The University of Texas at Austin encourages its students, faculty, staff and members of other affiliated entities to participate in the university’s official Web presence. There are a variety of ways to approach this. Each has its own technical, layout and policy requirements.


Design & Usability

We recommend that Web developers design for multiple platforms and build sites that are platform agnostic, following responsive design guidelines and using progressive enhancement techniques.

Responsive design focuses on the use of three design features:

  • Flexible grid-based layout
  • Flexible images and media
  • CSS media queries

Progressive enhancement focuses on establishing a base set of features and then adding functionality as allowed by the visitor’s platform.

Information on both responsive design and progressive enhancement can be found at A List Apart or elsewhere via online searches. Using these practices provides a standards-compliant way of ensuring support in multiple environments as well as future-proofing your sites against new platforms.


Web Standards

Developers are responsible for creating standards-compliant websites and applications.

To comply with Web standards, websites and applications must have valid HTML, CSS and JavaScript. They must also meet accessibility and semantic guidelines. Full compliance also includes valid RSS, metadata, XML, SVG, device APIs and object and script embedding as well as proper settings for character encoding. Web pages should also be optimized for size and download speed.

Web standards are set by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). For a complete, visit the W3C Web Design and Applications Standards website.



Developers can determine if their sites or applications are standards-compliant by using the following W3C validators:  


Quality Assurance Tools

In addition to the validators, W3C provides useful quality assurance tools: