Every team develops a set of jargon terms to describe the work they do and tools used to do it. At WebComm, we certainly have our jargon for talking about the web, and we understand that it can be confusing to others.
This list of terms is meant to help bridge the communication gap between those making web requests and the WebComm team completing the updates. We'll still try to avoid our jargon whenever we can, but a shared language will help the entire request process go more smoothly.
Consider using one of these technical terms to describe changes you want made in your next request. Or, you might hear us use certain terms when making recommendations for how to organize or display information on a webpage.
Left navigation or "left nav" is a series of linked webpages that runs down the left side of every single webpage. The left navigation is the primary way users move through a website and is unique to that particular website. As such, these links are very deliberate and rarely altered.
The main image structure holds a single horizontal photo that is always displayed above the rest of the webpage content. While most webpages include a main image, it's not always necessary if a webpage is text-heavy with content. There are best practices for photos used on the web, namely that photos must feature WSU students, faculty or campus grounds.
A website homepage has a special main image called a "banner", which features a graphic treatment and stretches across the entire width of the webpage.
A topic is where the webpage content-- all the headings, paragraphs and links-- is held and displayed between the left and right navs. Topics are often combined with Accordions and Processes to help organize information so that it's easy to read.
Right navigation or "right nav" is an area that runs down the right side of a webpage. Right navigation is divided into three major “boxes” which can include Announcements section, Quick Links or Contact Us boxes. The right nav can support small images, but there are limitations for when a right nav image is used.
An Announcement Section is a structure that can be added to the right nav of a webpage, typically the website homepage. It can be stacked above a set of Quick Links or stand alone. Announcement Sections always have a purple graphic, and it's best to keep the announcement text to just 1-2 sentences and a link for more information. Announcements Sections should be updated frequently, which is great if you have lots of news to share about your department or services you provide.
Quick Links is a series of linked webpages located in the right nav that help users to find more detailed information related to the topic. Quick Links are can be combined with Announcement Section and Contact Us Box or stand alone. These links are far more changeable than left navigation links and can include links to non-WSU websites.
Quick Links are helpful when you can anticipate what information your user will need next or what next step they need to take.
Contact Us Box
A Contact Us box is a structure that can be added to the right nav of a webpage. It can be stacked below a set of Quick Links or stand alone. contains a department's main contact information, including any department social media accounts. Every website should have a Contact Us Box on the homepage and often it's carried through on the other webpages in that website.
An accordion is a structure that holds content in distinct boxes—called accordion panes— which users can choose to open and read additional information. Accordions help keep webpages with a lot of content clean and scannable. There can be only one accordion per webpage.
See Health & Wellness Services Clinic Services page for an example.
Faculty & Staff Template
The Faculty & Staff template is a structure created specifically to display contact information for a department or team. For each person, the template allows for their name, photo and short description. There is no limit on the number of individuals that can be included, and there is the option for a list or grid format.
A process is a structure that displays colorful icons or numbers alongside content in distinct boxes—called process panes—through a third-party tool called FontAwesome. Like an accordion, a process makes a webpage more scannable and also helps call attention to key pieces of information. A process is really effective when you are describing steps to complete an action.
A slider is a structure that displays a slideshow of 3-5 photos. It is used at the top of a webpage in place of a single main image, and can help make a webpage seem more engaging. The Mass Communication homepage uses a slider.
A YouTube gallery is a structure that pulls in a video channel from YouTube and allows people to watch videos without leaving the WSU website. The Living History Project webpage is an example.
You can also have a single YouTube video embedded into a webpage. A video can be placed within the main content of a page, or at the top of a page in the Main Image area. The International Services homepage and Education Village page are examples of embedded videos.
Event Calendar Feed
An event calendar feed pulls in events from the main WSU Event Calendar and displays them in a list on a webpage. The College of Business Events page is an example of an event calendar feed.