IEEE digital publishers are asked to include IEEE-wide styles when structuring websites in order to create alignment, provide orientation, leverage the IEEE brand, and prevent users from having to learn each website. IEEE styles are detailed here for use of the IEEE enterprise-wide meta-navigation, IEEE Master Brand, site identifier, IEEE favicon, and website headers and footers.
The meta-navigation is a menu to appear on all IEEE websites (enterprise-wide) allowing visitors to quickly access IEEE flagship websites and options.
Requirements for the IEEE meta-navigation are as follows:
• Placement: outside of the main page above the site header. Within the meta-navigation:
- Site links should appear at the upper-left and flushed left to the edge.
- The upper-right side is reserved for single sign-on. To request single sign-on, please work with your IEEE employee representative to initiate a project with IEEE Information Technology.
• Links: Align site links to the left side of the page in the following order with the noted destinations:
- IEEE.org: www.ieee.org
- IEEE Xplore Digital Library: ieeexplore.ieee.org (The word "Xplore" should be italicized)
- IEEE Standards: standards.ieee.org
- IEEE Spectrum: spectrum.ieee.org
- More sites: www.ieee.org/sitemap
• Size: minimum height of 30–40 pixels
• Link interaction: should only underline upon hover and have no "visited" link color change
• Link separation symbol: should be a vertical bar (l)
• Typography: Verdana, no smaller than .07em
• Color: light or dark text can be used depending upon the background color/contrast
The site identifier must appear on all IEEE websites, so users can easily identify which IEEE website they are on, per the below guidelines.
• The logo or name of the site must appear in the upper-left corner of the site header and link to the home page of the site.
• This logo or name must contain the letters I-E-E-E and appear larger in size than the IEEE Master Brand to avoid confusion as to which site the visitor is on.
Sample of site identifier:
The IEEE favicon (short for "favorites icon") is a 16x16 pixel square icon that appears in the latest versions of digital browsers' address bars, tabs, and bookmarks. The 57x57 pixel square icon, Apple Touch Icon, is used for iOS devices where the user adds the icon to his or her home screen.
Sample favicon usage within a browser:
All sites within the IEEE Digital Presence must utilize the guidelines below for site footers:
* Denotes required administrative links/language in the digital site footer. Do not replicate the policies listed above. Link directly to the IEEE policies. If you believe there's a conflict, or that your site has need for a more explicit or restrictive policy, please contact the Digital and Creative Innovations team, email@example.com.
The site purpose should be obvious either through the site identifier or through positioning copy placed prominently within the site header. However, if for some reason the site's header cannot adequately convey this information, it should be placed in another prominent position within the home page.
Sample site purpose:
Search tools help users find content on a site through the use of a search engine that indexes the content on the site. This tool is most useful when users do not want to browse for content or are unable to find content via browsing.
Sample search area using conventional placement in header area of the site:
Sample search area with dropdown treatment using conventional placement in header area of the site:
1. Hidden <label>
Hide the <label> element off-screen using CSS. The label will not appear visually, but will still be read by a screen reader. Create a CSS style called “hidden” and apply it to the label of the form label.HTML
<label class="hidden" for="s">Search Terms</label>
<input type="text" id="s" name="s">
2. Title Attribute
If a form field has a title attribute, but no <label>, the screen reader will read the title as if it were a label.
<input id="s" type="text" name="s" title="Search Terms">
The aria-label attribute can also be used when there is no text label on the page. Add the aria-label to the input element.
<input id="s" type="text" name="s" aria-label="Search Terms">
Important to note:
All IEEE digital sites should adhere to the following best practices and principles for page layout.
Establish hierarchy to aid readers' understanding and focus
Show relationships between content
Other tips for creating a more readable, interesting page layout
Alert messages: Home pages should be designed with a prominent area in which user notifications can be posted by the site owner in the event of an emergency. A process should be in place to ensure that such messaging can be posted or removed in a timely manner.
Sample alert message:
Image carousels: Billboard-like promotional areas may be used on home pages and/or sub pages; however, the following conditions should be met:
Sample image carousel:
Please reference the sample home page wireframe in the following section as a guideline for how home page elements might appear on an IEEE site.
When planning to create a website, the site's information/design structure is very important. Some tools that could be used in this planning phase are wireframes, visual comps, storyboards, and interactive prototypes.
A wireframe is a very basic visual guide used in digital design to lay out a structure. The sample wireframes below illustrate a home page and a subpage that contain the basic design elements that would improve the user experience.
|Home page wireframe||Lower-level page wireframe|
All new/redesigned IEEE websites should be reviewed by the Digital & Creative Innovations (DCI) team during the following stages; wireframes, visual designs, and prior to launch at the beta URL stage. The DCI review will include prioritized comments on IEEE branding and accessibility requirements, ways to increase the website's usability, and enhancements to the SEO/meta data. These reviews are meant to identify potential opportunities for optimization and to ensure all of the requirements are met prior to launch.
To learn more, review the following: