ohio.edu Guidelines and Content Strategy 

Ohio University’s homepage www.ohio.edu is also known as the University’s “front door” and often serves as prospective students’ and their families’ first look at the University and their first OHIO experience. It provides the best opportunity for the University to make an initial impression that explains who we are and helps users find the information they are seeking.

Background

This page was developed as part of a University-wide branding initiative, which includes the redesign of OHIO’s homepage. The redesigned homepage was launched in October 2014.

Mission

The primary mission of the homepage is to facilitate the recruitment of prospective students through content and a user experience that compels potential students and their families to further explore the University and consider attending OHIO. Any requests for changes or additions to the homepage should serve the page’s primary audience, prospective students, and/or its secondary audience, parents and families of prospective students.

The homepage was also redesigned as one of several initiatives to elevate the OHIO brand and the institution as a whole. All elements of the homepage should conform to the University’s Brand Standards.

Page Elements and Publishing Guidelines

The University’s homepage is divided into four content zones that are noted in the infographic below:

ohio.edu Zones

Zone 1: The Global Header

The Global Header Zone includes the following elements:

  • Audience-Based Navigational Links to content organized by key audiences – Future Students, Parents/Family, Alumni/Friends, Current Students, and Faculty/Staff
  • Utility-Based Navigational Links to MyOHIO Portal, Campus E-mail, Regional Campuses, and eCampus. This element also includes a search function, allowing users to search all of ohio.edu for content.
  • The Official Ohio University Logo
  • Primary Calls to Action, which are quick links to information on three transactions – visiting Ohio University’s Athens Campus, applying for admission to Ohio University, and giving to the University.
  • Primary Navigation, which features a maximum of six content topic categories that represent six key areas of the OHIO experience and are tailored to the page’s primary and secondary audiences. Those six content topic categories, which were selected based on user feedback and current Internet trends and are designed to drive the user’s navigation, are:

    When clicked, each of these links will lead to a landing page. When the cursor hovers over each of these links, a menu of topic-oriented subpages appears. The number of topic-oriented subpages listed under each of the links is limited to six.

    Requests for additions or changes to the primary navigation element should be submitted to the Web Advisory Group.

Zone 2: Primary Content Zone

The Primary Content Zone consists solely of the Feature Image Slideshow, which is the first thing users see when they visit the University’s homepage. The primary purpose of the Feature Image Slideshow is to highlight the beauty of the Athens Campus to prospective students and their families. The photos featured in this area must make a lasting impression while establishing and maintaining a consistent thematic branding presence.

Photos in the Feature Image Slideshow must reinforce the message that OHIO is the top choice for prospective students and must fall into one of four categories that reflect Ohio University’s “it’s you” branding campaign. Those four categories are: Bobcat Pride, Supportive Professors, Home Away From Home, and Love at First Sight. Photos in the slideshow will be linked to timely information that will be located on one of four websites that correspond to the categories.

Feature Image Slideshow photos will be updated on a monthly schedule that will be augmented to include key campus events that will be selected by University Communications and Marketing (UCM), including Move-in/Go Green Weekend, Convocation, Homecoming, Commencement, etc. Particularly striking images also may reappear on occasion at the discretion of UCM.

Requests for placement in the Feature Image Slideshow should be directed to UCM.

Zone 3: News, Events, and Promotions

The News, Events and Promotions Zone includes the following elements:

  • Latest News, featuring headlines from Compass, Ohio University’s news and information website. This element includes a preview of one featured article in Compass, which must include a photo/artwork, as well as other Compass headlines that rotate above the featured article and a link to the Compass homepage. In order for a news/information item to appear in this section, it must be posted to the Compass website. For information on posting information to Compass, contact Compass editor George Mauzy at mauzy@ohio.edu.
  • Social OHIO, featuring links to four of Ohio University’s official social media channels as well as a link to the University’s Social Media Directory. The directory features many official social media channels from OHIO colleges, departments, campuses, offices and even courses of study. It also includes the University’s Social Media Guidelines. Be sure to visit this page to make sure your college, department or office’s social media account information is included and current.
  • Promotional Space Buttons, featuring two links – one to a virtual tour of the Athens Campus and the other specifically for members of the media.
  • Events Listing, featuring events selected from those posted on Ohio University’s Calendar of University Events (CUE). Events posted to the CUE will populate eight rotating categories under the Events Listing with three categories visible at a time. The Events Listing categories are:
    • Academics/Research, including events from the Academic Calendar and events sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Creative Activity
    • Sports/Recreation, including events sponsored by Intercollegiate Athletics, Campus Recreation, Club Sports, Intramurals and Outdoor Pursuits
    • Student Organizations, including events sponsored by registered OHIO student organizations
    • Arts/Culture, including performances, exhibits, multicultural/international events, etc.
    • Regional Campuses
    • Alumni
    • Admission, including OHIO Up Close and other prospective student recruitment events as well as Bobcat Student Orientation
    • All-OHIO, including events with University-wide appeal, such as Commencement, Founders Day, University holidays, Winter Break closure, etc.

Zone 4: The Global Footer

The Global Footer Zone includes the following elements, some of which reinforce some of the content featured above:

  • Latest News, which will featured headlines from Compass, Ohio University’s news and information website.
  • Quick Links to information on visiting Ohio University’s Athens Campus, applying for admission to Ohio University, and giving to the University.
  • Co-Brand Elements/Awards, which are reserved for endorsed brands and awards that promote Ohio University as a whole. Forbes’ rankings and a Military-Friendly designation are two examples.
  • Contact Information and Directions to the Athens Campus with links to Google Maps.
  • Regional Campus Links for direct access to Ohio University’s five regional campuses.

Governance and Maintenance

Ohio University’s homepage is maintained by University Communications and Marketing (UCM) with the executive director of UCM being responsible for the page’s design and content. The executive director of UCM is advised by two campus-wide governance bodies – the Web Advisory Group and the Marketing Advisory Council.

The Office of Information Technology’s Web Services is responsible for technical maintenance, availability, security and function of the homepage.

The front door is continuously evaluated and updated as technology, user feedback and market conditions warrant. Recommendations for changes should be sent to the Web Advisory Group for review and consideration.

ohio.edu Link Review Process