Service unit websites optional content
Service unit websites may have additional content specific to their audience needs.
Principles to keep in mind
- Many services services/processes are related and cross several websites. Think about what students need to do next outside of your website. Consider how to inform students of what and where they next need to go to help them complete their task
- Our primary audience is students. Write and edit with their needs in mind. Your content should reflect what they need to do and know, not your internal structure and processes
- Avoid duplicating detailed content about information and processes eg Enrolment, Admissions and Regulations etc. Link to the correct page in central or college websites
- Put the most useful and relevant content first. Avoid long introductions and welcomes. People scan web pages, hunting for information. They don't passively take in everything presented on a page
- Of limited use for many service units
- One (two at most) short paragraphs incorporated into your home page may be useful for some sites
Apply or process pages
- Must be accurate and up to date
- Clear structure using steps, bullet points or headings
- Make page headings a call to action, rather than a structural title that doesn't mean much to readers eg Check your eligibility (instead of Advice on Eligibility), Choose your programme and courses (instead of Programmes and courses you can study), Apply to enrol (instead of The Application process to Enrol).
- Provide definitions (or link to them where they exist elsewhere) of university terms
- Link to information explaining what happens after the reader submits an application
Forms (presenting forms on a web page)
- Think about what students are looking for. Prioritise with clear descriptive headings and link names
- Use plenty of smaller headings to help readers scan and find that they are looking for
- Where the link is a Word or PDF document the link must include file type and size
For headings (eg Students, Staff, Graduates etc)
- Where pages are needed for a specific audience think carefully about what information they need
- Headings should be tailored to your readers needs and a call to action eg 'Applying for jobs' rather than 'Jobs'
- In most cases this page should be a series of clear and well structured links with a small amount text. Be careful not to duplicate content already elsewhere eg course advice and about pages
- Don't repeat links and information on other parts of your site
- Prospective Students (Publications website)
- Students (Careers, Internships and Employment website)
- For Parents (Early Years Care and Education)
- Sponsorship (Marketing website)
For page used in a slightly different content ie what to do if you want to know about sponsorship
- Think about how your audience will use the information you're providing. Structure it clearly and in a way that makes sense for them (rather than a description of university process)
- Provide a definition for university terms
- Where possible use bulleted numbers or steps for people to follow
- Use plenty of descriptive headings (eg How to...) and bullet points
Pages offering a service
- Structure and write content for your audience. Make it clear who the information is for, ie staff or students, all students or international students?
- A good starting point for structuring your information as; who is it for? what do they need to do? what should they expect?
- Steps or bullet points are helpful
- Best to avoid overviews or introductions because people don't read them. Structure your content to capture your audience. For example, 'Practical study and social advice to help you succeed' rather than 'Overview of the Student Success Programme'.