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District Government Web Style and Standards

The DC.Gov web portal was developed to provide 24-hour access to government services, support a new channel of information to and from residents, and integrate agency services. It is important that all agency websites and applications accessed via the portal present a unified, consistent presence to enhance usability for web visitors.

Web Publishing Style

The District of Columbia Web Publishing Style Guide is designed to give District agency web authors clear, up-to-date, and easy-to-use information for writing or editing documents, memos, presentations and other online content.

It reflects the accepted guidelines and format authorized for the DC.Gov web portal and provides guidance on punctuation, capitalization, spelling, terminology, word or formatting usage, names, numbers, bullets, hyphenation, abbreviations, acronyms and more.

New items will be added as the content editing process continues to develop. All District employees who produce written materials for internal and public use or contribute to the DC.Gov web portal will find the style guide useful.

Download a copy of the DC.Gov Web Publishing Style Guide, contact the OCTO Web Team at (202) 727-2727 or send comments to an OCTO Web Maintenance Editor if you have any specific writing style questions.

Web Visual Style and Brand Identity

The District of Columbia launched the redesigned and responsive DC.Gov portal in May 2014, which included enhancements and changes to the District’s look and feel.

In order to present a consistent brand and identity for the District’s online presence, the DC.Gov common branding, visual design and layout elements should be applied when developing District websites, web applications and mobile applications.

The following resources, links and tools have been gathered to assist IT project teams within District departments and agencies to ensure the DC.Gov logo, branding and common style elements are consistently applied to applications and sites developed in-house or by external contract companies.

Terms and use of the DC.Gov logo is provided in the District’s Terms and Conditions Policy.

Any questions about the implementation of these common branding elements should be directed to the OCTO Web Maintenance Team.

Online Style Guide

The District of Columbia Online Style Guide helps streamline the website and application development process, standardize the District's face to the world and maximize the web experience for users. The DC.Gov online style guide provides specific standards regarding appropriate structure and layout elements for websites and applications (including mobile apps), including font sizes and styles; photos and graphics; responsive elements and device breakpoints.  This guide also includes customized Twitter Bootstrap elements which are particularly relevant for User Interface (UI) components and functionality used for mobile app development.

Remote User Interface (RUI)

The DC.Gov Remote User Interface (RUI) is code that can be used to wrap online web applications developed for District departments and agencies.  The DC.Gov RUI has a responsive header and footer based on the same device breakpoints used by DC.Gov’s responsive website.

Section 508 Accessibility Compliance

All sites must meet Priority 2 (level AA) accessibility conformance as outlined in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0. As many of the Priority 3 (level AAA) guidelines as possible should be met. All sites must be compliant with the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act.

Office of Disability Rights (ODR) has published the Web and Social Media Accessibility Technical Assistance Manual which provides detailed specifications, tools and resources to help application and website developers meet Section 508 compliance.

Sites and applications must be created using fully valid HTML and CSS markup as defined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and validate using the W3C HTML Validator and W3C CSS Validator tools.

Information regarding web development service level agreements, training and publishing procedures is available on the OCTO Web Team Intranet website. Please note: this site is only accessible to District government employees.

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