Images and downloads

Images

Subject matter

Academic homepages
Images used on academic homepages should follow the general University brand, e.g. a person/or people. Photography is done for each department for the print prospectus, but new images can be sourced if preferred.

Other images
There is much more flexibility with images elsewhere on your website. It is best where possible to use images appropriate to the subject of a page. Random images that have no relevance to the page can look unprofessional.

General guidance: While pictures make a website more attractive they should not impede on the text. A page dominated by overly bold or large graphics will distract or repel users looking for more substantive content.

Equally, a page that takes a long time to download is likely to exclude a portion of the potential audience.

Tips and guidelines

  • File size. When adding images to a page try not to add too many as this might contribute to a slow loading web page which can be a turn off to potential users. The new CMS has advanced caching software that speeds the serving of web pages to a user but keeping the page file size as small as possible will help.
     
  • Image size. One focus for the new website is high-resolution photography. For best results on high-resolution screens, please use an image up to 2560x2560px. The minimum permitted image size is 800x450px. The maximum file size permitted is 32MB.
     
  • Alt text. Always add meaningful alt text - text that is displayed or read out in place of a picture. CMS requires that alt text be added for all pictures but it is not sufficient to simply write 'picture'. Try to be as concise but descriptive as possible.
     
  • File type. Images should be saved as a JPEG (.jpg or .jpeg), block graphics (clip art, words etc.) should be saved as a GIF (.gif) or PNG (.png).
     
  • Editing. Beware of excessive 'Photoshopping'. Photoshop is a very powerful tool when used sympathetically, but many of the more 'creative' options, such as blurred edges, are not suitable for an information website.
     
  • Linking images. It is sometimes useful to make an image link to another page on your website. However, always add an alternative text link.

Downloads

Any document that will open using another application (such as Acrobat Reader or Word) is classed as a download. Downloads can be saved to a user's computer, viewed, and/or printed and closed.

For longer pieces of text, such as newsletters, brochures and forms, it is often useful to offer the information as a download as well as or instead of a web page.

Labelling a download
Always use descriptive text for a download. It should be immediately obvious when a link is a download, including the format of the download (e.g. PDF, Word).

All downloads should be labelled as such. The type of file that will open (e.g. PDF, Word) and the size of the file (e.g. 1MB) should be included in the link text.

E.g.: Writing for the web guidelines (PDF 49KB)

Types of downloadable document allowed

  • Microsoft Word (.doc)
  • Adobe PDF (.pdf)
  • Adobe Shockwave (.swf)
  • Quicktime by Apple (.mov)
  • Microsoft Excel (.xls)
  • Comma-separated values file (.csv)
  • Microsoft Powerpoint (.ppt) or Powerpoint Show (.pps)

Get in touch

If you have CMS questions or are stuck then get in touch and we'll do our best to help.

Contact us.