UCLA Health Marketing Communications is currently working on new initiatives for the web, to complement the campuswide web platform. The goal is to create a better user experience across all UCLA Health web properties so that anyone who visits uclahealth.org or any of its subdomains can seamlessly navigate any of our other sites.
This guide is designed to help you create, manage and measure content for the web. Here, you’ll find some basic best practices for creating content that’s usable, accessible and aligns with UCLA Health’s brand guidelines. You’ll also find tips and resources for optimizing content for search engines, as well as analytics basics to help you measure performance and make data-driven decisions.
Usability is the practice of creating websites that are intuitive and easy to understand. By implementing some usability basics, you’ll create more effective content and a more positive experience for your users. Below are simple tips — see the links in the resources section below to learn more about the important and complex discipline of usability.
Here are a few tips:
- Create web pages that are easy to scan, with clear labels for section headings and content categories, and without too many long blocks of text.
- Simplify site navigation as much as possible, and make sure navigation is easy to use on all devices.
- Use simple, clear language and avoid unnecessary jargon when possible. Remember to write your content for the public. The average national reading level is 8th grade. When you write at a higher reading level, you reduce your audience and the number of people who can benefit from your content.
- Establish credibility by using proper UCLA Health logos and images
- Use black text on plain, high-contrast backgrounds for better readability.
- Double-check that all links are working correctly and don’t lead to 404 error pages.
- When including forms, only ask for essential information.
- Before launch, test your production site with real, in-person users.
- Announce and communicate changes to a website after a major redesign.
As a public institution, UCLA Health is required to make our web content accessible to all. Below are some web accessibility basics; for more information, check out the Accessibility section of Brand Guidelines as well as the Tools and Resources section, below.
Here are a few tips:
- Use HTML headings to structure content so non-sighted users can navigate the page.
- Test your pages using only a keyboard, for those that are unable to use a mouse while navigating your site.
- Include alt text for images, so screen readers can understand your message.
- Avoid using color exclusively to communicate information — visually impaired and color-blind users may not be able to read it.
- Use a minimum 40 x 40 px clickable area for all touch controls.
- Descriptively name links to help screen reader users.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO ensures that search engines can read and understand your website, and also maximizes your ability to grow your audience from search engines, which are a major source of traffic on the web. Below are a few fundamentals to get you started — see the Tools and Resources section below to learn more.