How to represent data on the University of Maine System Website
Numbers, tables, columns and other data are important information to convey across the University of Maine System Website. The website follows the Associated Press Online Stylebook (External Link) and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 (WCAG 2.1) (External Link) for all guidance on how to represent this information.
Because the University of Maine System is an institution of higher learning and an institution that prioritizes accessible web content, consistency and accuracy are important. Please review your web content for errors in representing data with the below guidelines.
- Use numerals only for ages (e.g. “She is 32,” or “She just turned 5”)
- Columns are a useful tool for laying out information on your website, but columns can be difficult to learn how to code. Columns should also not replace tables, which need to be built for the websites on which they are placed. Please contact us using our request forms to learn more about columns and/or to request a table.
- Data Visualizations such as graphs should be used sparingly for accessibility purposes. If Data Visualizations are placed on a website, they must be accompanied by an additional HTML text page explaining the visualization in writing. Visit the accessibility guidelines on data visualizations and complex images page to learn more about how to use them.
- Do not use numbers with st, nd, rd or th. (e.g. “October 31”, not “October 31st”)
- Capitalize the names of months in all uses
- Abbreviate only the following months when a month is used with a specific date: Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. (e.g. Jan. 21)
- Always put the date before the month (e.g. “Veteran’s Day is on November 11” not “Veteran’s Day is on 11 November”)
- When using months alone or in conjunction with a year spell out the name of all of the months (e.g. January 2021)
- Use the year as often as possible to avoid confusion for the reader
How to write numbers
- Below 10: Spell out (e.g. “one, two, three, four”)
- 10 and greater: Use numerals (e.g. “10, 11, 12, 13”)
- Spell out words for “first”, “second” and so on up to and including “tenth”. Do not use superscript to prevent problems with line spacing.
- Always use figures and symbols for percentages, currency and measurements. (e.g. “A hamburger costs $5.99” or “The essay portion of the test is worth 10% of the final grade.”)
- Use commas to punctuate larger numbers (e.g. “The population of Maine is estimated to be over 1,300,000”)
- Use area code on all listings
- Phone numbers are labeled with hyphens, not periods or with parentheses (e.g. 207-123-4567, not 207.123.4567)
- Use numerals and the $ sign
- Do not use the decimal for even dollar amounts
- Columns should also not replace tables. Tables must always be created in HTML by someone who knows how to code in HTML. Fill out the request form to explore your options for having a table built on your website.
- Use figures except for noon and midnight.
- Avoid unnecessary ciphers. Use 3 p.m., not 3:00 p.m.
- Use a colon to separate hours from minutes
- Morning and afternoon are represented with lower case letters with periods to designate a.m. and p.m.
- When writing time frames, follow this format: 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; 12:30 p.m-1:30 p.m. (when both times are within the same 12-hour period)
- Avoid redundant information such as “9 a.m. this morning”