My name is Rommel and I am relatively new to the Web Communications team. If there is anything that I have learned in my first few months in Web Communications is that they have their own lingo – I dubbed it “WebSpeak.”
I guess that every work environment has its own shoptalk that only those that have been around a while can comprehend. I’ve witnessed WebSpeak first-hand while working in Web Communications. At first I was overwhelmed with learning the lingo, however, I realized that all shoptalk is universal; you just have to find a way to incorporate your perspective. Once you get your bearings, you’ll find that WebSpeak is easy to learn.
I also realized that learning the lingo is only half the communication. Some of the requests that come in to our inbox contain only bits of information. There is enough to figure out what the request is, but finding “where” on the site takes a bit of detective work. Of course, there are some clients that are more versed with WebSpeak and their requests are easier to locate and identify. But for others, I’ve compiled a list of recommendations that, hopefully, helps them communicate the needs of their website.
Key 1: Provide the URL
The first key is very easy. If your site is having trouble, copy the URL (Web address) of the page with the error/issue and include that in your message to email@example.com. If it’s a specific link in a page, please provide that as well. The more information you provide about which Web page you found the issue, the easier it will be for us to identify and fix the problem.
Key 2: Provide a deadline
Provide a deadline. Clearly suggesting your expectations on when you want the task to be completed can help us immensely. Depending on the amount of work we currently have, we can provide feedback if the project will take longer than your expected deadline.
Key 3: Allow for time
Please allow for time. There are always tasks in our work queue and some may take longer than expected and it pushes the rest of the queue back with each delay. So please bear with us.
Key 4: Learn the lingo
- Website – An allocated space in the Internet that has its own domain name.
- Sub-site – A separate site but still within the domain of a website. Larger sites can use this to separate different areas of their site.
- Web page – A document displayed in an Internet browser window in HTML format, a computing language. This single page constitutes one Web page.
- Homepage – The main page of a site or a subsite (the “index” page). I think of these as the lobbies.
- Child page – A child page is a Web page that is subordinate to another page, usually a home page.
- Menu items – These are the navigation items to your site which link the homepage to the child pages. The menu remains, most of the time, static, within a site.
- Sub-menu items – A menu item within a menu item.
- Template – A template is ‘what separates the content from presentation in a Web design’ (thank you Wikipedia). If content were the entree, then the template would be the plate.
- Content – These are the images, words, events, links, etc. of a Web page. I compare this to the “meat” of the site.
- CMS – The Content Management System is an interface used by Wayne State University for clients to manage the content of their website. Clients provided with site access can log in using their WSU AccessID and password.
- Copy – These are all the words within a Web page. You can usually select these words and they are editable through the CMS.
- Image – Any non-text element within a Web page. These could be GIFs, JPEGs, JPGs, etc. (all image file formats).
- PDF – These files are like snapshots of documents; some are editable and some are not while some can be created with fillable areas. This file format is widely used and not specific to an operating system.
- Link – Also known as hyperlinks, links act as portals from one Web page/website to another. These are used to navigate Web pages/websites.
- Text Link – Text links, also called “anchors,” are links within a page. These can be used to navigate a large amount of text within a page
- Promotional Areas – Think of these as spaces or items within your website (usually the homepage) that can showcase things/events that you want to promote. These are always designed by a graphic designer and are programmed into the site’s main template. There are different forms of promo areas but as I will be using wayne.edu as an example:
- Main Promo – These are the big images that are usually on the homepage and take up a lot of space.
- Promo Boxes – Standard, square-shaped boxes with rotating images, usually used to showcase featured events.
- Promo Buttons – These are unique static images that stay on a page that link to an promotional event/form/site. On wayne.edu, these would be the Apply buttons below the menu.
- Promo Item – A singular promotional item/image.
I admit, it is not a comprehensive list but rest assured that I will keep adding things each time I learn a new phrase or word.