How to Create a Successful Site

The Office of Communications provides guidance for departments seeking to launch new sites; website editors are consulted on website UX and strategy. Adoption of the below principles will ensure alignment with best practices and support site success.

Think of Users First

Provide your visitors with value in exchange for their time and attention: enriching content, simple engagement opportunities, and a stress-free navigation experience. 

Don’t Make Me Think

The seminal user experience text from Steve Krug recommends that sites be designed to remove user friction through simple navigation, clear button titles, minimal text, and the use of a visual hierarchy.

Watch Don’t Make Me Think

Use Writing Best Practices to Ensure Readthrough

Jakob Nielsen, Ph.D., recognized as a leader in User Experience, recommends limiting word count and building pages for scanning. Nielsen’s research indicates that users will read about 20% of the text on the average page.

  • Be clear and concise.
  • Break up paragraphs with subheadings.
  • Use bullet points for lists of three or more items.
  • UNE follows the Associated Press style of writing. Download UNE Style Guide.

Visual Appeal Matters

38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content/layout is unattractive. (Source: Adobe). Maintain a clean layout without an overabundance of content. Use quality images and video to add interest and to help users understand site content.

Promote Accessibility

The sites are designed to comply with accessibility guidelines, and your content should also support access. It is best to avoid placing copy in image form and to always use “alt” tags for your uploaded images (so that screen readers can describe each image).