Look and Feel Standards


The Governor's Office has mandated that the State of Alaska's public-facing Internet website in the executive branch will have a uniform look and feel and must meet standards as specified by the State. This document describes the minimum standards for State of Alaska web pages. The State of Alaska's public-facing Internet website is defined as all publicly accessible pages providing official State of Alaska information by departments, their divisions, programs and all sub-pages including subcontracted sites that represent official business; commissions, authorities, institutes, corporations, boards and councils created by the state which have websites that are hosted on state servers, and/or are supported by state funds.

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All web pages must meet accessibility standards as specified by the State of Alaska. This may include requirements as specified under Titles I, II, and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 and Section 508 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, as well as the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Additional information may be obtained from the State of Alaska's ADA Coordinator or most Internet Services Functional Work Group (IS FWG) members.

Alternate style sheets to accommodate mobile devices or other user agents may be used.

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Standard Components

The standard look and feel for State of Alaska websites can be broken down into these components: state-issued cascading style sheets (CSS), skip navigation link, page background, statewide navigation bar, agency header, search box, page body, breadcrumb trail, agency footer and State of Alaska footer. Examples of the standard components are located at https://wiki.state.ak.us/x/5AG_/.

Figure 1. Page Layout and Page Components.

Screen shot of example webpage with colored rectangles overlayed to describe location of each required component

Figure 1 shows an example of the page layout with components identified for reference.

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Cross-Browser Compatibility

All public-facing State of Alaska Internet web pages will be usable and functional in commonly used browsers.

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Cascading Style Sheet

The state-issued CSS will dictate top statewide navigation bar and statewide footer font styling, search bar location, and background theming.

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Skip Navigation Link

The first standard component should be a hidden link to allow screen readers to skip to the main content of the page.

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Page Background

The page background surrounds the page body (header, footer, and content areas) and contains no text. The page background uses:

  • The state-issued background color and graphics.
  • A 15-pixel space between the top of the statewide navigation bar and the top of the browser webpage display window (see Figure 1).

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Page Width

The page width is 960 pixels. Statewide navigation bar, agency header, any horizontal navigation, page body, and footers will all operate within this width.

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Statewide Navigation Bar

The statewide navigation bar is the first visible component of state web pages. The navigation bar uses:

  • The state-issued navigation bar graphic and color.
  • A height of 27 pixels (to meet accessibility standards, the height may increase proportionally to accommodate increased font sizes).
  • The state-issued State of Alaska home page link image as the left-most item.
  • A state-issued list of links aligned 15 pixels from the right edge and styled to match state-issued CSS.

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Agency Header

The agency header is located immediately below the statewide navigation bar. It contains the agency name and related logo graphic as well as the site search bar. The agency header uses:

  • A width of 960 pixels wide and a height of 90 pixels tall.
  • An agency logo or the Seal of the State of Alaska. It will be positioned as follows:
    • A minimum of 15 pixels from the left-hand edge of the header.
    • A minimum of 15 pixels from the agency identifier text on the right-hand side.
    • A minimum of 10 pixels from the top and bottom edge of the header.
  • Header text uses: (see Figure 2 and 3).
    • A graphic to display text.
    • Adobe Baker Signet™ font, normal weight.
    • A font size of 18 points for the Secondary Agency or Subtext line ("Alaska Department of" / "department or division").
    • A font size of 30 points up to 48 points for the Primary Agency .
    • A 100-pixel spacing from the left-hand edge of the header.
    • Vertically-centered text lines.
    • A high contrast/brightness value from the header background to allow for readability and accessibility.

Figure 2. Department-Level Example

(search box excluded only for illustration purposes):

Example of department level header. Composed of the state seal and the words 'Alaska Department of' in a small font and the words 'Transportation & Public Facilites' in a larger font directly beneath.

Figure 3. Division-Level Example

(search box excluded only for illustration purposes):

Example of division level header. Composed of the state seal and the words 'Department of Transportation & Public Facilites' in a small font and the words 'Measurement Standards & Commercial Vehicle Enforcement' in a larger font directly beneath.

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Search Box

The search box is located within the right-side of the agency header. It provides both agency and statewide search options. The search box uses:

  • The state-issued graphic with the option to change the color of the button and text.
  • The following positioning:
    • 15 pixels from header's right-hand edge.
    • 15 pixels from header's top edge.
  • A text line below the search box that provides options to search the state or agency, It will:
    • Be a single line, aligned to the right edge of the search box.
    • Use radio buttons.
    • Be styled to match state-issued CSS.

Figure 4. Search Box Example:

An example of a search box that should appear to the right of the agency header text.  It is composed of a fancy textbox, a submit button and 2 radio buttons.  The radio buttons are labeled '[Agency]' and 'State of Alaska'

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Breadcrumb Trail

The breadcrumb trail is located below the agency header and before the main content area. It shows the site hierarchy to help users know where they are. The breadcrumbs are optional on agency/organizational unit home pages. The breadcrumb trail uses:

  • Left-aligned/left-justified positioning.
  • A "greater than" (>) or raquo (») symbol as a separator between breadcrumb items.
  • Breadcrumbs are optional on agency/organizational unit home pages.

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Page Body

The page body, located below the agency header, includes global navigation, breadcrumb trail, main content area and any other content areas. Layout and organization of the page body is at the discretion of the agency. The page body uses:

  • A background color of white (#FFFFFF).
  • Text based headers (H1 – H6) rather than graphics to provide for accessibility.
  • Headers that provide sufficient contrast for accessibility.

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Agency Footer

The optional agency footer, is located below the page body, includes information and links about the agency and website. The following footer links are recommended:

  • Copyright
  • Privacy
  • Accessibility
  • Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) statement
  • Terms of use
  • Additional footer links can be determined by each agency

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State of Alaska Footer

The State of Alaska footer, located below the agency footer, is the last visible component on the page. The State of Alaska footer uses:

  • State-issued background graphic.
  • State-issued links to be placed on the left-hand side.
  • "State of Alaska copyright [date] [Agency Webmaster Email link]" on right-hand side.
  • Text styled to match state-issued CSS.

Figure 5. State of Alaska Footer Example:

Example footer displaying all of the elements described above.

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Exemptions are located on the State of Alaska Wiki site:https://wiki.state.ak.us/x/oAABAg.

Look and Feel as applied to Web Applications

  1. The Entry page of a web application will follow the State's Look and Feel standards.
  2. The internal pages of a web application should retain the standard look and feel with the option of omitting any navigational elements.

"Navigational elements" referred to here are further explained in this document under the sections "Top Navigation Bar" and "Footer."

Web Application Defined:

A "Web application" for the purposes of this document has been defined by the IS FWG and eGovt FWG as:

…a software application that is accessible using a web browser or HTTP user agent and is characterized by three properties:

  1. it establishes a unique session and relationship with each and every visitor in order to keep track of the last-known or current status of an application or a process (stateful).
  2. it allows users to create, manipulate, and permanently store data.
  3. Navigation within a web application is to be controlled.

For an application to be considered a web application, it must include a server-side response dependent on user input. The application may be spread over multiple presentations.

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