Standards are set to maintain a consistent look and feel throughout the WSDOT Web site.
If you find that you have a business need that can't be met within these parameters, please contact Jeremy Bertrand.
Create any WSDOT websites and navigate CMS efficiently by:
The WSDOT brand is not just a logo and a shade of green. It is conduct that guides our work. We deliver projects and services, we are accountable, and we talk about what we do .
WSDOT should be recognizable by our conduct. It's the agency's identity.
1. No surprises
WSDOT is the first and best source of information about the agency, whether the news is good or bad. WSDOT provides accurate, timely, complete and open communications on issues for which the agency is responsible, including current programs, projects and policies.
2. WSDOT cares
WSDOT is customer-focused and provides two-way communications. WSDOT staff should take advantage of opportunities to listen to our customers and employees. This fosters trust and teamwork, maintaining and improving public confidence.
3. Manage expectations
WSDOT tells the whole story. Building and maintaining transportation systems is not easy. Sharing successes and admitting shortcomings boosts our credibility, and helps foster understanding of the difficult decisions we make.
In addition to project information, WSDOT looks for opportunities to communicate policy, budget, or other big-picture information.
4. WSDOT is a can-do agency
WSDOT staff are problem solvers. Sometimes we can't meet the expectations of every customer, however, due to limited resources, conflicting public opinions and interests, legal constraints or other limitations. If this is the case, WSDOT should explain why and give workable alternatives.
Further details and examples of WSDOT branding principles are in the Communications Manual, which is available only to WSDOT employees on the intranet.
People visit the WSDOT website to:
All content on the WSDOT website should be in response to the needs of our visitors. To do that, we first need to know what it is and why they need it in order to quickly provide the content.
How do I know who uses my site?
What happens if we skip this step?
Visitors to your website remember negative experiences. Every bit of online content WSDOT provides reflects on the agency as a whole.
Card sorting exercise
Talk it over with your team or set up a time for a Web Help team member to go through the exercise with you.
Have a hierarchy begin with the most used
Choose the top five tasks of your visitors and focus on those. If visitors aren’t using content, then it shouldn’t be online.
Long lists of links to every portion of the site do not help users. Instead, think of guiding them toward the things they need, such as separating content by user group or separating your content into groups, such as all the training materials in one place.
Make it scannable
Website visitors read in an F pattern -– starting with the first letter in the first sentence and jumping down the left side, then over again. Write the first sentence and line of every paragraph to capture readers’ attention and lead them to what they are looking for. We want people to spend fewer than two minutes on each page.
Keep paragraphs close to their headings to make it easy to scan. Feel free to write headings in different forms, as long as they make sense.
There are four header types:
People can easily scan these if you:
Similar content in different places makes it difficult for visitors to know which version is correct. Keeping similar information in one place also makes it easy for content managers to update.
Write links that lead people to where they want to go. Match the page title with the hyperlinked text so there are no surprises.
Using active voice
Visitors can easily scan sentences written in active voice. This means putting the subject doing the action at the start of the sentence. Active voice makes it easy to quickly follow along with who is acting upon what.
Use plain talk whenever you can to make content easy to understand and navigate for all visitors. Avoid using acronyms or technical terms if a better choice is available. You are not “dumbing down” the content, but simply making it easier to scan.
You can often find a simpler word:
Factual | True
Commence | Start or Begin
Utilize | Use
Transmit | Send
Efficient | Able
Only use graphics that are instantly recognizable and necessary. Images should be small in size to download quickly. People like pictures of other people. Images should not be used to “break up text.” Use bullets, headings and space to avoid walls of text that are difficult to quickly scan.
Follow our approved guidelines to maintain cohesion throughout the site with colors, fonts and design. See our most recent guidelines or templates for more information.
All content published to the web must go through the same process as every other communication WSDOT shares. Know who is going to be in charge of writing, editing and creating graphics or photos. Ensure everyone is already trained to do their part in the process.
Content must be:
You are in charge of managing the page by:
Need help with any of these steps? Please contact Web Help!
Now that you know more about Web standards, it's time to move onto accessibility standards.