Guidelines for Building with a University Theme

The University Web themes provide a powerful set of graphic elements and interactive features, but for your site to be most effective you must offer visitors compelling written and visual content. The Web themes offer great flexibility and customization, but it is important you properly match theme elements to ensure the style and content work effectively together.

It is best to create your core content before you begin building your site. Our team can help you locate resources to help with written and visual content creation. Often times we can provide basic University images to supplement your custom photography. We can also advise you on selecting the appropriate University theme elements, and how to plan for your site's growth. Your site will require and ongoing and iterative process of revision and refinement.

While there are many things to consider when building a site with the University themes, we've created a list of tips and advice to help you assemble your site:

Use only photographs in the provided image spaces.

  • Photos should fill the rectangular space.
  • Do not use clip art.
  • Do not use masked/transparent background images.
  • Do not use text in images.

Be mindful of the length of columns.

  • Avoid including a very lengthy right column when the main body of the page is short.
  • It is acceptable to have main body much longer, but when possible, try to maintain a balance of text in columns.
  • Try to maintain a balance of text and image content.
  • Keep landing pages “scannable”. Do not write lengthy summary text. Use bulleted lists for links.

Include the essential layout elements.

  • The theme will appear to be broken if it is insufficiently populated. 
  • Include at least one right column block on inside pages. Occasionally use images in these blocks when possible.
  • Be mindful of the intended length of text. Edit your text to fit within the design elements. If editing isn’t possible, use a different design element.
  • When summary text (in blocks or on landing pages) is too short or too long, the theme loses consistency and usability is affected.
  • Try to maintain consistent lengths of text in various elements. Text should be scannable and relatively short.