Thursday, May 10, 2012

Standard Web Design Feature Inclusions

Tools to help your users find your content.

We're about 1/3 the way through a website design rollout on the Southern Cross University website http://www.scu.edu.au/. Its a big undertaking. I thought it would be useful to outline some of the standard web design features we've incorporated into the home and content pages to date that I think are mandatory or highly desirable. There are more features I would have liked to include but based on our current content management system (CMS) we were quite restricted in what was feasible. These may be included in future iterations of the design yet.


Important new design features on the home page include:
  • Global Navigation - available across all sites using the template.
  • Logo - consistent placement.
  • Shortcut Icon Navigation  - linking to the 5 most important resources as identified in research phase.
  • Search Box – consistent location and uses the Google Search Appliance.
  • Quick Links Dropdown Navigation – list of major recourses for quick access.
  • Image Banner –promote key campaign navigation on the home page and selected site home pages.
  • Marketing Button – provide flexible navigation of other promotion campaigns on the home page.
  • Accordion Slider Navigation – provides an alternative navigation tool for accessing key groups of information.
  • YouTube Video Channel – provides access to SCU key video playlist content.
  • Social Media Icons – provide access to and information about our social media channels.
  • News and Events Tabs – provide access to the latest news items and pending events.
  • Global Footer Navigation – categorised information links based on priority criteria and target audience as well as legal links and compliance information, available across all sites using the template.


Important new design features on content pages include:
  • Local Navigation – dynamically expanding colour coded hierarchical page category drilldown menu of the structure of current website.
  • Bread Crumbs – navigation tool reflecting the current path and location of the visitor on the website in relation to the home page.
  • All of the “Global” navigation tools from the home page are clearly available.
Have a look at the site and check these design features out. I hope this may be of use for you. Feel free to discuss here the benefits, issues, and possible improvements you would make.