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Web content standards

The main University of Leeds website, Shorthand and University of Leeds Medium account are managed by the Digital Communications content team. You can email the content team on

Shorthand is an externally-provided digital platform for long-form content, which is used primarily for Spotlight features. Medium is an externally-provided blogging platform used for communicating quick-read stories and thought pieces for a general audience.

This page explains standards and management procedures we use to maintain the quality of digital content, whether you edit content on these platforms yourself or want to work with us to do this. We will refer to you in this guidance as a ‘content owner’.

Following this guidance makes sure your content:

  • serves the needs of your audience (or users)
  • is inclusive and accessible
  • meets industry requirements
  • communicates your message more effectively
  • is easier for you to maintain
  • is easily found using search engines such as Google (known as search engine optimisation or SEO)
  • supports the University’s professional reputation.

Content standards for all content owners

When working on digital content:

  • Put user needs first, which means only including content that serves a clearly defined purpose for the user and ensuring content is simple and succinct so it can be read quickly and easily.
  • Follow accessibility guidance to make sure we meet our accessibility legal requirements. These are:
  • Make sure content is up-to-date and doesn’t contain broken links. If content isn’t maintained, it will be removed.
  • Make sure content is accurate. Back up any claims (such as awards or statistics) with a reference to the source.
  • Never duplicate existing content, which is confusing for users and bad for SEO.
  • Avoid use of PDFs or other downloads. Where possible, put the information on webpages instead. Make sure PDFs or other downloads are accessible if they must be used.
  • Only use high-quality photography that is optimised for web when including imagery, for example from the University image library, or stock photography websites.
  • Use plain English, avoid jargon and technical language, explaining the latter clearly if it must be included.
  • Follow the University style guide.
  • Read the Creating web content guidance for tips on making your content user-friendly.
  • Use our Blog guide to find out about blogging platforms and best practice and use our Medium guide to write and publish Medium content. We reserve the right to edit Medium submissions to meet styling, accessibility and legal requirements. We may also decline to publish content that does not meet our content standards. 

How we will work with you

Content owners with editing rights

  • If you need editing access to the content management systems for Jadu, Shorthand or Medium, please contact email the content team on We will arrange your level of access and training.
  • You must complete technical training for the relevant platform and accessibility training provided by the content team.
  • Content that doesn't meet the content standards in the previous section will not be published. You should proofread your content before you submit it.
  • We aim to publish content updates in Jadu within the same day, if it meets the content standards.
  • If you are planning a significant rework of existing digital content (such as a section of pages) or a new web section, please let us know. Email the content team at and use the web content request form to provide a brief.
  • If you would like support to make your content on the platforms we manage more user-friendly, get in touch at email the content team at

Content owners without editing rights

  • For changes to copy on a webpage or several pages, please brief your work in using track changes in a Word doc, including the relevant weblink(s), and email the content team at
  • For a significant rework of existing digital content (such as a section of pages) or a new website, please get in touch as early as possible at the planning stages and use the web content request form to provide a brief.
  • We will discuss the most appropriate platform and type of webpage for your content.
  • We will agree a realistic timescale with you.
  • You will be responsible for the purpose, audience and user needs of web projects and provide written, image, video and audio content.
  • Our role is to support you with:
    • determining the best presentation of information, such as structure and location
    • copywriting and copy editing
    • using the correct format and sizing for images.
  • We use analytics to evaluate whether content is meeting user needs and we’ll suggest changes based on this digital insight.

Submitting an event to the corporate site

You can submit an event to the corporate website using a form on the homepage. We do not publish events that are already hosted on other University webpages and we only publish events that are hosted at or by the University.