Blog posts

Please review contact information on your website

Posted by Megan Otis on Friday, May 10, 2019 at 10:22 AM PDT

Happy Friday, Seattle U Content Editors:

Please read this important request from the Undergraduate Operations Council (UOC) regarding your websites, and then be sure to see the instructions and tips to help you fulfill this request below:

Dear Colleagues, 

On behalf of the Undergraduate Operations Council (UOC), we are writing to ask for your assistance.  The UOC is a cross-functional body charged with identifying and addressing common and systemic challenges that inhibit the success and satisfaction of undergraduate students. This year, the group has focused on specific, tangible “barriers” that we can influence.  This is where we can use your help. 

One item we have identified is a lack of ease across the university website in finding office locations, phone numbers, sometimes names.  Our goal is greater equity in access to campus resources.  Our students come to us with differing levels of experience and skills in navigating complex systems like a university.  Something as simple as not having a way to contact an office can become a barrier to a student finding a resource they need to be successful.

To achieve our goal, please review your departmental website at your earliest convenience and ensure that the following are included, correct, and easy to find:

  • Location/s, including building and room number
  • Phone, Email, and/or other contact information
  • Hours of operation
  • Key points of contact (administrative assistants, department chairs, directors, etc.); a best practice is to include who to contact for what purpose

Many thanks for your time and attention to improve the student experience at Seattle U!  We look forward to working with you in the future as we continue our work.

Best,

UOC Co-chairs Michelle Etchart, Joelle Pretty, and Jeff Scofield

Best Practices for Managing Contact Information on your Seattle U Websites

Even if your office does not specifically or primarily serve undergraduate students, this is a relevant reminder for all content editors how crucially important accurate, up-to-date, easy to find contact information is for all of our website users – including our students, our faculty and staff colleagues, alumni, donors, and all other university stakeholders.

  • Review the contact information in the footer at the very bottom of your website and the contact info in the Offices and Departments directory.
  • Consistency across the entire Seattle U website helps users more easily find the information they are looking for, so help users easily identify your contact information by using one of our content types specifically designed to display contact information, including the Contact Box, and/or the Faculty and Staff Bio.
  • Instead of creating a discrete piece of content containing contact information on multiple different pages (which you would then have to update separately whenever changes need to be made) you can mirror content to multiple sections throughout your website. Then when a piece of mirrored content gets updated in one place, that change will be reflected everywhere that mirrored content appears on your website. The ability to mirror content can help save you time and energy and make it easier to keep your website accurate and up-to-date.
  • Other tips:
    • Spell out building names instead of just using an abbreviation or acronym – this helps to alleviate some confusion, especially for outside audiences or folks who are brand new to campus.
    • Phone numbers should be written out using dashes (instead of parentheses or periods) as some mobile browsers will identify phone numbers and make it easy for your users to “click to call” if you use the correct format:
      • Best format: 206-296-6354
      • Avoid: (206) 296-6354 or 206.296.6354

If you have any questions about reviewing and managing your contact information on your website, please let the MarCom Web Team know!