Design principles

Website design requires a decision-making framework - these are often called design principles. 

These are the design principles that the digital communications team are currently working with for the University website. 

1. User-centred

Each project must meet users’ needs, not just the needs of the institution. Designs must enable users to find what they are looking for as quickly and easily as possible.

2. Structured

All designs must be underpinned by a strong and simple information architecture. A website with a poor structure is likely to fail.

3. Responsive

We must ensure that our content is presented well on a wide variety of devices, reflecting the way people use the web.

4. Accessible

All users of our content must be able to access our content, regardless of their requirements or the technology they are using.

5. Readable

Users should always be able to understand our content. We must strive to write in plain English, and all content should be tailored to the medium as appropriate.

6. Universal

Users engage with multiple parts of the University website, and multiple channels across print and digital media. A universal style will ensure the transition between sections and channels is as natural as possible. 

7. Functional

Our first priority is meeting the users’ needs. As such, a design must be functional first, and pretty second.

8. Data-driven

All decisions are driven by research and data, both qualitative and quantitative, that help us establish what the users’ needs are.

9. Has synergies with print

We strive for consistency in content and design across all channels. Digital designs are influenced by our established print publications to help meet this goal.

10. St Andrews-specific

The University of St Andrews is unique, and we should illustrate this in our design, content and wider communications.