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Mobile sites and applications

Mobile devices continue to gain a larger share as a method to browse content and interact with others on the Web. Because of these growing trends, we offer the following guidelines for websites that are easy to view on mobile screens and applications (commonly called "apps") that can be installed on an end user's phone, tablet, or other device.

Best practices for mobile site development

  • Test on multiple devices and platforms. Try not to focus on apps or sites for one particular device.
  • Conduct usability tests whenever possible to determine bugs or other glitches.
  • Design with Photoshop and prototype your design for testing. Creating wireframes help to set up the project and should be used to develop sound interface structure.
  • Use progressive enhancement on mobile-based Web designs and projects. Try to support feature phone browsing and not just smart phone use. 
  • Use media queries whenever possible or conduct user agent sniffing on the back-end.
  • Design with large, user-friendly button hit areas.
  • Traditional Virginia Tech logos or icons, such as the shield, plylons, athletics VT, or pieces of any of the logos, should not be used as bullets, accents, navigation elements, or buttons.
  • Provide a link to the original / full version of content that might appear elsewhere on the Web.
  • Limit the use of orange. It should not be a dominant color. Brand emphasis is on our official Chicago maroon color (#660000).
  • Manage download size and try to limit the kilobytes you force users to consume. Optimize as much as possible.

Guidelines for mobile application development

The university maintains a presence on iTunes, Apple's online store for music, video, and applications. To be considered for inclusion on the Virginia Tech iTunes store, applications must follow the guidelines distributed by Apple. The full Apple guidelines are available on Apple's developer site

In addition to the guidelines from Apple, groups seeking to distribute applications through the Virginia Tech store must agree to the following:

  • Applications that are intended to be sold through the iTunes store must be licensed by the university’s Licensing and Trademarks unit.
  • Vendors who are hired by a university department or organization to develop an application for paid distribution must be licensed by Licensing and Trademarks in University Relations. Vendors hired to develop applications for free distribution must seek permission from Licensing and Trademarks.
  • The Virginia Tech logo with the tagline (Invent the Future) must be featured on the home screen. The position and size of the logo may vary due to the design of the application, but the logo must be visible. Any changes to the logo’s appearance must be approved by the Office of University Relations.
  • The official Virginia Tech colors are maroon (#66000) and orange (#ff6600). Alterations to the official colors are prohibited without the consent of the Office of University Relations.
  • If your application is collecting data or requiring a secure login, a link to the Acceptable Use Policy (http://www.vt.edu/about/acceptable-use.html) must be provided. Applications that require login must also follow university policy on privacy statements (http://www.policies.vt.edu/7030.pdf).
  • Applications that intend to use any of the following verbiage or related logo imagery must secure written permission from the Licensing and Trademarks unit:
    • Virginia Tech
    • Hokie
    • Hokies
    • Invent the Future
    • Ut Prosim
    • That I May Serve
    • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
    • The HokieBird
  • No logo affiliated with Virginia Tech can be used in combination with or addition to another logo.
  • Applications will be reviewed by a team consisting of staff from Information Technology and University Relations. This team holds the final authority to determine whether an application can be distributed through the Virginia Tech iTunes store or other mobile application distributor.