About this guide
This guide contains basic guidelines for editing web pages on our public web site.
Color: use sparingly
Emphasizing text with color
If you also want to use color to emphasize something, use the orange color "#CC6600." (Never use red).
Don't use color alone to emphasize something (there may be issues for color blind people). Use it in combination with bold or some other way to emphasize the text.
If you create a table for displaying information on a page, use the following colors:
Pale gray (#CCCCCC) for the header row and pale yellow (#FFFFCC) for other cells that need highlighting.
Linking: open in same page, or new tab?
When linking to other pages, almost always choose to link within the same browser window. Don't have the links open in a new tab or window!!
Usability tests have proven that users don't like to have many tabs or windows open, and the web browsing experience becomes disorienting when new tabs open unexpectedly. Today's web users are savvy enough to understand how the back button works and find it irritating to have to close multiple tabs.
Exception to the rule: There are very few exceptions to this, so think very hard before you choose to have a link open in a new tab. One exception might be if a user needs to consult the current page after they open the linked page.
Linking to Barton keyword search results
We have a list of shortcut URLs that link to the most popular pages that people want to link to. Use these shortcut URLs to assure that links never break if we move the content.
Use the "get URL" to link to databases in Vera. Ex.: http://libraries.mit.edu/get/worldcat The get URL is listed after each database in Vera.
We also have "info URLs" for each database in Vera. These link to the metadata about each database. Ex.: http://libraries.mit.edu/info/compendex
URL & file-naming conventions
Use lower-case file names
Be concise, & use words instead of abbreviations, where possible
Use dashes ( - ), not underscores ( _ )