Policies and Guidelines

Web Content Guidelines

A departmental Web page represents not only the department but all of UW Bothell. It should be professional and consistent with the rest of the UW Bothell Web site. Please refer to these guidelines when working on your web page. When in doubt, please contact the Office of Public Relations and Communications for assistance.

Revealing Page Titles

The page's title should reveal exactly what content is on the page. Employ commonly used, simple, and concise language. All titles must be in Title Case.

  • Use clear and complete titles
  • Do not use abbreviations or jargon
  • Do not use slogans
  • Do not use cute titles
  • Do not use the same title for multiple pages


  • Course Offerings by Quarter
  • Admissions Requirements
  • Policies and Procedures
  • Disabled Student Services
  • Proper Interview Attire

Needs Improvement

  • Course Info
  • Stuff you need to apply!
  • DSS
  • "Suit"-ability!

Consistent and Logical Organization

Content should be grouped according to subject, time, audience, or other logical order. Try to organize content in a way that will make sense to your audience. In most cases, this means ignoring internal department reporting structures.

Use a consistent method of organization throughout your site.

Each block of text should be headed by an appropriate heading. Headings should be used consistently throughout the site (on every page) to give the content structure and to maintain organization. Follow the guidelines for Page Titles above to ensure that headings are appropriate.

Use Headings, Subheadings and Smallheadings as provided by the CMS. Do not create your own headings in the HTML as this leads to inconsistencies in the site's structure and appearance.

Interesting, Relevant, Accurate, Complete, Concise Copy


The text on each page should be interesting to the target audience. Do not include mundane details that could obfuscate the goal of the paragraph or bore the reader.


All copy should be relevant to the title of the page. Do not include information that is unrelated to your topic.


Make sure that all information presented is correct. This includes, but not limited to, names, dates, locations, course information, policies and descriptive text. There is no instance where outdated or wrong information is acceptable.


Include all information needed about a subject. Include all relevant data. If some important information is unknown or yet to be determined, include all known facts.


The next newsletter will be sent this summer.

Needs Improvement

The next newsletter will be sent out soon.


Brevity is important in web writing. Do not say in 100 words what could be said in 50. Do not say in 50 words what could be said in 20. Accomplish this by tightening the language, being direct and cutting overly detailed information. Ask the following questions about your paragraph:

  • Is it clear?
  • Is there a simpler way to say this?
  • Is there a shorter way to say this?
  • Is this necessary?


Transportation Services provides information about campus parking and alternative modes of transportation with the ultimate goal of reducing single occupancy vehicle trips.

Needs Improvement

Transportation Services provides transportation resources to the campus community with the ultimate goal of reducing single occupancy vehicle (SOV) trips to UW Bothell/Cascadia CC. Resources include an employee transportation coordinator dedicated to providing information and guidance to faculty, staff, and students for using alternative modes of transportation.

Text that is easily skimmed

  • Start the page with the conclusion as well as a short summary of the remaining content.
  • Divide large blocks of text into more manageable groups. Use Headings or Subheadings to further clarify the content of the paragraphs.
  • Use Headings, Subheadings and Smallheadings to give the document structure and organization. Users rely on skimming headlines to pick up the meaning of the text.
  • Convoluted writing and needlessly complex expressions significantly encumber a user's ability to comprehend content. Write simple sentences.
  • Each paragraph should contain only one idea.
  • Use lists when possible. They are easy to skim and understand.

Impeccable Spelling and Grammar

There should be absolutely no spelling errors in the text. Similarly, make sure there are no grammar errors. If unsure, ask someone or refer to the AP Stylebook. Have a coworker proofread your writing.

Appropriate and Consistent Text Styles

  • Use italics to indicate book titles and the like.
  • Do not use underlines.  (Users think they're links)
  • Use bold to sparingly highlight key phrases or emphasize points.
  • Do not colorize your own text.
  • Do not manually adjust font size.
  • Do not use UPPERCASE for anything except acronyms.

Appropriate Use of Images and Photos

Images and photos should be used to add context, meaning or otherwise support the page text.

  • Images must be original, free of copyright or been granted permission for use.
  • People in photos must have a signed release on file.
  • Photos must be sharp and well colored.
  • Photos and images must have a border (added in the CMS) and a caption (added in the CMS) unless the image is non-rectangular.
  • Image resolution should be 72dpi.
  • Maximum image size is 40kb.
  • Photos and images must be resized to:
    • A minimum of 60px by 60px
    • A maximum of 560px by 400px
    • Special allowances may be made for images up to 752px wide.
  • Do not use webcam images or cell phone photos.
  • Do not use flashing, flickering, blinking or other animated images.
  • All images and photos must have alternate text.
  • Captions are recommended but not required.
  • Use appropriate image format to ensure best image quality and smallest file size
    • JPEG for photos and full-color images
    • PNG for line drawings, low-mid color images, and images with transparency
    • GIF for line drawings, low-color images and images with transparency