Web Guidelines & Standards

Website Design Basic Guidlines

Just like our printed communications, the information we post online should be quickly accessible and visually consistent with the Ozarks Technical Community College (OTC) brand. The more intuitive and simple the organization, the more likely the user will interact with and return to the site. Web sites should be able to stand alone and give visitors a sense of the brand with every click. They also have the ability to link the many different departments together to show the extensive reach OTC has in the state, nation and world. From type to photography to tone, all the design elements can be used here to help advance the brand through this very powerful medium.
OTC Web sites and pages should be developed with the following principles in mind:

User-centric design
Through every step of Web design and development, consider the needs, goals and expectations of your site's users. Clearly define and prioritize your audiences. Then design the content, layout, organization, navigation, structure and functionality for those audiences.

Brand consistency
Make sure your users know your site is part of OTC. Design Web sites in such a way that every element of the site supports the College brand. Use the base RedDot training guide to assist with the online creative process.

Strong content
Content is the heart and soul of every Web site. Without it, most sites wouldn't exist. Create content that is engaging, interesting, up-to-date, accurate, on-brand and most importantly, relevant and valuable to your audiences.

Think about what your users want from your site. Consider how they want it to work, what words and language resonate and what information is most important to them. Make every element of the site intuitive for your users (not just for the site's designers or department heads).

Sound visual design
Most people prefer attractive sites, but they must also be functional. Good design comes from thoughtful use of the College's color palette, white space and typography while also positioning and leveraging existing Web conventions.

Structural markup
Keep design and content separate. Write Web code that presents a site's information in a structured, organized and intentional way, and use CSS to lay out the content.

Accessibility (section 508 compliance)
Like our College, our users are diverse. Site content needs to be accessible and useful to all of those users. OTC is committed to delivering accessible Web sites, and requires that sites comply with requirements outlined in section 508 of the United States government's Rehabilitation Act.

Keeping sites fresh and accurate requires consistent updates, revisions and modifications. Sites should be built for simple, efficient management and evolution. Web management tools should be chosen based on the needs of the sites' managers and contributors, not simply the Web developers or programmers.