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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 is limiting all official University services to UH Go. It is the one-stop shop for all app functions to the University’s audience: 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.

This document is to guide the development of University services offered through mobile applications and provide the implementation of guidelines for the “UH Go” mobile application. This document has been developed to aid stakeholders, familiarize support team members with the best practices, and help ensure that users have a positive experience when viewing and interacting with the University through mobile platforms.

UMC is responsible for ensuring that the University is properly represented through web and mobile technologies and manages the UH Go app as the single 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. 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 University Information Technology, 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 Marketing and Communication. When exceptions are granted, UMC will review proposals for compliance with branding guidelines and customer usability.

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

  1. They are produced within UH brand standards and have documented approval from UH Branding.
  2. They are built into the UH Go ecosystem and developed through the UH Go app unless technological or programmatic reasons, as determined by University Information Technology, require the service to have a standalone app and University Marketing and Communications grants an exception.
  3. 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.
  4. All mobile users will access mobile services through their University credentials and approved sign-on methodologies.

University Information Technology, 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.

Purchasing and Office of General Counsel may not approve of contracts for third party mobile applications without verifying that:

1) the mobile application is approved by University Marketing and Communications,

2) it meets the requirements of University Information Technology Security and,

3) its mobile presence is compatible with UH Go as determined by University Information Technology.

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

It is University Marketing and Communication’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 must be submitted to UH Branding for updated approval.

All mobile application content is subject to approval by University Marketing and Communications 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
  • 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
  • Images should be used to help the user navigate and understand content
  • 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
    • Must adhere to the UH Brand Guidelines
    • 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
  • Request for banners must be made 2 weeks in advance
  • Requests can be sent to uhgosupport@uh.edu. 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 absolutely necessary
  • For longer forms, divide into multiple screens and include a progress bar
  • Use short names for buttons
  • Button names should indicate the action performed by pressing the button
    • E.g., “Sign Up,” “Apply Now,” “Request Information,” “Purchase Tickets”

Users don’t expect to find social media content in the UH Go mobile app. Don’t replicate social media posts or include social media feeds. Keep social media content on relevant networks/apps (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.).

Please reference Push Notification Policy for more information.

  • 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

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 a 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