Notre Dame’s public-facing websites should be the best in higher education. Digital communications have created a sea change in the ways humans communicate, and consistent excellence across Notre Dame’s hundreds of websites is necessary to defend our reputation and brand.
The Notre Dame Web Team is committed to websites with the following values:
Easy to Use
Websites in higher education are content-heavy and highly practical. In most cases, users are coming to find information, rather than browse casually. As a result, the Notre Dame Web Team places a high priority on simple navigational practices across all devices.
Over 1,000 campus staff update content on Notre Dame’s websites - some every day, some less often. Our administration system (Conductor) is simple, intuitive, and user-friendly.
Notre Dame’s websites exist as a part of a network, each representing Notre Dame in their own way. Each needs to reflect its relationship to the University through brand elements (logos, colors, fonts) that establish a baseline of consistency for our users. A level of consistency and professionality reflects well upon the University.
The written content on each website should be well crafted. A website is nothing but a delivery mechanism for great content. Poorly written web copy reflects poorly upon the University.
Websites are constantly evolving communications tools; those that are ignored reflect poorly upon the University. It’s the responsibility of campus communicators to maintain, update, and defend their websites by updating them with content that’s timely relevant, and fitting with each website's content strategy.
All Notre Dame websites should be hosted on secure servers. This includes using a trusted host, and adding a SSL certificate. Site administrators should also take responsibility for making sure their CMS and add-ons have the latest patches and security updates (if you’re using Conductor, we have you covered).
The largest factor in website abandonment is page load speed. Slow-loading websites aren’t engaged. As a result, the Notre Dame Web Team optimizes websites to load quickly.
Overseas networks are often underdeveloped relative to those in the United States. Notre Dame’s commitment to global influence requires websites that load quickly on weaker networks around the world.
With these factors in mind, the Notre Dame Web Team prioritizes web practices that lead to fast-loading websites.
Mobile & tablet website traffic continues to increase. For many websites on campus, mobile usage now exceeds desktop usage. Every website the Notre Dame Web Team designs is fully responsive for use across all devices.
Sites should be built and designed in a way to make them usable by every user regardless of device or situation. It can include making sites more accessible for all: blind, deaf, physically challenged, cognitively challenged, distracted, non-native English speakers, and others, including any level of access needs.