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UH Go Mobile App Guidelines

 The UH Go mobile app is the official university app for the University of Houston. To best serve our community, UH limits all official University services offered as an app to UH Go. It is the one-stop shop for all official app functions to the University’s audiences: students, future students, faculty, staff, alumni and visitors.

University Marketing and Communications (UMC) manages the app brand, user experience (including navigation and content hierarchy) and notifications. UMC works in partnership with University Information Technology (UIT), which provides technological expertise and customized development. These guidelines are subject to change without prior notification

To achieve the goal of ensuring that users are provided with quality services and experiences on any mobile application (mobile app) associated with the University of Houston System (UHS) an UH System SAM for mobile app development has been established.

Mobile App: A software application developed to work on a smart phone or personal device such as an iPad or Android Tablet. Apps are typically downloaded through the App Store (iOS) or Play Store (Android) and are subject to the store terms and conditions.

Module: A module within the app allows for a logical grouping of information and/or tasks by subject area (e.g., Academics, Campus Map, Events).

Official University Services: A service that is used in the line of business, representing UH business or anything that ensures the continued operation of the University.

Screens: A screen displays the app content and allows for user interaction within the app.

Collage Screen Design Template: An app platform template that allows a variety of content to be added to a screen.

These guidelines are created to direct the development and implementation of University services offered through mobile applications and UH Go. These guidelines have been developed to aid stakeholders and familiarize support team members with UH app best practices and help ensure that users have a positive experience when viewing and interacting with the University through mobile platforms. In addition to these guidelines all app development must adhere to the UH System SAM for mobile app development.

These guidelines apply to all UH faculty, staff and students developing a mobile application for distribution as a UH-branded application and/or to deliver official University services to the UH community on behalf of a UH department. Faculty, staff or student created apps that are not to be considered an official University app are not allowed to carry the UH brand.

These guidelines do not apply to mobile apps developed as part of a registered academic course identified in its course syllabus or apps specifically designed to support a research activity. Apps published in the app stores for academic or research purposes providing services on behalf of the University must have an app sponsor employed by the University who will act as the publisher to the stores.

These guidelines do not apply to established third-party apps/businesses that do not affect the ability of a faculty, staff or student to attend/work at the University and may offer tertiary services, for example, Chick-fil-a, Uber, etc.

UMC is responsible for ensuring that the University is properly represented through web and mobile technologies and manages the UH Go app as the sole official app of the University of Houston. App development and implementation for any University-branded applications and services must be approved by UMC.

Requests for app development, including third-party applications and additional features within UH Go, must be submitted by the service business owners to UMC for consideration. Submissions may be made through or by submitting a UH Go Feature request. Requests are considered based on their potential to enhance the University experience, the breadth of their appeal to the University community and technological feasibility as determined by UIT, among other factors.

All mobile applications and features offered to the UH Community must be developed within UH Go or be granted an exception by UMC prior to acquiring another mobile service or mobile development. Exceptions must receive signed approval by the Vice President for University Marketing and Communication. When exceptions are granted, UMC will review proposals for compliance with UH branding guidelines and customer usability.

Faculty, staff or student apps providing services to the UH community on behalf of the University must be submitted to UMC and UIT to see if the app can be developed as a module in the UH Go app prior to development in other platforms. If an app needs to be developed outside of the UH Go app, it cannot provide the same or similar services as are found in the UH Go app, without prior approval from UMC.

Any mobile applications offered in an official capacity by colleges, divisions or any unit of the University must comply with the following criteria:

  • They are produced within UH brand standards and have documented approval from UH Branding.
  • They are built into the UH Go ecosystem and developed through the UH Go app unless technological, contractual or programmatic reasons, as determined by UIT and UMC, require the service to have a standalone app and UMC grants an exception.
  • They are embedded within the UH Go app so that the content or service is seamlessly and fully accessible through UH Go using a single login that is recognized by the external application. Additional logins or downloads should not be required.

All mobile users will access mobile services through their university credentials and approved sign-on methodologies.

The department developing or sponsoring the development of a module in the UH Go app is wholly responsible for the module, including adherence to brand guidelines, testing, marketing, customer support and ensuring the content is current and routinely updated. The department’s developer is responsible for routinely testing to ensure the module is working as expected in the app and to inform and update the UH Go team of any technical upgrades regarding the module.

Content or services in the UH Go app that are not updated regularly or are no longer relevant, will be removed from the app by UMC, with or without prior notification.

UIT, which provides technological expertise and customized development for UH Go, will determine the technological feasibility of incorporating new features into UH Go or seamless access to third-party applications.

University of Houston Purchasing and the Office of General Counsel will not approve contracts for third party mobile applications without verifying that:

  1. The mobile application is approved by UMC.
  2. It meets the requirements of UIT Security.
  3. Its mobile presence is compatible with UH Go as determined by UIT.
  4. If personal information is to be collected in a module, it should be brought to the attention of UIT Security as a part of their security review at
  5. Should a module include any type of financial transaction component, the stakeholder owner will need to meet with the Controller in the Finance Office to review and approve the payment processing options.
  6. Apps (or websites) that sell advertising space are generally prohibited from appearing within UH Go. Exceptions may be made with approval from UMC.
  7. The official University App Store accounts (iOS and Android) are owned and managed by UMC. Any third-party development in the official University app store account will need to be reviewed and approved by UMC. All apps in the official university stores will need to meet UH brand guidelines. Requests should be submitted six weeks in advance and contain the following information:
    • Name of app
    • Brand review/approval
    • Level of access being requested
  8. The app icon for any third-party app will need to be reviewed and approved by UMC. The app icon will need to be:
    • Branded to UH brand standards
    • Must be distinct and different from the official University app icon
    • The Interlocking UH logo cannot be more than 50% of the icon

Additional approvals by UIT Security or University Office of General Council may also be required.

It is UMC’s recommendation to use the Collage Screen Design Template only. This template has everything the other templates have with the additional ability to apply some customization.

All screen content must adhere to UH brand standards. New modules and screens are subject to brand review and must be approved by UH Branding. This will be coordinated through the development and implementation cycle with UIT. Copy changes or screen updates using images that have previously received brand approval do not need to be submitted to UH Branding for updated approval.

All mobile application content is subject to approval by UMC to ensure WCAG 2.0 Level AA accessibility standards are met, as specified by the World Wide Web Consortium and state and federal law, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Text size should be easy to read.
  • There must be sufficient contrast between foreground colors (text and graphics) and background colors to accommodate low vision and colorblind users.
  • Images and user interface elements must include a text component to accommodate screen reading software.
  • If your module in the app is developed by a vendor, your department is responsible for providing the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) from the vendor to UMC and UIT. The VPAT is a document that evaluates how accessible a particular product is according to the Section 508 Standards. If the VPAT document shows that the app does not meet standards it cannot be used or integrated into the UH Go app.
  • Use language your audience will understand.
  • The less copy the better — keep your message clear and concise.
  • Condense paragraphs into bullet points when possible.
  • Use headings to break content up into sections.
  • All mobile app content must comply with the University’s editorial style guide.

Images should be used to help the user navigate and understand content. Please adhere to the following standards and best practices. All mobile app content must comply with the University's brand guidelines.

Purpose and Permission

  • Do not use images purely for decoration
  • Ensure UH has permission to use the photo or graphic.
  • Ensure UH has received clearance for any third-party trademarks appearing in images or graphics.


  • Images should be optimized for mobile
  • File size should be no larger than 250 KB for large photos, 100 KB for thumbnail images, and 50 KB for icons.
  • Image dimensions should be saved at least 2x the intended size on the screen to display without distortion on high resolution displays.
  • Banners should have a simple design and message.
  • Formats: PNG, JPG (high-quality recommended)
  • Size: 1400px X 190px

Content Placement and Requirements

  • Can be placed on the home screen or gateway screens.
  • Home screen banners are reserved for news/events that appeal to or affect the majority of the University community.
  • News and events should be relevant to the user/persona.
  • News and events should be timely, not evergreen.
  • Events should be related to the University’s strategic initiatives identified in the University of Houston Strategic Plan – Together, We Rise. Together, We Soar.
  • Events must have a date, time and location.
  • Clickable banners should include a clear call to action.
  • Requests for banners must be made two weeks in advance.
  • Requests can be sent to You must include the following with your request:
    • To and from dates that the banner should run.
    • The screen you are requesting the banner to be placed on.
  • UMC must approve all banners
  • Banners will be managed at the discretion of UMC.
  • Keep forms simple — include only the fields that are necessary.
  • For longer forms, divide the content into multiple screens and include a progress bar.
  • Use short names for buttons.
  • Button names should indicate the action performed by pressing the button, such as: “Sign Up,” “Apply Now,” “Request Information,” “Purchase Tickets”.

Users aren’t going to the UH Go to find social media content. They are going to their preferred social media platforms for this content. Try to avoid replicating social media posts or including social media feeds. Keep social media content on relevant networks/apps (e.g.,Twitter).

  • Message content should be relevant to the user/persona.
  • Message quantity should be kept to a minimum.
  • Updates to the app should be messaged to the user only when a significant addition or change is made.
  • Updates to screen content should not be messaged to the user unless a critical change has been made.
  • Home screen banners are reserved for news/events that appeal to or affect the majority of the university community.
  • News and events should be relevant to the user/persona.
  • News and events should be timely, not evergreen.
  • Events should be related to the university’s big rocks or strategic initiatives (e.g., arts, athletics, energy, health, student success).
  • Events must have a date, time, and location.

Please reference the University’s Push Notification Policy for more information.

University Marketing and Communications limits the number of module icons on the UH Go app home screen to those that have the greatest impact on the University community and are specifically relevant to the specific UH Go persona. UMC adheres to User Interface and User Experience best practices, including but not limited to the following:

  • Home screen icons should lead to a gateway screen that aggregates content under a shared content topic with limited exceptions.
  • Icons placed on a home screen are approved and subject to future review by University Marketing and Communications.
  • Placement of icons on home screens is reviewed and approved by University Marketing and Communications.
  • Home screen and sub-screen menus may include icons to help distinguish menu options.
  • Home screen banners are reserved for news/events that appeal to or affect the majority of the University community.
  • News and events should be relevant to the user/persona.
  • News and events should be timely, not evergreen.
  • Events should be related to the University’s strategic initiatives.
  • Events must have a date, time, and location.

Apps published by or on behalf of a college, division or any unit of the University and available through app stores that do not follow these guidelines are subject to Office of General Council cease and desist and removal from the stores and may be subject to further legal or administrative actions

Prior to issuing an RFP that includes mobile application development or a mobile application platform, University departments should submit the RFP for review by UIT to ensure compatibility with information systems, UIT Security for compliance with data security, and UMC for branding and marketing approvals.