Policies & Standards

Millions of people visit UCSF websites each month, and it's our responsibility to provide a high-quality online experience that reflects UCSF's high quality of care, research and education. Websites are one of the most visible expressions of the UCSF brand, and the inclusion of standard elements on each website lends credibility and strength to our messages.

UCSF web identity standards help a user immediately distinguish official UCSF sites from unofficial sites. Policies and standards must be followed by all official UCSF websites to ensure security, privacy and usability for all our visitors.

Official UCSF Websites

Official websites are those that represent UCSF programs and contain content targeted at external and internal audiences. Examples include but are not limited to: schools, administrative and academic departments, research labs, academic programs, organized research units, institutes, centers, faculty practices, and UCSF Health and all of its organizational components.

Officials websites must be:

  • Authorized by the head of the department or unit;
  • Registered with the UCSF A-Z Websites List;
  • Have a domain name ending with either “ucsf.edu” or “ucsfhealth.org,” with some exceptions; and
  • In compliance with UCSF website policies and standards.

Intranets are accessible only to a defined group of the UCSF community (e.g. UCSF Medical Center or the School of Medicine). Access to these sites is controlled through IP filters or UCSF Single Sign On (MyAccess). Intranets provide administrative or unit-specific information and are not meant for external users or audiences. They are also considered official UCSF websites, although they are not registered with the UCSF A-Z Websites List.

If a website is being hosted on UCSF servers or using a UCSF domain name, they are subject to all existing laws and university and campus policies.

Non-Official Websites

Non-official websites include those that are not authorized by the head of the department or unit that it seeks to represent, or those that reflect the owner’s personal interests, such as blogs.

Any site hosted on a University server may not be used to promote personal business or to provide personal financial gain, except as permitted under applicable academic personnel policies.

Non-official websites:

  • Are not included on the UCSF A-Z Website List;
  • May not have official UCSF domain names (ucsf.edu or ucsfhealth.org) nor have a UCSF-related domain name (e.g. ucsfwebsites.org);
  • May not display the UCSF logo or web banner;
  • Must have an explicit disclaimer, unless it is clear from the context that the author is not representing the University. The minimum disclaimer is: “This is not an official UCSF website. The opinions or statements expressed herein should not be taken as a position of or endorsement by the University of California, San Francisco.”

UCSF Policies

Governance

UCSF website policies are overseen by the Committee on Website Governance (CWG), part of the IT Governance structure at UCSF. Proposed additions or changes must be approved by CWG.

UCSF website brand standards are determined by University Relations. Questions regarding brand standards should be directed to identity@ucsf.edu.

Accessibility

The University of California is committed to providing an electronic environment that is accessible to everyone, including individuals with disabilities, and adopted the systemwide UC Information Technology Accessibility Policy in August 2013. The policy requires compliance with the WCAG 2.0 level AA standards for all web-based information.

Learn more about web accessibility guidelines at UCSF

Domain Name

Official UCSF websites have domains that end in "ucsf.edu" or "ucsfhealth.org." Exceptions to this must be able to demonstrate: 1) a compelling consumer-facing need for a unique domain name; 2) a sound technical and financial plan for UCSF to retain the domain name long-term. Those seeking an exception to the Domain Name Policy can submit a request to the Committee on Website Governance.

Register for an official UCSF domain name through UCSF Information Technology Services by completing a Domain Name Service (DNS) Request.

Security

All UCSF websites must meet minimum security standards, as outlined by UCSF Information Technology Services. For more information, visit IT Application and Website Security.


Required Website Elements

screenshot of a UCSF website

Identification

All official UCSF webpages must include, in the title field of the HTML or other generated code, the name of the University, either in its correct and preferred usage in all caps (no periods, no spaces) – UCSF – or as the full, expanded version – University of California, San Francisco (with an initial cap for all words except “of”).

The name may be used either before or after the specific page title content, set off with a space, a dash or a colon as preferred. Another alternative is to use “at UCSF” or “at University of California, San Francisco” after the specific page title.

Some examples:

<title>UCSF Online Campus Directory</title>

<title>Inside Student Guide – UCSF</title>

<title>University of California, San Francisco | Campus Life Services</title>

Color Palette

All UCSF websites must be designed around the interactive color palette for font treatments to ensure digital accessibility.

For guidance on color palette usage, as well as rules around using tints, refer to the Color page on the Brand Identity website.

Typography

For live text elements on official UCSF websites, Helvetica Neue Roman is the preferred font for body text. Granjon Roman or Helvetica Neue Light should be used for headlines and titles. If Helvetica Neue and Granjon are unavailable for your website, substitute fonts are Arial Regular and Garamond Regular for headlines.

For further guidance on use of web typography, refer to the Typography page on the Brand Identity website.

Header

Web Banner

Use of a standard UCSF web banner is required for all official UCSF webpages, and includes:

  • The full "University of California, San Francisco" name with a link to the flagship UCSF.edu website;
  • A link to the "About UCSF" overview page;
  • A link to the "Search UCSF" page; and
  • A link to the UCSF Medical Center.

The standard web banner is available in five colors. A customizable version of the banner is available for developers. Specifications for the design and placement of the web banner can be found on the Brand Identity website.

Logo

All official UCSF webpages must include the UCSF logo. Websites should display the school, department, or unit name in a lock-up with the UCSF logo in the top left corner of the page.

Select logo lock-ups are available on the UCSF Digital Asset Database. If your logo is unavailable, do not create your own. Instead, please request a logo lock-up by emailing identity@ucsf.edu. Note: UCSF does not allow the use of unofficial or custom-designed logos on UCSF websites or other materials. 

For further guidance on website logo usage, go to the Brand Identity website.

Footer

Contact

All official UCSF webpages must include contact information to report issues to the website owner. At a minimum, a contact form or an email address must be available.

Copyright

All official UCSF websites must include a copyright notice referencing the Regents of the University of California, typically included in the footer. The three required elements of this copyright notice are: a) the word “copyright” or the copyright symbol ©, but not both; b) the year, which may be a single year or a range, and which for actively maintained sites should always be updated with the current year; and c) the phrase “The Regents of the University of California.” The phrase “All rights reserved” is not necessary, as it is implicit in the copyright notice. No punctuation is required.

Some examples:

Copyright 2016 The Regents of the University of California

© 2016 The Regents of the University of California

Other Elements

UC Seal

Use of the UC seal is restricted to official UCSF webpages, and even there should be incorporated only selectively as a background graphic, if at all. For most official UCSF webpages, in fact, use of the UC seal is not recommended. The primary graphic identity affiliation should be to UCSF rather than to the UC system as a whole, and accomplished through inclusion of one of the required standard banners.

Tagline

The use of the UCSF tagline signature, advancing health worldwide, is exclusively reserved for the UCSF main website (www.ucsf.edu). It is not to be used as a design element on any subdomains, in the banner element or elsewhere. Use of the tagline is permitted within the text content of the website.

For more information on use of the UCSF tagline, visit the Tagline page.