Consistency of presentation is a basic usability principle that should be applied in all Web pages.
FAO launched a corporate visual identity for the Organization's Web site in April 2008. This visual identity, or "look-and-feel", is based on the FAO homepage template. The aim of adopting and adhering to a corporate visual identity for the Web is twofold: to strengthen the role of the FAO domain as a gateway to the Organization's knowledge, and to support the broader objective of improving public recognition and credibility for FAO.
The new page parameters apply to all Web pages under the www.fao.org domain. When existing sites are redesigned and/or migrated to a CMS, they must adopt the new corporate appearance. In this way, over time, the FAO domain displays a more coherent online presence.
Designers and developers are asked to use the following minimum parameters for FAO Web pages:
- 1,000-pixel fixed-width, except where the nature of the content calls for a liquid page
- blue identification / navigation column at left, including the corporate identity area in the top left corner
- link to FAO Home as the first item in the left menu
- search area shown on the FAO homepage -- this must not be altered, except when a dual search is employed -- that is, the ability to search either “All FAO” or “This site”
- gray language selection bar -- graphically identical to that of the FAO homepage -- should always be present at the very top of the page. No other language selection buttons or links should appear on the page. Within the gray bar, the text should be aligned left, approximately even with the text in the blue title bar just beneath. When a Web page is available in a limited number of languages, only the available languages should be shown in the language selection bar. Language options should appear in alphabetical order as determined in English. See guidelines on language policy for more information
- blue title bar just below the language selection bar, with the recommendation that the title bar text be general enough to cover a group of pages, and that page headlines do not simply repeat the text in the blue title bar. In special situations, such as a high-level event, the blue title bar may be omitted. For more information: FAO-Communication@fao.org
- Arial body font, left justified
- Arial bold headlines and subheads, left justified
- minimal use of capital letters in title bar, headlines, subheads, captions and navigation
For the Web page designer, these page parameters leave a large white rectangle within which to work. There are no restrictions on the number of columns, column width, use of graphics, photograph size, length of page. In all cases, graphic and photographic material should be treated as adding value to the content rather than decoration.