Pierce College Website Content and Accessibility Standards
The Pierce College website follows:
- Pierce College Writing Style Guide, including AP style
- Pierce College Brand Standards
- Pierce College Logo Standards
- These Web Content and Accessibility Guidelines
We also follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. Our goal is for all pages to follow Level AA standards.
Content Updates to Existing Web Pages
To request a simple content update to the college website or intranet, please email your request to email@example.com.
- The URL of the page to update (e.g., https://www.pierce.ctc.edu/marcom)
- The specific changes needed or new files that need to be added
- If you are sending revisions to an existing page, please track or highlight the changes you want in the new version
New Web Pages or Web Page Rework
The College website launched in 2017 has a standardized design. The design includes standard fonts, colors, layouts, menus, link styles, and graphics. It was developed by professional web designers with the following goals:
- Create a consistent look and feel throughout the website for students and other website users.
- Adopt a minimalist approach to help website users easily skim and find information.
- Professionally represent the Pierce College brand.
- Adapt to multiple screen sizes, with primary focus on smaller mobile screens (responsive).
- Meet legal requirements for website accessibility and ease of use with screen readers.
- Follow current web best practices as established by the W3C Worldwide Web Consortium.
In 2017, the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations awarded Pierce College a District 7 regional gold medallion award for our new website design.
We have a few layout/design templates for web pages that follow these goals. Within these templates, the following items are adjustable:
- The content/text/words on each page, including how the text and headlines are organized.
- Which pages to include in a department’s section, including the addition or removal of pages.
- Which items appear on right-side menus (not how these menus look — this is standardized for the College).
- Images to include on a page (in already established sizes for established page layouts). Images must be high quality, meet accessibility requirements, and have a signed photo release for any individuals in the photos.
- We do not add fonts in other colors than the standard fonts, and we don’t add backgrounds. Both of these practices can violate accessibility requirements.
While we recognize that design can always be improved, we also value the web user experience, branding consistency and accessibility. So we will adhere to the design templates for new content. Design elements can be subjective, and you may prefer a different look. But studies show that as long as design is not an obstacle, a consistent design is helpful to website users as they travel throughout the site. Design variations within a website can be an obstacle to easily finding information. At some point, we may revisit the design to keep it fresh. If we make changes, we would consult a professional designer and implement design changes on a site-wide basis. You can send design change suggestions to be considered in future redesigns to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The website home page is a Pierce College asset. It has a unique design and more involved programming because it serves a specific purpose as the College’s primary online presence. Changes to the College home page and top and bottom site-wide menus are rare and must be approved by the director of marketing and communications in possible consultation with the executive team.
To request new web pages or content rework for your department's pages, please get approval of your dean or director and complete a work request. We will then consult with you on selecting the best design template for the proposed content.
- The Pierce College website has a standard design and templates and site-wide CSS. All pages must follow established designs.
- For consistency and accessibility, we avoid inline styles. (An inline style is custom HTML/CSS that is used to apply a unique style for a single element). These may be used on a rare basis to supplement the CSS or for unique needs.
- Clean, minimal HTML that validates to the recommendations established by the W3C is required for responsiveness, accessibility and for site-wide style consistency (CSS).
- Inline styles and custom formatting that overrides the CSS are generally not allowed.
- The web content manager or Web Services developers may override or update styles on a case-by-case basis as needed and at their discretion.
- Headings and white space improve readability and usability on the web. Use them to break up text in logical ways. Most web users skim pages rather than read. Headings make the content easier to skim, and also helps website users with assistive devices.
- Heading tags/styles must be applied in consecutive order on a page, according to the logical flow of the text, not for style/appearance.
- All headings must have a heading tag, and are not formatted using inline styles.
- We generally avoid posting PDF files on the website, to ensure accessibility.
- If the PDF is informational, we turn it into a web page.
- If the PDF is a form, it can stay a PDF (for now), but the form should not collect HIPAA, financial, FERPA-protected or other sensitive information.
- Pages on our website are printable. Users can create print versions of the web page by printing from their browser.
- To request addition of a new photo for a web page, send the photo to email@example.com with the URL of the page you want to add it to.
- Banner photos at the top of a web page, landing page photos and icons must be added by a website administrator. Contact the web content manager with questions about changing the major photos.
- All images must be web quality and include alternative text and a title tag.
- Images with embedded text should generally not be used. Logos and images with limited text are an exception, but must include alternative text that has the embedded text or indicates they are logos.
- Do not use “click here” in link text; this is an accessibility issue. Link only text that describes where the link goes:
NOT: For more information, click here.
NOT: Click here to visit the financial aid web page.
BUT INSTEAD: For more information, visit the Financial Aid web page.
Copyrighted Material or Duplicated Content
- We do not duplicate content from non-College websites onto our website. We will link to that information on the website that hosts it, if appropriate.
- Copyrighted images, graphics or text cannot be posted on the College website unless written permission from the copyright owner is documented and provided to Marketing and Communications.
- Accessibility standards require that table formatting be used only for displaying truly tabular data, not for layout or design.
- Tables must have header rows and descriptions.
- Send files that need to be added or replaced to firstname.lastname@example.org with the URL for the page it needs to be on.
- Our content management system doesn't like spaces in filenames. Preferred file-naming convention is lowercase, no spaces, with hyphens between words: drupal-guidelines.pdf
- We can create simple website forms that email information to a Pierce College recipient.
- Forms on the website cannot collect HIPAA, financial, FERPA-protected or other sensitive information.
- All videos posted to the website must be hosted on the Pierce College YouTube channel and include close captioning. Contact the media technician supervisor about hosting a video on the College YouTube channel.
- Only the web content manager and website administrators can add videos. Special coding is required to make them responsive.
- Videos should include a title tag for accessibility.