audio/visual media provided by instructors for students, these materials have appropriate captioning or transcriptions and are registered with the appropriate disability office. 

For information regarding captioning media visit: Accessibility website at https://accessibility.ufl.edu/captioning-request/) 

Content
  1. The website has a link to the UFL homepage with the text "University of Florida" in the header or footer. 
  2. If the website is for a unit of the university that has a parent unit, a link to the parent unit is provided on every page. 
  3. The website provides contact information (e.g. address, phone, email) on footer of the landing page.  
  4. The website provides a date of when the site or its pages were last updated or reviewed on every page.( need further clarification)     
  5. The website includes links to the required inclusion resources (identify/list resources/accessibility statement/Privacy Statement).  
  6. The website provides a helpful 404 error page. 
  7. The website includes an input to the UFL search tool. 
  8. The website does not contain duplicate information from ONE.UF. 
Content Management
  1. If the website requires a content management system (CMS) an UFIT approved content management platform is recommended. 
  2. New website designs or redesigns and/or web applications who wish to opt into the web content management system must appoint a Primary Web Coordinator as a technical contact to liaise with UFIT Web Services  
  3. The (CMS) platform utilized has plug-ins that are up to date and adequately vetted to address potential web security breaches by the technical contact. 

Users may check for approved plugins through Integrated Risk Management – Fastpath Solutions - https://irm.ufl.edu/fast-path-solutions/  

 

Useful link(s): 

Design & Browser Compatibility
  1. The website utilizes HTML5 and works on modern browsers. 
  2. The website does not use tables as the primary means of site structure or layout. 
  3. The website utilizes external CSS stylesheets for styling. 
  4. The website provides at least a 16px x 16px favicon. 
  5. If the website is not under development, assets such as images, css and javascript are not served from development environments. 
Domain
  1. The website uses an UFL.edu top-level domain  
  2. The website uses a subdomain that does not include “UFL”. 
  3. The website uses a domain or subdomain does not include a person’s name. 
  4. The website uses a top-level domain hosted on a UFIT approved web server. 
  5. The website must be hosted on a secure UF supported platform. 
  6. The technical contact and domain information must be recorded by  Infrastructure Communications and Technology (ICT). 

    Student or staff websites such as wix, shutterfly, LinkedIn accounts or eportfolios are not supported by UFIT. 

    Useful links on UF domain information 

Mobile
  1. The website is responsive and mobile-friendly.  
  2. The website utilizes viewport meta tag(s) to properly handle device width. 
  3. The website passes a Mobile-Friendly Test. 
  4. The website has buttons and inputs that have a decent tap target area.  
  5. The website provides content that is equally available, visible, and navigable regardless of viewport size or viewing device.  
Security
  1. The website is loaded over HTTPS with a valid certificate. 
  2. The website has a secure connection. 
  3. If the website contains pages that require authentication or forms requesting sensitive data, these pages send requests over SSL with a secure connection. 
  4. The website does not automatically redirect visitors to an external non-ufl.edu domain. 
Analytics
  1. Only UF affiliated users are granted access to Google Analytic accounts 
  2. All UF websites should be tracked using the UF-Main Google Analytics (GA) property. 
  3. Analytics tracking must be made by the Website Manager and are subject to review and approval. 
  4. Access to analytics accounts will only be granted to individual of affiliated through UF.