UW Brand

Creating content

Be concise

Trim unnecessary words. Get your word count low.

Before: Too long
Volunteers at the University Faculty Housing Service render a useful service to new and visiting university faculty and staff requiring short or long-term housing. (24 words)

After: Shorter
The University Faculty Housing Service helps new and visiting faculty and staff find housing. (14)

Shortest
We help new faculty and staff find housing. (8)

Use plain language

Use simple, clear language. Spell out acronyms. Avoid jargon.

Before: Academic with jargon
We mitigate the social and academic effects of campus food insecurity.

After: Clear
We provide food assistance to members of the UW community.

Clear and concise
We provide food assistance to the UW community.

Use headers and bullet points where appropriate

Some paragraphs are easier to read if the sentences can make up a list. Use a heading to summarize the list if appropriate.

Before: Paragraph hard to read
This summer we are excited to announce that the Waterfront Activities Center and the Golf Range will be reopening, we have a new Rec Class Pass which will allow users to attend unlimited virtual classes, our Intramurals program has some lively new challenges, and our Personal Training program is now open to all IMA members.

After: List is easier to read, with headline

Summer announcements

  • We are excited to announce that the Waterfront Activities Center and the Golf Range will be reopening on July 1.
  • A new Rec Class Pass will allow users to attend unlimited virtual classes.
  • Our Intramurals program has some lively new challenges, including relay races and Ironman.
  • Our Personal Training program is now open to all IMA members.

Use pictures or videos to get your point across


Work out at home with our virtual personal training program, open to all IMA members.

Mind your links

No broken links
Double-check each link to ensure that it goes to the correct page.

PDF or document links – lowercase, no spaces
In general, we avoid linking PDFs or Word documents on the web. This is because most PDFs or documents can be converted to web pages that are more accessible and mobile-friendly. However, if you absolutely need to link to a PDF or Word document, make sure that the file name is in all lower-case, with no spaces. Spaces cause browsers to create %20 signs in the web address, making it hard to read. Mixed case in web addresses are hard to read.

Bad name:
your%20Form%20Mixed%20cAse%20with%20spaces.pdf

Good name:
your-form-lower-case-with-hyphens-no-spaces.pdf

Avoid “click here.” Be descriptive.

Before:

Join us for virtual painting classes! Just <a href="#">click the link</a> here to register and you will receive further details on how to participate.

Too wordy and says “click the link here” which is unnecessary.

After:

Join us for virtual <a href="#">painting classes</a>.

The link is direct and descriptive.

Use a button or add a picture if you want to emphasize the link.


Take your art to the next level. Professor Jane Lee teaches oil painting through Zoom.
Painting classes