Worcester.edu will be managed by the core Communications & Marketing team.
Primary responsibilities include:
- Overseeing overall website presence and digital strategy
- Managing, reporting, interpreting, and responding to website feedback, data, and Google analytics as needed
- Reviewing all published changes from content managers and content editors on subsites
As the world’s digital doorstep to Worcester State University’s, worcester.edu must reflect the dynamic institutional culture that unifies every academic discipline, sports team, club, language spoken, student hometown and areas of intellectual pursuit as a part of the Worcester State story.
Worcester.edu is responsible for shaping a visitor’s first impression of the University. It will also help further establish, steward, and cultivate relationships within internal audiences, including current students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community: locally, nationally, and internationally.
Worcester.edu must be:
- Reflective of Worcester State’s institutional mission, vision, and core values
- Driven by compelling visual assets that are up-to-date, representative, and current
- Designed with each target audience in mind–creating intuitive pathways to the most commonly sought information
- Accessible for all audiences (ADA compliant)
- Easy to manage internally and accessible for non ‘tech-savvy’ content managers
- Rich in compelling content that articulates the Worcester State experience through the lens of the entire University community
- Up-to-date, current, and accurate
- Operationally sound on each browser, tablet, or mobile device
Goals & Objectives
- Leverage the website as an effective, appealing marketing platform that reflects the Worcester State University brand and encourages prospective students to apply
- Develop a user-centric web structure based on visitor needs as opposed to university department and office organization, incorporating user-friendly, ADA-compliant content, information architecture and navigation
- Maintain sites based on function and need, providing the end-user with a ‘one-stop shop’ for a given topic by organizing content from several resources or departments in one location
- Improve user experience and functionality with the use of quickly readable, mobile-friendly content written for the web, avoiding institutional jargon
- Organize content to display the strongest qualities of the University and to best serve the needs of the primary audience, including a mobile-optimized design and robust, forward-looking video/multimedia features
- Build a system of continuous improvement organized around measurable website goals, analytics, experimentation/testing, and a firm understanding of website advancements and best practices.
All Worcester State University web initiatives are guided by three key principles:
- Accessibility for Ease of Ongoing Management: The site was designed with a decentralized and easy-to-use CMS (Content Management System), reducing technical barriers for individual content managers so that they have the ability to keep content up-to-date and accurate.
- Consistency in Brand Standards: The Worcester State University brand should be consistently reflected in each section of the website. This means paying close attention to elements including content, voice, tone, word-count, visuals, and accessibility (see the Content Writing Guide). By default, all new pages and content will be formatted in keeping with pre-set standards, ensuring brand consistency throughout.
- Continuous Improvement: The site must reflect the latest trends and best practices relating to design, accessibility and functionality. The new decentralized model is designed to encourage more frequent, ongoing engagement with site content. The site is also designed to be visually appealing and factor in as many ‘evidence points’ (i.e. news articles, photos or videos that prove the claims made) as possible.
Before making any content updates, ask yourself:
- Is the content proofread and spell-checked for grammar and syntax? Does it follow Worcester State University editorial guidelines?
- Does it exemplify Worcester State’s mission, vision, and core values?
- Does it align with Worcester State’s overall Brand Guidelines?
Ownership of Worcester.edu
The website worcester.edu is the sole property of Worcester State University. While certain faculty and staff will have access to edit certain portions of the site, create new content and remove old content, the site and all sub-sites remain the property of the University.
Worcester.edu serves a wide range of audiences. The homepage and primary landing pages are intended to demonstrate what makes Worcester State unique through the lens of students, faculty, and alumni perspectives and stories.
Pages deeper in the site may exist for specific audiences. For every page, it is essential to consider: who are the primary audience(s) for this page? What content would be most valuable for them to see? What action do I want my audience to take here?
Primary audiences include:
- Current Students: MyWooState Portal
- Prospective Students: Undergraduate Admissions
- Prospective Graduate Students: Graduate Admissions Pages
- Prospective Continuing Education Students: CE Landing page
- Prospective Center For Business & Innovation Students: CBI Landing page
- Faculty & Staff: MyWooState Fac/Staff Landing page
- Alumni: Alumni Landing Page
- Community, Friends & Donors: Online giving portal
- Media: Media info and expert speakers bench
Procedures & Compliance
Content & Quality Control
All content on Worcester.edu must align and comply with the Worcester State web & brand guidelines identified in this document. The Communications and Marketing team has been present throughout the internal website discovery, design, development, and deployment phases of this website rebranding project and has extensive knowledge and the utmost expertise in Worcester State’s branding guidelines, standards, and the visual identity.
The Worcester State Communications and Marketing Department has and will continue to have full access to all areas of the Worcester.edu website and subsites. The Communications and Marketing team reserves the right to oversee and revoke any content that they do not feel aligns with the policies outlined in this document.
Training & Support
Users who have received and completed CMS training are granted access to the website’s backend. While the website runs on a well-known content management system called WordPress, it contains functionalities customized to fit this institution’s needs. CMS training will be necessary before granting access, regardless of prior WordPress experience.
The Communications and Marketing team at Worcester State will be responsible for training new CMS users. The trainee is responsible for understanding and practicing the material presented to them during the training. Trainees should use this document and accompanying resources to build a foundation of knowledge beyond their training sessions.
Trainees are expected to complete training in full and leave with a solid understanding of their role in the website, and the guidelines to which they must adhere.
As the website continues to adapt and change over time to meet the needs of the technical user, the Communications and Marketing Department has the right to require additional training on new functionalities and updates for users.
All website issues or bugs should be immediately reported to the Marketing and Communications Department. They will then assess the magnitude of the issue internally, and submit a web request ticket with the website development team, if necessary.
A content manager should not attempt to perform an update if they have not received the proper training to do so.
Any updates that are unable to be completed and/or published should immediately be brought to the attention of the Communications and Marketing Department. The department will either assist in publishing the content or create a ticket for the website development team.
Worcester State University recognizes the importance of website accessibility for all users. Worcester State is committed to providing an accessible web experience to every user. Each photo uploaded to the media library is required to follow ADA accessibility guidelines and requirements. The content manager responsible for uploading the image is also responsible for assigning the image alt text (alt attributes or alt descriptions).
‘Alt text’ is the text used within an HTML code to describe the image and its functionality within a specific page. Using alt text ensures that web users who utilize screen readers can access the context in which the functions of the image.
Alt-text is typically between 80 – 125 characters and describes the image and its purpose within a page. When writing alt text, ask “Why am I using this photo?” to best portray its context, and leave nothing to the imagination.
Bad alt text example:
“A treehouse in broccoli.”
Not descriptive enough, and leaves too much to the imagination. Is the treehouse lifesize or is the broccoli lifesize? Is the treehouse too made out of broccoli? See how this alt text could be confusing for screen readers? This alt text does not paint a clear picture.
Good alt text example:
“A miniature wooden treehouse resting in a fresh head of broccoli.”
In this example, the alt text leaves nothing to the imagination. The screen reader knows the broccoli is life-size, the treehouse is miniature, wooden, and in the broccoli
Managers are responsible for ensuring that every video uploaded to the Worcester State website contains captioning and aligns with ADA compliance. This applies to videos produced before the redesign & rebranding, as well as those videos produced after.
The Worcester State Communications and Marketing Department has the right to remove all videos uploaded to the website not captioned and/or ADA compliant.
Any costs associated with a failure to comply with ADA compliance–both video and photography–will be billed to the department or office responsible for posting the video on the website.
The Worcester State University website utilizes Google Analytics to capture the digital activity taking place on the website, including but not limited to: bounce rates, page views, link clicks, & goal completions.
Data is also captured based on audience characteristics, such as demographics, geographics, and interests.
Tags have been embedded in the header code on the website to push data to Google Analytics. Historical data is available upon request. All requests should include the metric in which the requester would like to measure and the date range of focus. To request website data and trends from Google Analytics, please reach out directly to the Communications and Marketing Department.
The Communications and Marketing Department reviews data and trends from Google Analytics regularly and reserves the right to remove or update content appearing on the website that is not performing well. The Department also reserves the right to request terminology changes on the website to align with their keyword and Search Engine Optimization strategy.
The Worcester State Communications and Marketing Department has the right to alter and review any Google Analytics requests.
Visual Content & Multimedia
Photos and graphics on worcester.edu provide an immediate visual brand representation of the University to website users. For many, this is the first interaction they have with the campus. Imagery uploaded to the website must accurately represent the University at the highest degree.
When selecting imagery for worcester.edu, the content should be reflective of the campus’ inclusion and diversity. Photos including faculty, staff, and students should show the diversity of races, ethnic backgrounds, genders, abilities and ages to represent the campus community.
All photos uploaded to the website must meet the high professional standard to which Worcester State is committed and align with brand standards.
The photography implemented on worcester.edu must align with brand and style guides. Any photos that do not meet these expectations will be removed from the website.
Branding photos are a collection of photos that represents the institution from a visual perspective and aligns with the brand’s visual identity.
Images used as the Header and for campaign landing pages will be selected by the Communications and Marketing Department in conjunction with the input of the department chairs or individuals responsible for department content updates.
The content managers for individual department pages are responsible for updating other photos on their pages. The Communications and Marketing team has the authority to determine what does and does not align with the institution’s visual identity.
The Communications and Marketing team reserves the right to remove any branding photos that do not align with the institution’s brand guidelines.
If you need the Worcester State University Lancer Athletics logo, please contact our Athletics Department at 508-929-8034.
To ensure the website provides a unified and cohesive experience, the faculty and staff must be uniformly represented on the website. To ensure this, all photos uploaded to be a profile image must adhere to professional and brand guidelines.
Photos selected for profile use should be the highest resolution available and should not be “selfies”, use a filter or be cropped from a group photo.
The Worcester State University website was dynamically designed to include a circle crop on faculty profile photos when selected. Content managers will not be responsible for circular cropping their photos.
Content managers with any questions about the guidelines for profile images should contact the Communications and Marketing Department for guidance.
Video is a crucial element of Worcester State’s storytelling. All videos associated with Worcester State University should be consistent in tone, style, and messaging, aligning with the institutional standards and guidelines. For more information surrounding the branding guidelines for video, please contact the Communications and Marketing team.
To request a video embed, please contact the Communications and Marketing team. The Department will ensure the video meets institutional brand guidelines and take ownership of embedding the video, following up once the video is live.
PDFs are visual content elements that expand the functionality and capacity of the website. PDFs allow content to be displayed that would otherwise be unrepresented. PDFs include but are not limited to:
- Scans of documents
- Course syllabi
- Legally Restricted Formats
- Financial Aid Documents
- Worcester State University Code of Conduct
PDFs uploaded to the Worcester State website must be fully accessible to all users and meet ADA compliance. Any PDFs that fail to meet ADA compliance will be removed. The Communications and Marketing team reserves the right to remove any PDFs that do not align with branding guidelines or fail to meet the described criteria.
In case of a website emergency, please contact Communications and Marketing. Emergency submissions should include a detailed description of the emergency, and the URL affected by the emergency. These include but are not limited to:
- 404 pages
- The website is down
- Broken styling
- Broken images
- Incorrect link
In case of a campus emergency, all emergency communications should be sent to the Communications and Marketing team. The Communications and Marketing team is responsible for publishing health/safety & weather-related alerts
The Worcester State University website was designed and developed with a ‘Mobile First’ approach–this means that it was created for mobile before desktops, laptops, and other devices.
All content that is added to the website is designed and developed to automatically and dynamically adjust to mobile devices. If you find a page or area of the website that is not mobile compliant, please contact the Communications and Marketing Department.
The Worcester State Communications and Marketing Department reserves the right to update this branding guideline & web governance document at any time. The department will communicate any updates to the web governance document when implemented.
The Worcester State Communications and Marketing Department reserves the right to remove any content on the website that does not align with the brand guidelines and web governance.
The Communications and Marketing Department has the right to revoke access to any users unable to adhere to the policies and branding guidelines outlined in this document. Users found in violation of these guidelines will receive 1 (one) verbal warning. If violations continue and the verbal warning is ignored, access to the website will be permanently revoked.