Review and updates
All content must be:
All content on DukeHealth.org must meet user needs as well as Duke University Health System brand objectives.
In addition to the guidelines in this document we use the follow resources:
Navigation labels are the text that denotes the elements in the top and left navigation.
Page titles are located above the body content within a page, and are usually represented by a larger font. They are similar to headlines, and function as "road signs" that indicate what page a user is on.
Subheads are headings for subdivisions of text within a page.
A link is text or a graphic that is hyperlinked to another Web page, a file, or another place on the same page (an "anchor link").
A list is a grouping of content that contains a series of similar items.
A table is information arranged in rows and columns.
Help content gives users a better understanding of the information that's presented on a particular page.
Error messages appear when a user has entered invalid information, or when the site is not functioning as it should.
E-mails are electronic messages sent to an individual or a defined distribution list. DUHS may use e-mails for marketing, transactions, or customer service purposes.
Buttons are links that have a graphical treatment. When a user clicks on a button, they go to another page.
Footnotes are notes of reference, explanation, or disclaimer that are placed below the main content on a page.
An acronym is a word formed from the initial letter of each of the major parts of a compound term. (Ex: DUHS)
A form is a page on which a user enters information, such as name, address, or phone number.
Metadata is information about a Web page that is used for indexing and search engines.
Do not use an ampersand unless it is part of an official title.
Use a bold typeface to place emphasis on a word or phrase. When used in moderation, bolding can make long paragraphs easier to digest.
Bullets help a user scan the page.
All the major words are capitalized -- everything except articles, conjunctions, and prepositions. Question marks and exclamation points are used where appropriate. For example:
Women Take Heart
The first word of a sentence is capped, along with all proper nouns. For example: Debbie knew something was wrong immediately.
The first word of a fragment is capped, along with all proper nouns. No period at the end of the sentence. Question marks and exclamation points are used where appropriate. For example: Questions about your billing statement from Duke
Do not use m-dashes. Some Web browsers are unable to read them. Instead, use a double dash (--). Place a space before and after the dashes.
In most cases, use this date format:
January 1, 2006
On the home pages and areas where space is at a premium, an abbreviated alternate is:
Only use the abbreviated version when it is clear that the date refers to the current year.
Italics can be difficult to read on a computer screen. Use them sparingly. For emphasis, use bold instead.
Use numbered lists when items are sequential, such as steps in a procedure. Otherwise, use a bulleted list.
PDFs should be avoided, if possible. If appropriate, translate text from a PDF into HTML so user doesn't have to download the file to access the information. If a PDF is necessary, denote PDF downloads as follows:
Phone numbers should be easily recognized. If you need to include a phone number in a long paragraph, break the paragraph up into chunks instead.
Semicolons are not easy to see on a Web page. Avoid if possible -- use a double dash instead.
Avoid relative time references, such as soon, last year, or now. See Dates entry for how to format dates.
This convention links users back to the top of the page. Place it at the end of very long pages. On pages that use anchor links, place it after each anchored section. For FAQ pages that would be after each question and answer that is anchored to from the top of the page.
Capitalize the T, and align left:
Do not underline text for emphasis. In Web conventions, underlined text indicates a hyperlink.