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Saturday, Dec 20, 2014

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Renea Morris

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Branding OHIO through consistency in web design


Successful brands show consistency across all channels. Consistency in print and web design demonstrates reliability, makes a site easier to navigate, and builds greater brand awareness.

Websites should be consistent inside and out. Internally consistent sites apply standards throughout all of the content. For example, a user who encounters "search" at the top right on one page will have problems if it is in a different location on other pages. In addition, using consistent language will make your site appear simpler and more authoritative.

When a website is externally consistent, it adheres to norms found elsewhere on the Internet. For example, the organization’s logo should appear at the top left of the page and navigation on the top or left (or both) of the page. Surfing speed is slower when a site’s design is inconsistent, potentially causing users to lose interest in the site.

The power of a consistent user experience is important for Ohio University. We’ve already begun using branded headers and footers on web pages throughout the university’s website to help ensure readers know where they are at all times.

Two types of web page headers and footers – wide and narrow versions, are available for use with university sites that are created in CommonSpot, the university’s content management system. Using a consistent system makes it possible for non-technical people to easily manage website content and images.

The narrow header is made available for use on most of the university's inside pages, taking up less real estate and still providing that key source to return to the home page. This narrow version is reserved for web use and e-mail signatures only. Here are some examples:

When a web page is hosted on an Ohio University server, the URL is “ohio.edu” followed by the rest of the name. This nomenclature is another way to build awareness of the university’s brand and provide an easy reference for users each time they want to return.
Go to ohio.edu/brand/web/banners.cfm, to see Ohio University web headers and footers.

Source: Information & Design