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ToC7. Requirements for site authors and designers

All UCC web pages are required on the specific instructions of the College to be viewable (completely, but not necessarily optimally) in all browsers. The publishing of pages which will only work with a specific make or version of browser is not permitted unless they are intended for a restricted set of users such as members of an intranet site or committee, where it is known that all those users have the required software, and where control of the software version is possible.

‘Completely, but not necessarily optimally’ means that your information must be visible to all users even if it means sacrificing some of the aesthetics of layout or formatting for those users who do not have the full level of technology available. While the development of pages which present a ‘rich browsing experience’ (to use the designer/marketing jargon) is encouraged, this must not be at the expense of those who cannot see the information.

All designers must read the note about the Web Content Management System. All new UCC web sites for colleges, faculties, departments, offices, units, and centres must conform to the standard UCC page designs by using the CMS. The former free-for-all of allowing any site to look any way is not permitted. There are some exceptions for research projects, and for student clubs and societies: see the warning panel ‘Using the Content Management System’.

Do not write pages which lock out specific classes of users (eg Microsoft users, Mac users, Unix users, users with disabilities, etc). Pages which infringe these rules will be removed or made inaccessible without warning and replaced by a functional version which fulfils this requirement. For further information on making pages accessible to those with disabilities, please see the Irish National Disability Authority IT Accessibility Guidelines.

Remember that the site you are in charge of is not your information, it's UCC's information: you are only the custodian for the time being. Don't do things which will foul it up for whoever comes after you.

Designers should read the article by Jeffrey Zeldman referred to earlier, 99.9% of Websites Are Obsolete, which explains some of the reasons why these rules are here.

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