House style updates

Jennifer Hamrick
Tuesday 22 December 2020

We periodically review the University’s house style to make sure that it continues to meet user needs and best practice. Recently, we made a few changes to clarify some of the entries and to bring us more in line with print.

Latin abbreviations

Latin abbreviations (c., i.e. or e.g.) should be written with full stops between and after letters. However, we have updated the entry to now say to avoid Latin abbreviations where possible and use ‘for example’ or ‘that is’ instead.

We made this decision because Latin abbreviations are not accessible for all users, especially those who may use English as a second language.

Adviser of Studies

The term ‘Adviser of Studies’ should be capitalised. However, we clarified this entry to state that when the term is shortened to just ‘adviser’, it should be written in sentence case.

Team names

Previously, we advised that team names should not be capitalised on the web. However, this differed for print, and after discussing with our colleagues in Print and Design, we decided to capitalise team names from now on.

We made this decision because it can be confusing when skimming a sentence to recognise which words are part of the team name or not.

For example, this sentence is difficult to understand when skimming:

The public engagement with research team can give you all the support and training you need to create high-quality engagement activities.

Whereas, it becomes much easier when we capitalise the team name:

The Public Engagement with Research Team can give you all the support and training you need to create high-quality engagement activities.

The word ‘team’ is only capitalised if it is part of the full team name. For example, it would not be capitalised in ‘the Admissions team’.

Orientation Week

The term ‘Orientation Week’ should be capitalised. However, we clarified this entry to state that when the term is shortened to just ‘orientation’, it should be written in sentence case.

Phone numbers

We added that phone numbers should be linked in the HTML using this code:

<a href=”tel:+44 (0)1334 46 2222″>+44 (0)1334 46 2222</a>

We made this decision as it helps users, especially those on mobile, to make a phone call quicker.

Thousand

We now advise avoiding abbreviating thousand to ‘k’ (for example, £400k) is it may be confusing to users, especially those using English as a second language, and as it doesn’t always work with assistive technologies like screen readers.

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