Web Usability Best Practices

The following best practices focus on web design, not on writing or creating content for the web.

  • Keep navigation consistent throughout the site. Users should always be able to return easily to your homepage and to other major navigation points in the site, including the main Tufts University homepage.
  • As best you can, be sure to keep your top-level navigation to seven major sections. More than this is confusing to the user.
  • Divide your information into clearly defined sections. These sections should be organized the way a visitor searches for information, not how your unit itself is organized.
  • Ensure that all images includes an "ALT" tag and height and width information.
  • Use Cascading Style Sheets to create the layout and style of your site.
  • Understand the importance of search usability and search engine optimization (SEO) and apply SEO best practices to your site design whenever possible. Learn more about SEO at:
  •  Links should be created using text that makes sense when read out of context. For example, avoid "click here."
  • Always check your work using a validator such as the W3C Markup Validation Service. Style sheets can be validated using the W3C CSS Validation Service.
  • Create pages using XHTML.

These guidelines were adapted in part from: http://www.upenn.edu/webguide/style_guide/best_practices.html.