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Development Guidelines

This page describes guidelines primarily for developers who are approved to develop Oakland University sites and applications outside of the supported content management systems. However, CMS users may use this as a reference. 

Approval Standards

  • Any of OU’s public websites need to be reviewed and approved by UCM before they can be made live and linked to the main OU website.
  • Content should comply with OU style and editorial guidelines.
  • UCM reserves the right to review a site at any time and change or remove content if it is deemed to be incongruent with official university positions/message or OU’s website style and standards.

Technical Standards

  • Sites must render in current versions of all industry standard browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari. Effort should be made to ensure that sites render the same in all browsers.
  • Sites should not use browser specific code in the delivery of critical content, but rather should comply with HTML standards.
  • Websites should not use a fixed height design.
  • Websites should use a fixed width design and be developed for 1024 x 768 resolution (970 actual pixel width). Users who wish to develop for 800 x 600 resolution (755 actual pixel width) are required to obtain special permission from UCM.

Design Standards and Conventions

  • All site pages should clearly indicate that they are part of the Oakland University website by way of high visibility graphic elements (header, top navigation, etc).
  • Each page must have a descriptive title (<TITLE>) tag and should include the words “Oakland University”. This is important because it appears in bookmarks and search results.
  • Frames (<FRAMESET> or <FRAME>) are not allowed on any Oakland University website.
  • Inline frames (<IFRAME>) are allowed but should always be implemented to be transparent to the visitor of the website.
  • Content should be optimized for delivery over the Web as much as possible. This is especially important for images, video, audio and any file that embeds these elements (like PowerPoint).
  • Whenever a link is made to a non-standard Web file type (ex: WPD), the file type should be indicated.
  • Whenever possible, files should be named exclusively in lowercase. Special characters should not be used if possible. Links to files should match the file casing exactly. All of these things will ensure portability across platforms, especially to environments that are case sensitive.
  • Every site should identify at least one point of contact in case the Web surfer has questions.
  • Sites should be made as disability compliant as possible.
  • No visible reference is to be made to development houses or contracted developers outside of Oakland University.

Fonts and Colors

  • The default font is Verdana. Arial and Helvetica are acceptable for websites outside of the CMS.
  • Fonts should use relative sizing so that the user can resize the fonts if desired.
  • Text links in all websites should be maroon, bold and not underlined.
  • Text links on hover in all websites should be gold, bold and underlined.
  • Text content must be easily readable, including to those with visual disabilities. Text must have a reasonable contrast with the background over which it is laid.
  • Background graphics for an entire website are not allowed.
  • Official OU colors are as follows:

Black: #000000 (R: 0, G: 0, B: 0)
White: #FFFFFF (R: 255, G: 255, B: 255)
Maroon (links only): #840831 (R:132, G:8, B:49)
Gold: #AF8E37 (R:175, G:142, B:55)
Tan: #E7D19A (R:231, G:209, B:154)

Use of the OU Logo 

  • The OU logo should not be used more than once per Web page. It should be used as a whole image. It must appear on a white background.
  • The proportion must not be adjusted. Elements cannot be used as graphic or design pieces. It may not be screened back as a design element.
  • Type may not be placed over the logo or any portion of it.
  • Use of the OU logo is subject to review and approval of UCM.
  • For more information, see the Logos, Mark and Fonts pages.

Navigation

  • All public sites should include a consistent navigation along the top of the screen for navigation to high level areas of the OU site. This common navigation also helps to visually distinguish OU sites.
  • Site specific navigation should be primarily on the left side, and should persist in a consistent way through each page of the site. Contact information (name, address, phone, fax, etc.) should appear at the bottom of the left-hand navigation.
  • Use of pullout menus is allowed, but we do not recommend menus that go more than 2 levels deep.
  • Navigation should be disability compliant.

Copyright and Privacy
A standard footer must appear at the bottom of every page and should include the following information: