Minnesota Department of Transportation

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MnDOT Policies

Website Development & Management

MnDOT Policy AD002
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Policy statement

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) must ensure clear, concise, and consistent messages, all websites must comply with standards for visual style, editing, and content and, be available by means of a single point of access. All MnDOT employees and consultants working on MnDOT websites must comply with MnDOT standards. Websites include all technologies that provide online information or services, including social media, video and collaborative technologies. The Office of Communications is the department steward and, approves all content published on MnDOT’s internal and external websites. This policy sets the requirements as well as the roles and responsibilities for all content published on MnDOT websites.

Reason for policy

  • Ensure accurate and up-to-date web-based information that reflects the direction of the department and maintains agency credibility.
  • Ensure coordination with website professionals.
  • Ensure compliance with applicable state and federal laws and regulatory requirements as well as ADA standards.
  • Ensure that websites are customer-focused and meet changing customer needs.
  • Safeguard state resources and set expectations for MnDOT employees and external contractors.
  • Avoid duplication of effort.

Who needs to know this policy

All MnDOT employees

Procedures

Establish standard templates and standards for content

The Office of Communications will develop and update templates and establish guidelines for content, consistency of message, style, and organization.

Approve new sites

Office of Communications will review requests for new sites to ensure that there is a business need and that the proposed site does not duplicate or contradict existing sites. The Office of Communications will also review sites prior to official publication and linking to ensure compliance with standards.

Directory Structure

The Office of Communications will determine directory structure and naming conventions in accordance with standards issued by the State of Minnesota CIO, the MN.IT Services (formerly Office of Enterprise Technology), State of Minnesota Internet Domain Name System (DNS) Standard. Reference the link for more information on the standard, DNS Naming Standard.

URLS outside the www.dot.state.mn.us

The Office of Communications manages all requests for URLS outside the www.dot.state.mn.us domain. Refer to the following link, for information, DNS Naming Standard.

Access

The Office of Communications approves requests for access to the server and ensures that people have appropriate training, MN.IT Services @ DOT establishes the account. The Office of Communications establishes a posting protocol that includes development space and access to a shared server for local files.

Ensure outdated or incorrect information is not accessible

With the exception of collaboration technologies, MnDOT websites are not archives for information. Content providers will regularly review content, remove outdated or obsolete content. The Office of Communications will monitor sites and if necessary, remove outdated or obsolete content.

Legal Issues

The Office of Communications works with the Chief Counsel to develop disclaimer, privacy, and copyright statements and ensure that they are available from every webpage.

Structure and Navigation

The Office of Communications is responsible for all top-level pages and for overall navigation and organization of MnDOT websites.

Forms/instructions

For new websites, contact the Office of Communications, Office of Communications contacts (for employees only)
Use this form to request changes to existing websites, Web update request form (for employees only)
For web posting standards and guidelines, refer to, Web Principles and Standards (for employees only)

Definitions

Web content developer or business user

A web developer is an employee or contractor who prepares content for publishing.

Website

All external and internal (iHub) websites, collaboration sites and social media sites.

Responsibilities

Office of Communications

Department steward of the electronic access to information using web technologies, and shall:

  • Approve all new websites and make changes to MnDOT’s existing internal and external websites.
  • Approve new license requests for web and design software, such as Adobe Creative Cloud products like
    Dreamweaver, Illustrator and InDesign.
  • Determine when the agency should update web and design software to a newer version, and coordinate with MN.IT Services @ DOT to deploy updates to licensed software users.
  • Review sites to ensure that all content is accessible and meets requirements set forth by the State of Minnesota Accessibility Standard.
  • Provide structure and organization to all information intended to be accessible using web technologies through MnDOT’s single point of access.
  • Work with stakeholders to update statements on content, appearance, and consistency.
  • Work with stakeholders to develop and recommend to executive staff, standards for the structure, style, content, and identification of the information provided, and for the methods in making information accessible.
  • Provide access, using web technologies, to documents and other resources that enhance MnDOT’s ability to communicate with the public.
  • Provide a service for responding to customer inquiries and requests submitted to MnDOT’s electronic public access services.
  • Provide a service that assists other MnDOT business areas that do not themselves maintain electronic access services. This service will provide assistance in developing websites for internal and/or external audiences.
  • Work collaboratively with the Office of Human Resources and MN.IT Services @ DOT to ensure understanding and proper implementation of the requirements set forth in this policy.
  • Ensure that stewards maintain all information on internal and external websites and understand their responsibilities for accuracy, appropriateness, timeliness, and presentation of information.
  • Alert management staff and if necessary, the Office of Human Resources in cases of non-compliance with web standards.
  • Remove or edit websites that do not comply with standards, and if necessary alert MN.IT Services @ DOT to remove access to MnDOT web servers.
  • Manage web quality assurance and metrics tools, including Siteimprove™ and Google Analytics™ service, and provide reports to other offices to aid with site reorganization and continuous improvement.

Office of Human Resources

In situations where employees remain non-compliant with department standards, the Office of Human Resources will investigate and if appropriate take disciplinary action.

MN.IT Services @ DOT

Serve as the steward for web technologies, and shall:

  • Develop and maintain the technology supporting MnDOT’s single point of access for electronic information, which must be internally and externally accessible; and coordinate the technical aspects of this point of access with offices, districts and the State of Minnesota’s single point of access.
  • Ensure the physical security, maintenance, integrity, and serviceability of technology components supporting electronic access.
  • Ensure that any changes to technology components occur as needed and are implemented.
  • Coordinate with stakeholders the development of technology standards to support electronic access to information.
  • Coordinate site licenses for technology components to support electronic access to information.
  • Implement the technical infrastructure and organization to support the framework developed by the Office of Communications.

Governance Council

  • Provides leadership and strategic direction for a broad range of governance issues including but not limited to:
    • Internal controls and accountability
    • Administrative policy
    • Data governance
    • Data practices
    • Records management

Stewards of Internal and External Websites

  • Ensure the accuracy, appropriateness, and timeliness of information.
  • Inform users of the limitations of the information.

Web Content Providers, Web Content Developers and Business Users

  • Follow all recommendations for visual style, editing and content established by the Office of Communications.
  • Follow all requirements set forth in the State of Minnesota Accessibility Standard.
  • Follow all security protocol and standards set forth by MN.IT Services @ DOT.

Frequently asked questions

Why does MnDOT require the use of templates?

Using standard templates guarantees a common look and feel to MnDOT’s website. This increases credibility and makes it easier for customers to move from page to page. The templates also include many components that make the pages easier for someone using a screen reader or other assistive technology to access MnDOT’s websites.

Why does MnDOT require web developers use a common server for their files?

This allows the CO (Central Office) web team to access files and provide back up support when needed.

Why can the Office of Communications change approved text?

The Office of Communications will request edits to make text better suited for the web and to ensure that content is in line with the objectives of the Commissioner and the Governor.

Why do web developers need to use software required by the Office of Communications?

Using a department standard for web development software allows for other web developers and the CO web team to provide back up support.

Do all websites and web content need to comply with ADA requirements?

Yes, effective April 29, 2011, all web content must comply with the State of Minnesota Accessibility Standard. Specifically, websites must comply with the Electronic & Information Technology Accessibility Standards, Section 508 Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0).

Do all employees that supply information to collaborative sites need to follow this policy?

Yes, the policy applies to all providers of web content.

Related information

History of policy updates or amendments

Amended

Policy AD002 – Website Development & Management, established 3-21-2013

Supersedes

Policy 4.1 – Web Technologies, Supplying Information, established 5-23-1995, revised 1-12-1999

Ownership

Responsible Senior Officer

Tracy Hatch
Deputy Commissioner/COO/CFO
tracy.hatch@state.mn.us
651-366-4811

Policy Owner

Kevin Gutknecht
Director, Office of Communications
kevin.gutknecht@state.mn.us
651-366-4266

Policy Contact

Rebekah Niyukuri
Graphics and Web Supervisor
rebekah.niyukuri@state.mn.us
651-366-4260