The presentation of the Swiss Federal Administration on the Internet
The Confederation Web Guidelines define the design specifications for the presentation of the Swiss Federal Administration on the Internet and are binding for all websites within the domain admin.ch. These guidelines specify how the websites of the Federal authorities have to look and how they should behave. At the same time they give the government departments and public offices the necessary flexibility to be able to optimize their online communications to the requirements of their specific business purposes.
These design regulations allow web designers to create up-to-date, user-friendly and universally accessible websites. They define the compulsory corporate design elements as well as the obligatory navigation and content modules. Furthermore, they introduce a series of elements that can be used directly and, if required, expanded upon or further developed. The display presentation has been optimized for web browsers on both desktop computers and laptops as well as on tablets and smartphones.
The design specifications described for use on the Internet or in intranets can also be used for other digital channels, such as for the creation of apps.
The elements and modules described can be categorized in three groups:
1. Corporate Design Elements CD
The corporate design elements identify the website definitively as websites of the Confederation and for this reason their use is obligatory. Their presentation and design are set out in the Confederation CD, and they may not be modified in any way. Changes to these elements may only be implemented by the Specialist Unit for the Confederation CD or by the KID (Information Services Conference of the Administrative Departments). The CD elements are:
- designation of the website, comprising the Confederation logo and the name of the organizational unit
- red line separating the header from the rest of the page
- footbar with the copyright notice, links to the legal notice and further legal information
- “Frutiger” typeface
- prescribed color range
The CD elements are marked with the following icon in the detailed descriptions: Corporate
2. Fixed Elements FIX
The use of fixed elements is not mandatory. However, if they are used, their position and design are fixed and unalterable. For this reason they may not be modified in any way. Changes or additions to the following elements require the approval of the Web Forum:
- all other header elements (treecrumb, service navigation, language selection, search box, topics A-Z box)
- global navigation
- navigation in the left sidebar
- social media links in the footer
- partner links in the footer
- site map in the footer
- social sharing function
- print function
- “back to overview” link
- typographical rules
Fixed elements are marked with the following icon in the detailed descriptions: Fixed
3. Flexible Elements FLEX
The descriptions of all other elements are recommendations. They can and may be adapted to meet specific requirements. They can be freely expanded upon and modified. The general look and feel of the site must, however, be retained. Additions to and amendments of these elements can be presented to the Web Forum for consideration as part of the web guidelines.
- faceted navigation
- picture gallery
- contact box
Flexible elements are marked with the following icon in the detailed descriptions: Flexbile
Moreover, each project is entitled, within the scope of the framework created for the Confederation CD and the fixed elements, to develop its own elements. Any such newly created elements can be presented to the Web Forum for consideration as part of the web guidelines.
Revision and Further Development of the Confederation Web Guidelines
The Confederation Web Forum will review the Confederation Web Guidelines annually to ensure that they remain up-to-date and conform to developments in the web. If required and in consultation with the KID, the service providers, and the Specialist Unit for the Confederation CD, the Confederation Web Forum will initiate a release update of the Guidelines.
Extensions to existing elements, as well as new elements that are not yet included in these Confederation Web Guidelines, may be proposed to the Specialist Unit for the Confederation CD. This Unit will consider the proposal for submission to the Confederation Web Forum. The Confederation Web Forum will subsequently determine whether the proposed change should be added to the Confederation Web Guidelines or not. If the former is the case, the Forum will propose the relevant amendment to the KID.
If the KID agrees to the amendment, the submitting body will implement the amendment. In the course of this implementation process, the applicant will ensure that the code, together with a description of the amendment, is passed on to the Specialist Unit for the Confederation CD. The Unit will add the amendment to the Guidelines and inform the service providers of the change.