Web Standards & Policies

In general, the TUSM website uses Associated Press (AP) style. TUSM administration, faculty and students have access to the Online AP Style Book via the Hirsh Health Sciences Library.

All text and graphics are copyright of Tufts/TUSM unless otherwise indicated and should not be reproduced without written permission from an appropriate representative.

Follow these best practices to ensure that people will have an easier time finding information on the website and improve search engine optimization.

Good web content is well-organized, clear, and concise.

  • Provide Informative, Unique Page Titles — For each web page, provide a short title that describes the page content and distinguishes it from other pages. The page title is often the same as the main heading of the page. Put the unique and most relevant information first; for example, put the name of the page before the name of the organization. For pages that are part of a multi-step process, include the current step in the page title.

  • Use Headings to Convey Meaning and Structure — Use short headings to group related paragraphs and clearly describe the sections. Good headings provide an outline of the content, reduce clutter, and make it easier to scan and understand.

  • Make Link Text Meaningful — Write link text so that it describes the content of the link target. Avoid using ambiguous link text, such as 'click here' or 'read more'. Indicate relevant information about the link target, such as document type and size, for example, 'Proposal Documents (RTF, 20MB)'.

  • Write Meaningful Text Alternatives for Images — For every image, write alternative text that provides the information or function of the image. For purely decorative images, there is no need to write alternative text.

  • Create Transcripts and Captions for Multimedia — For audio-only content, such a podcast, provide a transcript. For audio and visual content, such as training videos, also provide captions. Include in the transcripts and captions the spoken information and sounds that are important for understanding the content, for example, 'door creaks'. For video transcripts, also include a description of the important visual content, for example 'Athan leaves the room'.

  • Provide Clear Instructions — Ensure that instructions, guidance, and error messages are clear, easy to understand, and avoid unnecessarily technical language. Describe input requirements, such as date formats.

  • Keep Content Clear and Concise — Use simple language and formatting, as appropriate for the context.
    • Write in short, clear sentences and paragraphs.
    • Avoid using unnecessarily complex words and phrases. Consider providing a glossary for terms readers may not know.
    • Expand acronyms on first use. For example, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
    • Consider providing a glossary for terms readers may not know.
    • Use list formatting as appropriate.
    • Consider using images, illustrations, video, audio, and symbols to help clarify meaning.