DESIGN GUIDELINES FOR PALMM WEBSITES

Purpose

PALMM design guidelines are intended to encourage some consistency among PALMM websites in visual layout and navigation, while allowing each project or collection to express its own individuality. There are at least three advantages to following PALMM design guidelines: they help patrons use the websites, by ensuring consistent and predictable design features; they help to "brand" projects as part of a larger whole by giving them a common look and feel; and they help website designers follow commonly accepted principles.
 

General Guidelines

Supported Browsers

PALMM sites should work with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 5.0 and above and Mozilla 1.0 and above. PALMM website developers should not use features that are unsupported in these browser versions. Developers should test new PALMM sites with supported older browsers well as current browser versions.

Website Graphics

All PALMM websites should use four graphics (generally .gif images).

 

Home Page

The home page of a PALMM collection should follow the simple template described below.

The PALMM banner should appear horizontally along the top of the page. Under this, on the right and center of the screen, appears the websites' own logo. There are no constraints on logo design, apart from a guideline on approximate size and shape. If the name of the project is not included as part of the logo, it should appear immediately above or below the logo. The logo must be followed by a short description (one or two paragraphs) of the purpose and content of the project or collection. Optionally, important buttons (for example, to search the collection) may appear between the logo and the descriptive text. It is important that, when displayed in commonly-configured browsers, at least two lines of the descriptive text appear on the screen without requiring scrolling or paging down. This alerts the user to the presence of the description.

Running vertically down the left side of the page should be a sidebar column of important links, topically about or related to the website. When applicable, standard links should appear: About the Collection, Technical Aspects, Help using this Site, Related Sites, Copyright Information, Contacts and Credits. Use of other links relevant to the specific website are encouraged; for example, the Florida Heritage Collection has links to a Florida History Timeline.

More general links, e.g. to the SUS homepage or a University homepage, should appear in a horizontal list at the bottom of the website homepage.

For more detailed layout specifications, see detailed Design Guidelines for PALMM Project Websites page.
 

Secondary Website Pages

Pages which are part of the website, for example, sidebar links such as "About the Collection", should follow these design guidelines:

Background:
A single background color and or texture should be chosen and used consistently on all website pages. Use of the same background on the homepage is not required, but a color and texture compatible with the homepage overall, and the website logo and icon specifically, is obviously a good idea. Lighter colors and subtle textures are recommended.

Header:
All website pages should have a header, with three elements, from left to right: the website icon, the name of the website (project or collection), the PALMM icon or the icon of the sponsoring organization. The website icon is a clickable link taking the user to the project homepage. The PALMM icon is a clickable link taking the user to the PALMM homepage. If the sponsoring organization is used, it is a clickable link taking the user to the home organization homepage.

Trailer:
All website pages should have the same trailer, with four elements centered on the page. From top to bottom these are: the website identification, the small PALMM icon linked to the PALMM homepage, the contact for questions or comments, and the last update date.

The website identification is two lines, the first with the name of the project or collection, the second with the text "A State University System of Florida PALMM Project", to the side is the small PALMM icon, e.g.:

 Collection Name| Publication of Archival Library & Museum Materials
For Questions or Comments contact us
© Copyright 2009 State University System of Florida


The contact information should include an actionable link to an email address, e.g.:

Please send questions and comments to:
PALMM-MAIL


The update date can include an identification of the updating party:

Updated: 6 April 2000


Search Pages

Search forms and retrieval pages should have the same background, header and trailer as other website pages. The one exception is that if search is done via WebLUIS, the WebLUIS header with have the WebLUIS icon instead of the PALMM icon on the right hand side of the header.
 

Navigation

Clicking the PALMM banner or PALMM icon, wherever it appears, returns the user to the PALMM Sites (http://palmm.fcla.edu).

Clicking the website (project or collection) icon, wherever it appears, returns the user to the website homepage. The website icon always appears on the left-hand side of the header on website pages. It may also appear embedded within a page, for example a User's Manual, as a quick return to the homepage.