The U-M Health System Web site, managed by the Department of Public Relations and Marketing Communications (PRMC), promotes our services and offers the community a valuable health resource. There is an internal site for our U-M Health System employees only, and an external site for employees and the rest of the community.
Direct any comments or questions about logo or terminology usage to PRMC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Required for All Home Pages
- Required for All Pages Within a Web site
- Recommended for All Pages
- What to Avoid
- List of Preferred Web Designers
- UMHS Logos and Other Images
- Additional References (includes UM guidelines and accessibility guidelines and tools)
The appropriate logo. You can download or copy logos for the Health System, Hospitals and Health Centers, and Medical School. The U-M Health System logo should always link to http://www.med.umich.edu, the U-M Hospitals and Health Centers logo should link to http://www.med.umich.edu/healthcenters, and the U-M Medical School logo should always link to http://www.med.umich.edu/medschool.
Prominently identify the department, unit or project being promoted by the Web page. In addition, vital departmental information should be easily accessible, either on or via a link off the main page. This should include:
- department description, phone number(s), complete address, including e-mail address, if possible; and
- departmental contact for further information with a phone number, address, and e-mail address, if possible.
Identify the Web site's sponsoring department.
Provide an e-mail address for inquiries/comments about the page. Make sure someone is monitoring the e-mail address you publish.
All pages within a U-M Health System Web site must:
Present a critical mass of information. Pages that have nothing on them besides a generic footer or "under construction" graphics will not be linked. If there is no useful information on a page, wait until there is before requesting a link to the Health System site.
Comply with all legal regulations.
- When using people's photos on a home page, you must have a signed release granting permission to use their image on the Internet from all people who appear identifiably. Direct questions about this form to the Department of Public Relations, 734-764-2220, or at email@example.com.
- Observe copyright laws. Assume material is copyrighted unless otherwise indicated, and obtain permission before using it. More information regarding copyright laws is available at The Copyright Web site .
Contain only links that work, or label any links that don't. If a link is temporarily disabled, or use is restricted by password or location, it should be indicated so the reader doesn't have to try it before finding out it doesn't work.
Be updated regularly as the material dictates, and indicate when the information was last updated. Our attorney's office has indicated that we are at legal risk if we have health or medical information on our site that is below the standard of care. The U-M Health System is a national resource for expert health and medical information – our Web site should reflect this through up-to-date, reliable information. It's difficult for readers to trust the information on a page when they can't tell if it's been maintained regularly. This can be done by including a "last updated" line at the bottom of the page. On www.med.umich.edu, this can be done by including this code on your page: Last updated on: <!--#echo var="LAST_MODIFIED" -->
Have appropriate document titles. The title of the page should be specified using <TITLE></TITLE> tags, so that the file name isn't used as the title when the page is displayed or by search engines.
Recommended for All Pages
Design pages with a "standard" width of less than 750 pixels whenever possible. With some information or graphics, it's hard to avoid using a wider-than-standard page. But don't, for example, make readers resize their browser windows just to see your departmental logo in its entirety if it could easily be made smaller. Remember, not everyone wants to devote their entire screen to their web browser.
To reach the widest possible audience, try to make sure your pages are readable with a variety of browsers.
Use <alt=*> tags with images. While most web browsers are capable of displaying graphics, ALT tags also allow people with visual difficulties to use your Web site. The content of ALT tags is also displayed by most browsers when the cursor hovers over the image, which can make your page easier to understand for all users: <IMG ALT="Image: Important instructions for disarming nuclear devices" SRC="important.gif">
Links to commercial (.com) Web sites. Such links can imply U-M endorsement of any products or services sold on the site.
Dead ends and dead links. Dead ends are pages that have no links; dead links are links that don't work. Neither should be part of your web site.
Inappropriate material or links. In planning your Web site, particular attention should be paid to your intended audience. Not all material is suitable for worldwide distribution. Internal policies and procedures, meeting minutes, beeper numbers, home phone numbers, product costs, license agreements and contracts are examples of information that either must not, or should not, be published publicly. These are the current options for restricting access to your Web site on MCIT webservers.
Publishing personal/sensitive materials. When in doubt, apply the "Ann Arbor News Test": Would you be concerned if you saw the material in the Ann Arbor News? If so, don't publish it on your Web site.
Typos and grammatical errors. Information published on the Web has a far larger potential audience than any printed material, so be sure to review, spellcheck and proofread your pages.
Extensive advertising. If an outside contractor designs pages for the U-M Health System, the contractor should limit "this page designed by" type advertising to a single line, that can link to more extensive information if necessary.
Excessive number of pages under construction, or use of an "under construction" graphic. Most dynamic web pages are assumed to be constantly under construction, so the effectiveness of "under construction" graphics is debatable. If you feel you must use one, try to be specific about what is under construction and how long it's expected to take. Don't just leave the graphic on a page indefinitely.
Using graphics or esoteric/cutting edge HTML to publish essential information. Some examples:
- Don't make a graphic the only place your department's name appears. Remember that search engines can't "read" graphics.
- Don't make a java applet or Flash the only way someone can navigate your site.
Using annoying text effects. Consider the effect of such things as colored text on colored backgrounds, and italicizing large quantities of text.
Over-using special effects. Before using special effects such as fades, title animation or backgrounds, carefully consider why you are doing it. What effect will it have on the reader? All of these effects slow the time it takes your page to display to some extent – is it worth it? Don't use special effects just to show you can.
Using huge graphics that take a long time to load. Remember that not every user has a fast connection. In general, reduce the size of any graphic to the smallest it can be while still conveying the information necessary. This is especially important on main or directory-type pages, to which readers will need to return repeatedly.
Public Relations and Marketing Communications