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Guidelines and Best Practices

General Checklist – Applies to all types of content.

  • Is your event titled properly? People browse information quickly. Clear, concise titles go a long way towards attracting readers.
  • Is your content spelled correctly? Is it grammatically correct? Please continue to reflect a professional University image. We stress to our students the importance of writing; let’s reflect this in our communications to them.
  • Does your content contain enough information so the recipient understands the message you are trying to send? Do not assume that everyone reading will have a familiarity with terms, abbreviations, or other things that seem clear to you. If applicable, does the information answer the 5 W’s: who, what, when, where, and why?
  • Are you using fonts, colors, and other styling effects in a manner consistent with the rest of the content in the portal? Remember that while a particular font or color may be fun, it may be distracting or make your content difficult to read. For example, red on a brown background is hard to read for some people. Consider all your recipients, even the color blind.
  • Did you target your content to the appropriate recipients? Remember, recipients can choose to ignore all future content from your workgroup. We are all competing for the users’ attention and time; respecting that will help improve your messages to not be characterized as the equivalent of “portal spam.”
  • Did you proofread your content? If you don’t want to take the time to publish a well-formed, meaningful message, it is doubtful that your recipients will want to read it.
  • If you uploaded an image, is it a correct size?  Uploading a full-sized photo from a digital camera is not only large, but takes a long time for users to download as well (consider those viewing the portal on a mobile phone!).

Calendar Entries

  • Is the date and time accurate of your calendar entry?
  • If you marked your entry as an All Day Event, is it truly an all-day event?  Something from 9am-5pm, for example, may span the whole work day, but it has a concrete start and end time, and your calendar entry should reflect this.

Announcements

  • Is the announcement start date and end date appropriate? As a rule of thumb we suggest announcements don’t run for longer than a month.

Web Pages

  • Did you write an accurate description of your web page? The search engine uses this, and displays the description when the user hovers over it in the menu as well as in the master A-Z Index of all portal content.
Center for Instructional Delivery • University of St. Francis • Joliet, IL 60435 • [815] 740-5080 • cid@stfrancis.edu
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