Don’t click here

To find out more about blah blah blah click here.

Come on now, we all did it when we started out adding links to sentences. Then as time went on we realised that people skim read on the web, so adding your link to descriptive words is better, because it means people don’t have to read the whole sentence to work out where click here is going to take you.

But your halo can shine even brighter for using descriptive link text, as you’re helping people with visual impairments who use screen readers. Actually that’s really patronising, let’s say if you don’t do it then you’re a really bad person. No, you are, really bad. Imagine yourself having to rely on web pages being read out to you and watch/listen to this…


ALL CAPS – as subtle as a chat with Brian Blessed or James Earl Jones. But that’s not the worst thing about them. Did you know that a screen reader will read out a word written in all caps, one letter at a time? O n e  l e t t e r  a t  a  t i m e.

The all caps style you see on

  • CTAs
  • course finder search boxes
  • STUDY and RESEARCH AND ENTERPRISE in the megamenu
  • headings on the home page etc

are applied to the page as it requested by a web browser, but should be written in sentence case as usual.

We also keep the use of all caps to a minimum on the website as they make reading harder for some people with dyslexia, and we know that a significant proportion of our students are registered as dyslexic. So give the caps a rest, leave them to that one shouty relative on an ancient Nokia…

CTAs have no style

As the saying goes, all good things come to an end at some point. We’ve all enjoyed adding the CTA_link style to every CTA we’ve created, haven’t we… well there’s no longer any need to do it. Tracking for user clicks on CTAs has changed and no longer looks for the use of that style, so that’s a couple of clicks less required every time you add a CTA. Just imagine, all that time spent is now yours again. What will you do with it? Spellchecking is always fun!

If you think CTA stands for the shocking Criminal Tribes Act of 1871 you’d be factually correct, but in this context it stands for Calls to Action.

City campus has arrived

The term ‘City campus’ is being incorporated into the external website (as well as any new print publications), replacing ‘Grand Parade campus’ from Monday 28 January 2019.

Remember: even though the campus name is changing, Grand Parade remains the name of the main building – the Grand Parade building.

Rewriting suggestions

Here are some suggestions on how to rephrase things to reflect this change (basically any sentences that include ‘city centre’ will need rewriting).

The city centre cycle lane network provides easy access to the Grand Parade site.
The cycle lane network in Brighton provides easy access to our City campus.

The Grand Parade site is in Brighton city centre.
Our City campus is in the centre of Brighton.

The Brighton campuses are located in the city centre at Grand Parade, and to the north of the city in Moulsecoomb and Falmer.
Our Brighton campuses are located in the city centre itself, and to the north in Moulsecoomb and Falmer.

Grand Parade is in the city centre and home to our arts and humanities students.
Our City campus is in the centre of Brighton and home to our arts and humanities students.

Good luck city slickers 😉

Tip top tables

It seems we had forgotten to cover the basics of creating / editing tables in your favourite user guide – so huge apologies for that. Anyway we’ve put that straight now and all your tables will be design classics.

Think of it as an early Christmas / Hibernal solstice / Cthulhumas gift from us to you 🙂

Find out more about creating a table here.

Don’t email me!

In preparation for managing enquiries within the CRM, a number of group email addresses have been decomissioned by the enquiries team and should no longer be used:


We have replaced them on the external website with the text ‘message the (enquiries) team‘ which should be linked to this CMS page:

This will redirect to … which is fine – but don’t link to that directly. The CMS page is set up to present a form just in case the redirect link fails.

New rules on stating the academic year

Break out the town crier!

Hear ye, hear ye, thou shalt cease and desist the use of 2018/19 as a style to denote the academic year from September 2018 to July 2019. It seems it has caused some confusion with someone understanding 2018/19 to mean 2018 AND 2019.

From this day forth thou shalt only use 201819, using the longer en dash – rather than a shorter hyphen -; and preferably in combination with the term ‘academic year’. So these are all good:

  • the academic year 2018–19
  • the 2018–19 academic year
  • the academic year starting in 2018
  • for students starting their studies in 2018.

Hear ye, hear ye, so ends the proclamation on this day.

Website design changes

On 2 March we published out a number of design changes to the website. These will bring the website more inline with our new visual identity, which has been implemented in our recently published 2019 undergraduate prospectus.

Some of the key changes for you to note are:

  • greater use of white as a background colour, with a reduction to the large blocks of colour previously in use at the top of our pages
  • the implementation of a new font, Avenir, replacing Lato on the site
  • a reduction in the amount of headings that are all in capitals, in favour of sentence case (such as in page and panel headings)
  • a wide-ranging redesign of our course pages
  • the removal of the dark grey boxes in intro panels – these will now be white and will look the same as non-dark-grey intro panels.

Intro panels

The last point above effectively means there is no longer any point in using the ‘intro-darkgrey’ subtemplates from the intro-panels folder. Any you have already used will simply have been restyled to look the same as the ‘intro-NOdarkgrey’ panels, so you do not need to take any action, but going forward please just use one of the NOdarkgrey options when building new pages.

How are your Heading habits?

A couple of issues with headings have been highlighted by everyone’s best mate: Siteimprove. On one hand they’re small details but on the other hand they do negatively impact the Accessibility ratings of our website. So we’re asking everyone to be a bit more careful with headings please.

Headings must appear in sequence. That means you shouldn’t use an H3 after the page title (which is always an H1) just because you like the way it looks. You MUST use an H2 before you can let your favourite H3 get any action. The sequence of the headings structure a page for screen readers, so users with visual impairments can move swiftly through the headings to the information they want.

Don’t leave empty heading tags. If there appears to be a bit of empty space below some copy please delete it, as this is where empty heading tags often hide, especially with multi-box layouts. You can see in the image below that the empty space after the copy, and that it has an Heading 2 styling already applied to it.

An empty heading tag in a multibox layout

As you can imagine, a space created by pressing return that has had the heading style applied, will confuse a screen reader as it will be listed in the page structure but contains no content.

Thank you. That’s all. Don’t lose your head…

Avoid Firefox for editing (for now)

We’ve discovered an issue with editing using Firefox and would like everyone to avoid using it until further notice.

In HTML the <b> and <i> tags have been replaced with <strong> and <em> which are more semantic, ie concerned with the meaning rather than how they look. Using B and I from the toolbar should insert the correct html HTML tags but it seems Firefox isn’t doing that at the moment, it’s inserting the old tags. This isn’t good for our website’s accessibility rating.

We’ll be taking an upgrade to the CMS in February which will fix this so please use other browsers until we can confirm this has been resolved.

Pasting in copy from Word / Trello etc can carry with it these old style HTML tags. To avoid this always add the Shift key to your usual keyboard shortcut, or use the Clear formatting tool – both of these are mentioned in the Editing text section of this guide.

And consider if a Heading style would be more appropriate than bolding when formatting copy.

You can read more about the change to Bold and Italic styling in HTML here: