The new USF site allows a much greater freedom of expression throughout the schools, colleges, and offices that make up the USF community than there has been in the past. It has been the goal of the site’s designers to help USF break out of the heavy green box that’s constrained all of USF’s Web communications to date, and create opportunities for diversity and self-definition that we hope will make the site’s stakeholders feel more committed to, and engaged with, their sites.
This engagement — along with content management tools that are easier to use and training to use them effectively — will, we hope, keep USF's stakeholders more involved with their Web sites on a day-to-day basis. This in turn will mean fresher content, more attention to detail and, over the course of time, more effective and healthy online communication processes.
In short: For those of you who maintain content at USF, we want you to maintain it often and attentively, and for that to happen, we know that the site maintenance process has to become enjoyable. Design and content management tools are both important parts of this effort.
Individual institutions will have considerable leeway in making decisions about the graphic elements that drive their Web pages. But it's also important that the integrity of the site's design be preserved across all its pages. We wouldn't want a page on the Business School site to look like a page from the Performing Arts department. But a student who is interested in business and social justice might look at both pages, and we want them both to communicate similarly — to share a family resemblance.
The purpose of this document is to define that family resemblance, in the form of those design elements that can be changed, and those that can't be.
Next page: Permanent design elements »