Information Technology Services

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Textual Elements

Headings

  • Use heading tags rather than font styles to create headers and subheaders for sections.
  • The topmost heading on any page should be formatted as H1. In the ITS templates, this heading is already set to be "Information Technology Services."
  • The content of each page should begin with H2. There can be only one H2 per page. Subsequent headings should be formatted as H3, H4, etc.
  • Use meaningful headings to organize the information. Avoid clever or cryptic headings that don't make sense on their own. Readers often scan the headings first to pick up the meaning of the text.
  • Avoid organizing your text in a hierarchy deeper than four levels; lower-level headings are harder to distinguish and can be disorienting to online readers.

Lists

  • When the order of entries is important, use an ordered list.
  • If order does not matter, use an unordered list organized with bullet points.
  • All items in a list should contain the same syntax (i.e., all should be noun forms, phrases, full sentences, etc.).
  • Try to limit the number of items in a single list to no more than nine.
  • Generally, limit lists to no more than two levels: primary and secondary. If your list extends beyond four levels, consider restructuring for better readability.
  • To create indented text underneath a bulleted or numbered point, use the <br> tag, not a <blockquote>.
  • When you have a list of links, separate them using an unordered list, not carriage returns (<p> and <br>).

Tables

  • Only use tables for TABULAR DATA. Tabular data is data that is logically organized not just in rows, but also in columns.
  • Avoid using tables for design purposes.
  • Visually impaired readers may use an electronic device to read content; therefore, clear information with proper headers is imperative to make the information available to ALL readers.
  • Include a summary with each table.
Example: <table summary="Data Services Committees">
  • Use table headers to label the information in the columns and rows.
Example: <th>Committee</th>

Hyperlinks

  • If the information can be presented concisely on the current page, do not use a hypertext link.
  • Give your links descriptive names rather than the actual URL or words such as "click here."
  • Use relative links, not absolute links. A relative link can be used when linking between locations within a Web site. It is created when the href value is relative to the location of the current webpage. An absolute link is one that contains the entire URL.
  • Unless you are linking directly to a file, such as a PDF, add a final slash (/) at the end of the path.
  • Use anchors to link to information in lengthy documents where scrolling up or down a page is necessary.

Acronyms

Acronyms for terms and organizations may be used in the text as long as the full name followed by the acronym in parentheses occurs on its first use.

FAQ Pages

  • Standard Frequently Asked Questions pages should contain all questions listed together (by topic if necessary), followed by each question and its answer.
  • Link the questions at the start of the document to its answer below to ensure that readers can quickly access an answer to an individual question if needed.
  • Limit the number of questions (per topic) to ten or less.