Creating image content procedure

Intent

This procedure provides direction for the creation and delivery of image-based content on the RMIT web presence.

Scope

This procedure applies to all RMIT staff members who create, publish or manage images for the RMIT web presence.

Exclusions

This procedure does not apply to:

  • courseware, including scholarly work, student work and learning and teaching materials
  • websites that have no relationship to RMIT (for example, personal or private sites)
  • content that is not in the form of an image (for example, audio materials)

Procedure steps and actions

Process for Creating, Selecting or Preparing Images for the RMIT Web Presence

The content owner is responsible for ensuring that the following actions take place when images are created, selected or prepared for placement on an RMIT web page.

Procedure (including Key Points)

Responsibility

Timeline

1. Use images for the appropriate purpose.

  • Images on the RMIT web presence need to have a communication function related to the content with which they appear.
  • Where possible, use selectable text in preference to images to convey information. As the interpretation of an image can differ from user to user, information contained in images may be lost to some users.
  • Images depicting RMIT students, staff and locations are preferred to images that are not specific to RMIT.
  • Avoid images of text. Unless text cannot be separated from an image (for example, in a photograph of a sign) enter the web page text as selectable characters only.
  • Images used as links should reflect prominent images on the target page to satisfy user expectations of a connection between the link and the destination.
  • Keep large informational diagrams, such as maps or flowcharts, to a minimum. Where informational diagrams are necessary, make sure that they are accompanied by a text-based description of the image, or that they link to a page containing such a description.

Content Owner

Web Content Creator

Web Editor

Web Manager

Digital and Customer Experience Strategy

Digital Marketing

The actions described in this procedure take place when creating images and preparing them for publication.

2. Ensure that images are of sufficient quality.

  • Images should create an impression of professionalism and attention to quality, as befitting a global University of technology and design.
  • When taking photographs, use a high-resolution setting. This helps prevent data loss when images are scaled down at a later stage.
  • The dimensions of images need to be sufficiently wide and high so as not to require image enlargement at any point in the web publishing process.
  • Avoid using images that are poor reproductions. Some file formats are prone to degradation when the image is copied.
  • The digital production of images for key landing pages is curated by a group of specific stakeholders namely the content owner, Web Services and Information Policy and Digital Marketing.
    • When submitting images for approval by this group of stakeholders, use a high-resolution item that has not been scaled or modified. On key pages (home page and top level IA) the image will be scaled and prepared for deployment by Web Services and Information Policy.
  • The digital production of images for pages other than key landing pages is delegated by the content owner.
    • When preparing such images for publication, adhere to GUI Development Instruction.
    • Do not rely on the content management system to automatically scale, crop or format images. Standards for resolution, file format, file size and optimisation, should be applied manually.
  • Images need to be visible to users using a browser alone. There should be no need to request the user to install a plug-in.

Content Owner

Web Content Creator

Web Editor

Web Manager

Digital and Customer Experience Strategy

Digital Marketing

The actions described in this procedure take place when creating images and preparing them for publication.

3. Apply the RMIT corporate identity correctly.

Present the RMIT brand in a clear and consistent manner across all web pages. Refer to the RMIT University Brand (Visual Identity) Policy for information about the types of images to use to represent and promote the University.

The logo must always be reproduced as is from the digital art files supplied by University Marketing.

The GUI Design Manual presents the specifications for applying the RMIT corporate identity to RMIT web page items.

Content Owner

Web Content Creator

Web Editor

Web Manager

Digital and Customer Experience Strategy

Digital Marketing

The actions described in this procedure take place when creating images and preparing them for publication.

4. Adhere to copyright legislation.

Copyright at RMIT is governed by the Australian Copyright Act (1968), RMIT Intellectual Property Policy and RMIT Acceptable Use of Information and Communications Technology Resources Policy.

RMIT-owned images are preferable to third-party images. Third-party images are a final option only. They are not exclusively for RMIT’s use and therefore may be found on any organisation’s collateral, including that produced by other universities.

Be aware of copyright, the expiry of licences and the accreditation needs of third-party-owned images. Images must be attributed according to the terms of use set out by the third-party site.

Before using the work of an artist, make sure you have been given permission to do so from the artist or the artist’s agent.

Logos and trademarks from other organisations can not be modified and may only be used where written permission is provided.

For advice on copyright, consult the Copyright Information Guides, published by the RMIT Copyright Management Service.

Content Owner

Web Content Creator

Web Editor

Web Manager

Digital and Customer Experience Strategy

Digital Marketing

The actions described in this procedure take place when creating images and preparing them for publication.

5. Exercise caution when re-using images.

Images should only be re-used where there is a clear communication objective that requires them.

Images from other areas of the website cannot be used on other pages without permission from the original publisher.

Content Owner

Web Content Creator

Web Editor

Web Manager

Digital and Customer Experience Strategy

Digital Marketing

The actions described in this procedure take place when creating images and preparing them for publication.

6. Be aware of the social and cultural implications of images.

  • When taking photographs, ensure that individuals who are the subjects of an image are made fully aware of the purpose, intention and subsequent use of the image.
  • Taking images of children who are under the legal age of consent requires the consent of the parent or guardian.
  • In some cases it is not appropriate to take photographic images of or publish images of indigenous peoples without first checking with the family or elders of the community.
  • Before publishing an example of indigenous art, refer to Protocols for Producing Indigenous Australian Visual Arts for cultural guidance.

Content Owner

Web Content Creator

Web Editor

Web Manager

Digital and Customer Experience Strategy

Digital Marketing

The actions described in this procedure take place when creating images and preparing them for publication.

7. Use standard buttons and icons.

  • The GUI Design Manual provides specifications for the appropriate buttons, icons and thumbnails to use on an RMIT web page.
  • For third-party social media icons, use their official representations as intended by the original owners. Refer to the GUI Design Manual for details on size and placement.

Content Owner

Web Content Creator

Web Editor

Web Manager

Digital and Customer Experience Strategy

Digital Marketing

The actions described in this procedure take place when creating images and preparing them for publication.

8. Provide text for the Alt attribute.

  • Write alt text equivalent to the content (or function) conveyed in the image. The alt text is a replacement for the image, not a description of it. Blank alt text may only be used for images that are decorative or if the image repeats information already on the page.
    • Alt text helps determine the most applicable search result for a user's query.
    • Alt text can be interpreted by a screen reader, thereby increasing the image’s accessibility for visually impaired users.
    • Users with low-bandwidth connections may not be able to see images on web pages. Alt text therefore enables these users to access the information that the image provides.
  • Alt text should be written in formal English and follow the standards for all online text as set out in the Writing for the Web Instruction.

Content Owner

Web Content Creator

Web Editor

Web Manager

Digital and Customer Experience Strategy

Digital Marketing

The actions described in this procedure take place when creating images and preparing them for publication.

9. Consider the user’s experience when adding animated graphics.

  • Animated graphics are classified as images and are therefore created and managed according to the standards outlined in this procedure.
  • Animated graphics on the RMIT web presence must comply with the multimedia standards presented in the Web Accessibility Policy.
  • Animation is likely to attract attention away from the static areas of the page, and should therefore only be used when changing the user’s focus is a communication objective.
  • As discussed in Step 9, always provide a text alternative for users who cannot access animated content.

Content Owner

Web Content Creator

Web Editor

Web Manager

Digital and Customer Experience Strategy

Digital Marketing

The actions described in this procedure take place when creating images and preparing them for publication.

10. Apply the content lifecycle.

  • The lifespan of images should follow the stages described in the Content Lifecycle (Plan, Develop, Manage, Deploy, Preserve, Evaluate).
  • Apply the appropriate metadata to images prior to their placement on an RMIT web page, as specified in the Metadata Procedure and Metadata Instruction.
  • Archive any image that has business or historical value, as determined by the conditions provided in the Deletion and Archiving of Web Content Procedure.

Content Owner

Web Content Creator

Web Editor

Web Manager

Digital and Customer Experience Strategy

Digital Marketing

The actions described in this procedure take place when creating images and preparing them for publication.

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