Effective Date:Monday, February 9, 2004
Revision Date:Thursday, May 25, 2006
- HTML pages over 80kb should be avoided.
- Information about file size should be provided when offering a large file download.
- Web sites should be tested in multi-browser/version environments.
- HTML pages should include keyword and content-language meta tags/information.
- Proprietary document formats such as Microsoft or Lotus are not universally friendly and should be converted to formats such as Rich Text or HTML.
- When designing a page that is lengthy (like FAQs, Glossary, List of Terms) provide an alphabetical/ navigational index at the top of the page that allows users to jump to a section of the page. Also, provide "back to top" links consistently throughout the length of the page.
- Should have a disclaimer for information that may be inaccurate or links to other sites.
- HTML pages should include or link to a search engine.
- Web sites should be developed for 800x600 screen resolution or lower.
- Avoid building pages that scroll horizontally.
- Critical page elements, such as navigation and primary information, should be visible in the browser window without scrolling down the page.
- Avoid long scrolling pages of more than 2-3 screens – break up content into multiple shorter pages when possible.
- Should avoid the use of underscores in a URL.
- Directories should contain a server defined default document. i.e. index.html, index.asp.
- Should avoid publishing personal email address. Use generic accounts such as email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
- Websites should provide a secure web form to ensure those who do not have an email client or are using public computers may easily contact you. This will also provide a secure mechanism as email is not deemed secure.
- Links taking users outside of North Dakota state government should first alert the user with a notification or page (i.e., a splash message) indicating they are about to leave an official state government site.
- Maintain consistent look and feel from page to page.
- Limit layout color scheme to 3 or fewer colors.
- A Web safe color palette should be used to ensure consistency among user agents.
- When specifying colors, hexadecimal notation should be used.
- Recommended page background color: white or light solid color
- Recommended text color for body text: black (or dark color)
- GIF images should be utilized for most simple graphical presentation.
- JPG images should be utilized for complex graphical presentation such as photographs and image gradients.
- Utilize a graphics editor to optimize images to lowest file size and number of colors, and to resize images.
- Do not make changes to a JPG file that previously has been compressed. Always save the original, uncompressed image file so that you can go back and make changes if necessary.
- Utilize external Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) technology for global control and separation of visual presentation.
- Use standard browser fonts for HTML text. Recommended type style: a sans-serif standard font such as Arial or Verdana.
- Try to avoid the use of persistent/disk cookies. Be aware multiple instances of a browser use the same disk cookie for a domain.
- Be aware multiple windows for the same browser task use the same in-memory cookie.
- Do not store personal or customer information in cookies.
- Encrypt cookie content
- If the web site requires the use of a cookie and the browser has cookies disabled, redirect the user to a web page explaining why the web site requires a cookie and how to turn them back on.
- Minimize the number of cookies for a domain as browsers cannot handle too many cookies from the same domain.
- Keep cookie size to a minimum.
- Should not allow navigation outside of the site it was originated from.
- Should have a common look as the site it was generated from.
- Should only be opened when the user takes action to do so.
- Popup windows should be resizable.