Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Academic Department Web Site Guidelines

With the goal of integrating all aspects of the Franklin & Marshall web site into a cohesive and easily navigated system, we have a set of recommended standards and guidelines for Academic Departmental sites.  These guidelines were planned and suggested by the Provost's office and the Web Advisory Group (WAG) during the 2008-09 Web redesign project.

Faculty and professional staff profiles are generated through the functionality of the College's online directory.

Header Images and Call-outs

The header images and callouts provide an avenue for each department to create its own unique brand and look, yet still provide the entire Franklin & Marshall site a uniform and consistent look and feel.   The three horizontal header images appear just below the primary F&M header and navigation.  A call-out is an item, link, or story you would like to highlight on the website.  The placement of the call-outs is dependent upon departmental choice, and could appear as a right side bar, blue background, with up to three stories.

Navigation

The content of the left navigation bar should include the following items:

  • Field of Study information, which can be the content of the main page, or because some departments have multiple Fields of Study, the first links in the side bar should be that particular Field of Study name at F&M.  This is a departmental choice as to which model to use.  Additionally, this is the page which is linked to from Admission as well as the main body of the Academics landing page.
  • Curriculum Overview and Courses Offered, replaces the separate College Catalog page
  • Faculty & Professional Staff, is dynamically generated and automatically updated overnight
  • Contact Information should, at least, include the postal address, location, telephone, FAX, and the name and a email link to the Academic Department Coordinator as well as the Department Chair.

If a department wants to have additional information on courses that is not covered in the Courses Offered section, there should be a navigation bar link just under Courses Offered entitled Additional Course Information.  This is where a number of departments have housed the Major and Minor information and simply titled it Additional Course Information.

Departments can add optional navigation bar links such as Research, Events and Seminars,  Photo Albums, etc. between the Faculty & Professional Staff and Contact Information links.

If a department has a number of links which are directed toward current students, then those links should be grouped under one navigation bar link entitled For Current Students, with a landing page.  The content under that landing page in the navigation bar then becomes a sub-menu of For Current Students.  This allows the easiest and quickest navigation for this audience group.

If there are more than 7 options in a menu or the side bar, navigation becomes difficult for Web visitors. If there are more than 10, it becomes practically impossible for users to differentiate between the options.

We recommend keeping the number of links to 10 or less. Keep your web visitor's experience in mind and group pages and links into helpful categories (e.g., For Current Students).

Getting Help

If you have any questions or would like training on the CMS, please attend one of our ITS Help Clinics which are held weekly in our effort to provide direct one-on-one training for the College community.  More information on our Clinics and other resources for your website can be found on the ITS Web Support page.

For consultation and assistance in helping you better understand your needs, suggestions as to training sessions, and with help mapping out a plan for your web page or site, please feel free to contact , Assistant Director of Web Services, Information Technology Services.