New websites policy

Policy

Intent

This policy provides a framework to manage the scale and makeup of the official web presence, ensuring that new websites are planned, created and resourced as part of a cross-University web strategy.

Scope

This policy applies to all RMIT staff members who want to create new websites – including social media, mobile websites and mobile apps – as part of the official web presence. This includes website redesigns and the procurement of 3rd party systems.

Exclusions

This policy does not apply to:

  • courseware, including scholarly work, student work and learning and teaching materials
  • websites that have no relationship to RMIT (e.g., personal or private web sites)

Objectives

1. To ensure RMIT’s web presence adheres to the University in keeping with web standards, brand, intellectual property and copyright policy
2. To ensure URLs are consistently implemented across the University
3. To maintain RMIT’s web presence for search engine optimisation (SEO) and content lifecycle
4. To maintain a register of all external RMIT websites and their owners
5. To avoid duplication of functionality and content within the RMIT web presence
6. To maintain the high quality and relevance of content within the RMIT web presence

Policy provisions

1. Planning

1.1. Proposals to create new websites must be prepared. This also applies to major redesigns of existing websites. To create a new website section, refer to section 3 below (Maintenance).

1.1.1. Information provided must include business goals, measures of success, target audiences, resources required, ownership (both business and technical), lifecycle plan and also an acknowledgement of the web standards to be met.

1.1.2. Form used to provide this information must be a New Website Proposal document.

1.1.3. Proposals must be sent to the Director Digital and Customer Experience Strategy (Digital and Customer Experience Strategy).

1.2. Approval of new or redesigned websites must occur before resources are allocated and creation begins.

1.2.1. Proposals are submitted to the Director Digital and Customer Experience Strategy using a New Website Proposal document. Proposals are required for websites being custom built as well as those using third party products.

1.2.2. Approvals are made by the Digital and Customer Experience Strategy and recorded in the Authorised Websites Register.

1.2.2.1. Branded websites facing an external audience can only be approved with written agreement from Engagement.

1.2.3. Social media websites are created and maintained with reference to Social Media Policy and associated procedures.

1.2.4. Mobile websites and apps are created and maintained with reference to Mobile Channel Policy and associated procedures.

2. Creating

2.1. User research must be conducted to validate the user requirements, information architecture, content and design for the new website to ensure a seamless, intuitive and satisfying web experience.

2.2. RMIT web policies must be adhered to while creating new websites to ensure quality control across the official web presence. These include:

2.2.1. Content standards must follow the Web Content Policy.

2.2.2. Design standards must follow the Web User Experience Policy.

2.2.3. Coding standards must follow the UI Development Guidelines.

2.2.4. Accessibility standards must follow the Web Accessibility Policy.

2.3. Platform selection must be made with reference to the Official Web Platform Guidelines in order to adopt official systems as the first option.

2.3.1. Exceptions can be made with written approval from the Director Digital and Customer Experience Strategy and the Executive Director ITS by following the New Websites Policy and associated procedures.

2.4. Domain names must be assigned in accordance with the Domain Name Procedure in order to maintain a logical hierarchy.

2.5. Short URLs for promotional purposes must be assigned in accordance with the Short URL Procedure to manage registration and avoid overlaps.

3. Maintaining

3.1. Web standards must be maintained throughout the website lifecycle in order for RMIT to maintain quality control across its entire web presence. This includes the creation of new sections within a website during its lifecycle.

3.1.1. Content standards must be maintained by the Content Owner in accordance with the Web Content Policy.

3.1.2. Design standards must be maintained by the Content Owner in accordance with the Web User Experience Policy.

3.1.3. Coding standards must be maintained by the technical owner in accordance with RMIT UI development standards (Development standards TBA).

3.1.4 Accessibility standards must be maintained by the technical and Content Owners in accordance with the Web Accessibility Policy.

3.2. Resources must be provided by the business and technical owners to support the maintenance of each website.

4. Evaluating

4.1. Effectiveness of a website should be evaluated regularly to promote continuous improvement. Business metrics for success and user-based evaluations must be analysed to check alignment with both business goals and audience needs. The Web Evaluation Guidelines should be used to conduct the evaluation.

4.2. Web standards compliance will be audited periodically by Digital and Customer Experience Strategy.

5. Deleting and archiving

5.1. Lifecycle plans documented in the original New Website Proposal must be referred to in order to ensure appropriate life spans of both content and technology.

5.2. End-of-life websites must be removed in accordance with the Deleting Websites Procedure.

5.2.1. Domain deletion must follow either the Domain Name Procedure.

5.2.2. Social Media website removal is conducted with reference to the Social Media Policy and associated procedures.

5.2.3. Mobile website and app removal is conducted with reference to the Mobile Channel Policy and associated procedures.

[Next: Supporting documents and information]