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Communications & Marketing

Web Guidelines

Site Menu

What must I have in my left hand menu?

There are four mandatory items in the top level of each left hand menu. Their positioning is also mandatory:

  • About – (position 2) linking to an About page or an about section with multiple pages;
  • News & Events – (position 3). If included, this will open out to a menu section with links as follows:
    • Latest News – linking to an index page automatically generated of recent news stories;
    • Archive News – linking to an index page automatically generated of older news stories, divided by month and year;
    • Upcoming Events (if using a separate events section) – linking to an automatically generated page showing all upcoming events;
    • Past Events (if using a separate events section) – linking to an automatically generated page showing previous events, divided by month and year;
  • People – (second last position) linking to a default people page generated by the DCU staff profile/phonebook system;
  • Contact – (last position) linking to a contact form page.

For Schools and Faculties, there are some additional required items in the menu.

  • Research – (position 4) This links to a menu section; DCU Research and Innovation Support can provide further information on required content for this section.

Links must use the phrasing and positioning listed above in italics. This is to ensure a consistent user experience across all sites on dcu.ie.

These mandatory items will be set up by ISS during initial set up of your site.

The News & Events sections will only appear in your menu if these features are set up on your site.

How should I structure my menu? / What else can I have in my left hand menu?

The menu is designed to be an easy to use index of all pages on your site, categorised into sections. If a page exists on your site and is live/published, there needs to be a suitable link for it somewhere in the menu.

The menu is not designed for temporarily highlighting individual pages (other features such as the homepage highlight boxes are available for that purpose.)

  • On the top level of your menu, there can be a maximum of 10 links including the mandatory links as listed above. If you need to go above 10 top level links, you should consult with Communications & Marketing.
  • You may add other sections to the top level of your menu as needed, provided that they are category style links rather than action style links. Examples are shown below:

Incorrect

Correct

Visit us for open days

Open Days

Click here for Finance Forms

Finance Forms

  • Top level menu links should not change frequently. When adding a top level menu link, consider both existing content and any planned future content and how best to categorise that content in way that will be obvious to visitors to your site.
  • You can add second level sections within your menu as needed. Again these should be category style links.
  • The menu system will not support any more than 3 levels of links.
  • In second and third levels of a menu, it is recommended that for usability you limit these to 5 links per level.
  • News articles do not need to be included in the menu as they are automatically organised by the News & Events feature on your site.

I can't fit all of my pages into the menu / my menu is large and hard to use

Some sites have a large amount of pages and categorising them all in a relevant way can make the left hand side menu larger than the guidelines listed above, or make the menu difficult to use. In these cases, you should review the content on your site and consider restructuring it. There are a number of options:

  • Consider reducing the amount of pages on your site by reviewing content, restructuring it and combining relevant pages where appropriate.
  • Consider using the tabs feature to combine multiple pages into sections of a single page (see www.dcu.ie/catering/menus.shtml for an example.)
  • Review content on your site and consider whether it needs to be on the site or might it be better placed elsewhere. Could some content focused entirely at DCU staff be migrated to Google Drive? Would some of your content aimed at current students be better placed within Moodle?