Template talk:University of Pittsburgh

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WikiProject Universities (Rated Template-class)
WikiProject icon This template is within the scope of WikiProject Universities, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of universities and colleges on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
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WikiProject University of Pittsburgh (Rated Template-class)
WikiProject icon This template is within the scope of WikiProject University of Pittsburgh, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of the University of Pittsburgh on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 Template  This template does not require a rating on the project's quality scale.


The Pitt Band isn't really Athletic. Perhaps we should rename Athletics to Activities or just make a new Category called Activities. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 16:48, August 22, 2007 (UTC)

Actually, the Pitt Band is part of the Athletic Department.cp101p 00:31, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Template design[edit]

I don't think Cal's template is better than older Pitt one. In fact, I think it is a step back. The direct link to the topics was deleted Athletics. The categories aren't separated well, and seems uncentered with to the category labels, especially since Pitt has thicker lists of links. The picture is scaled poorly. The Cal template doesn't save any space over the previous version nor is it easier to read. Also, we are not "The" University of Pittsburgh. Although it may just be stylistic preference, I'm reverting it back to the previous template and re-adding the changes that came after from Synthestic. I think maybe we can decrease the font on the links, or space out the categories better, but I prefer the previous template by a large margin. If you disagree, please let me know, but I certainly don't think Cal's template is the end all of templates.cp101p 01:06, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Hi. I'm the one who changed the template. I designed that template configuration to take up the least possible amount of vertical space on the page for users with both widescreen and "squarer" monitors, while still having a width of 90% or so; getting rid of rule-lines and the appearance of separate cells altogether, while still retaining a conspicuous "grouping" function for the links; and using color to move the almost superfluous -- but still necessary -- category titles into the background. I also resized the photo so that it would not blow out the last cell for readers using the increasingly-common, non-square monitors (My kingdom for an in-template image auto-resizing function!). From your comment that the two templates take up the same amount of vertical space, I'm guessing you designed this on a 4:3 aspect ratio monitor. Take a look at it maximized on a 16:10 aspect ratio monitor, and you'll see the problem with the image size and the rule lines (see screenshots below). I found the newer version easier to use for navigation, and I've gotten mostly enthusiastic responses to it elsewhere, but I guess I'll put the matter to the floor for consideration. --Dynaflow babble 05:47, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
Hi Dynaflow, I'm the one who reverted your template. I hope you don't take my preference personally. Yes, I was using a 4:3 (I can't take credit for designing it because I copied another university's one). However, I did check your template out on a couple widescreens and you are right, at 1440X900 your template is advantageous, especially the wider you make your browser window. It suffers though when you pull it back to 4:3 because of, as you mentioned, the lack of an in-template resizing function. I think this is different than how your template works for other universities because they do not have nearly as many links. Pitt's Buildings section has grown into 4 lines of links and that really screws up the 4:3 look of your template for Pitt. However, 4:3 monitors still dominate the market...and especially the installed PC user base, and your template assumes that all widescreen users are running at maximum resolution and have their browser window set at full screen length. I certainly think in the future your template will be the better choice, but for now I still believe the previous one is more compatible with the existing range of installed monitors, or in other words, the advantage to widescreen users is outweighed by the disadvantage to 4:3 users. I am certainly would like to hear other's opinions on this, and would not oppose a revert to your template if others disagreed with me.
As far as the categories, for the Pitt template they will eventually serve as links. For instance, now Athletics serves as a hierarchal top page category in the sports listing. I think the Buildings category may soon as well and I can see us adding another category somewhere down the line. I'm guessing that's easily changeable on your template, but is one reason I'm not concerned with deemphasizing the category labels.
Anyway, just so there is no misunderstanding, I want you to know I completely appreciate your interest in Pitt's template and your help...because no matter what, it will end up being improved due to your help.cp101p 22:26, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

New Categories[edit]

Hi everyone, I added new categories, because as the number of Pitt pages has been exploding, its becoming more difficult to place them in the categories as neatly as before. I also added an "Around Campus" category. Since Pitt is unique in its urban setting sandwiched in Oakland among so many other important non-university resources and institutions, I thought it would be appropriate to add a category that represents things in and around campus that are heavily used by students. I did not include neighboring universities (e.g. Carlow and CMU) as they are not really places used by Pitt students...and people can navigate to those educational institutions through the Oakland (Pittsburgh) page. Rather I focused on institutions that are key parts of "Pitt Life" despite not being official or exclusively "Pitt". I hope the definition makes sense. cp101p (talk) 04:34, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Used this as a basis...[edit]

Hey, I just wanted to say to all of you who put this together, thanks. I turned it into a decent template for University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. Excellent work, thanks a ton for making it easy on me! Pete4999 (talk) 22:43, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

new template[edit]

Hope you like the new template design. It's based on Georgetown's. I think it saves some space, but we can certainly revert to the old one if people don't like it.cp101p (talk) 17:22, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

buisness school≠ the graduate business school[edit]

I am editing it some, and a new article needs to be added Superbowlbound (talk) 05:40, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Too Branded / Hard to Read[edit]

I must say I don't like this template for two reasons.

  1. It's too branded -- it looks like an ad and not encyclopedic.
  2. The colors make it difficult to read and break usability standards for no reason other than making it follow the school's colors (which is of no use to the end user).
  3. The image instead of a traditional plain text headline is bad for search engines, screen readers, etc.

I'd propose that the colors be removed and the banner at the top is removed for a plain text headline. Thoughts? --Quasipalm (talk) 21:11, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

I'm not bothered by those issues. There is no consensus guideline for infoboxes, unless there is something new that I am not aware of, and the photos in the title bar is simply an alternate location for images that quite often appear in the margins of the template nav boxes. In an uncollapsed box, it may actually save space by not forcing the text to take up more vertical width. In how I use the template, I like the photos there to be honest. There is also no such thing as "traditional plain text headlines". Previously, many more infoboxes had photos in the header but were eliminated due to free/fair use issues with logos appearing on so many pages without a non-free media justification/rationale for each one. However, the images in this template header do not suffer from this issue. To be sure, this is a hold over from a early generation of templates, which would actually make it more traditional, but, more importantly, the header image makes it more immediately identifiable (especially in a long stack of templates) and helps to visually unify the category, which is why I prefer it to tell you the truth. Looking at the articles that include this template, only 2 articles (re: shared athletic stadiums) out of approximately 130 are ones that are not wholly devoted to a particular aspect of the University (e.g. would not be considered the primary categorization of the article), with another 4 that are split athletic rivalry articles and 2 shared academic centers. Therefore, I don't think it is problematic from an advertising/POV as opposed to it simplifying identification and navigation in this particular category of articles. Further, I don't know of any Wikipedia policy against "branding" (or if Wikipedia needs to look like a traditional encylcopedia, as image rich content and multimedia is a strength), particularly since many templates/nav boxes contain images, even if not in their header, they are generally only set to collapse if in a stack. I disagree that an improved unifying visual identification for a particular article category article is a bad thing considering this template is almost entirely used in articles that would be considered to be the article's primary categorization. In fact, I think it is a strength and that more templates should employ this style. Search engines have no problem picking up these articles and the title bar of a navigation template does not impact search ranking for the affiliate pages at all. It is a complete non-factor, IMHO. Screen readers not reading the headline is also, IMO, pretty much a non-factor for navigation templates such as this, particularly with the remaining text located within the box. It is not like the screen reader will say "Template for related University of Pittsburgh pages" and then proceed to list them in a logical order or cadence. The Exclude in print tool is used, as it should be for all navigation templates, and negates this issue for .pdf and text generation. I myself am not bothered that much by the colors but I could see how that would be an issue for some and I understand how elimination of colors in the main body might improve readability. We'll see if there is a consensus on these issues. I'll post a link to this discussion at the Pitt Wikiproject to see if we can get feedback. CrazyPaco (talk) 02:05, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

There's a great resource called the contrast ratio calculator. This is a very useful tool for helping resolve issues regarding readability of text based on color presentations. The best ratio you can get (white/black) is 21:1. This is the most readable. Accessibility standards require minimum ratios. The two principal colors in this template, (#cdb87c gold, and #002b5e blue) have a contrast ratio of 7.1:1. This is barely above minimum for regular sized text. So, most of the text meets this guideline (but it's still bad; more on this in a sec). There is a grey text used for labels in this templates, such as the words "Facilities" and "Rivalries". The contrast of this grey text on the blue background is 3.5:1, which is below the minimum standards for regular sized text. Also, the purple color used on the "v d e" in the upper left, when the link has been visited, has a contrast of 1.6:1. The blue color, for unvisited link, has a contrast of 2.5:1. Both of these colors fail. In short, there's a number of failings in the template for the W3 consortium's standards on contrast. We ran into this same problem on the University of Mississippi template. See before and after versions. This template does need to be fixed to correct these problems. Yes, I can read it fine too. I am not color blind, and my vision is 20/20. But that's not the point. The point is to be accessible and easily readable to all. --Hammersoft (talk) 21:55, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

That is a great tool and a very good suggestion. I will work on getting the readability up. CrazyPaco (talk) 22:06, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
I think the changes have solved all of the readability issues. CrazyPaco (talk) 08:39, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Nicely done! Much better. --Hammersoft (talk) 12:43, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
I agree. Nicely done! JohnnyPolo24 (talk) 16:41, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Collapsed state[edit]

While this navbox is impressive and must have taken quite a bit of effort, I do have one complaint. It is so large that it really should be an already-collapsed navbox. For pages that contain this template that contain no other templates, this really lengthens the page and seems like overkill. When I was on the Alumni Hall page, this template seemed unnecessary to be automatically expanded. Jrcla2 talk 06:53, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

That seems reasonable. I set it to collapse by default. Opinions on this? CrazyPaco (talk) 07:42, 21 August 2009 (UTC)
Ah, much better! The header on this template is classy looking, so even when it's collapsed it still looks really good. If someone wants to navigate to a different Pitt page all they have to do is click [Show], so it's really not a burden on their part. Again, probably the most impressive university/college navbox I've seen to date. Jrcla2 talk 15:48, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

image banner for nav header[edit]

The images banner is currently being removed in a slow edit war with User:Gnevin citing guideline (not policy) from WP:ICONDECORATION. It is my contention this is not an appropriate or relative guideline for the following reasons.

  1. This is not an icon, it is a 500 X 50x image with identifying text and two visual cues of the university's two most identifiable buildings. The Icon guideline refers to the use of "including logos, crests, coats of arms, seals and flags" and gives particular example of the  England. Obviously, there is a major difference between such icons as national flags, for which the policy was developed, versus the image in question:
    Pittbanner Heinz.png
  2. The Icon guideline states that icons should not be "purely decorative". "Purely decorative" is defined in that "they convey no additional useful information and nothing happens when you click on them". This image banner both conveys the major institutional identities for university, both structural (its famous Cathedral of Learning and Heinz Chapel) and historical (its reference to its founding year of 1787), thus providing a unifying visual cues across all associated pages and acts as a link back to the main top-level subject article (University of Pittsburgh). These elements may be repetitive in the main University of Pittsburgh article, but they are not repetitive in the majority of associated articles on which this template is located.
  3. The images satisfies all components of Wikipedia:Images, as all parts contain free images and do not contain copyrighted logos, thus avoiding any problem with WP:MOSLOGO.
  4. The use of this banner images has existed as is for three years, since February of 2008. The template,with banner, has been scrutinized by several editors not associated with the project for style, including User:Hammersoft, perhaps the biggest stickler and greatest defender of copyright and trademark infringement. This implies consensus has existed. Further, other university nav template headers have used images (see Template:West Virginia University), further implying existing consensus for this style of nav template.
  5. There is no policy or project guildeline (Wikiproject Universities,WikiProject Pittsburgh, Pitt Wikiproject) addressing the use of images banners in a nav template header.
  6. Because the images banners "look good", does not mean they are not encyclopedic, nor that they provide do not provide important visual representations or information about the university which, as mentioned above, may be particularly useful on "lower level" associated university articles. The visual image, again, gives the large collection of articles which fall under the scope of the university a unified theme.

So, if one goes through the Icon guideline, one-by-one for Inappropriate uses:

  • Do not use icons in general article prose...this banner is neither an icon nor is inserted into the article prose.
  • Encyclopedic in purpose The banner provides both visual and textual cues to the nature and substance of the university for quick identification, association and navigation that could not otherwise be conveyed in the space of a nav template. This is especially important for "lower-level" associated articles where this material is not repetitive, but for which the banner can both unify the association but give a quick representative snapshot of the parent institution that would otherwise not be present. In addition, an image map is used to wikilink the separate visual elements of the banner in order to give quick navigation to information on these prominent visual cues of the university.
  • Do not use too many icons This is not an icon, but if it were, only one is used.
  • Do not repurpose icons beyond their legitimate scope Not applicable, as this image represents only the University of Pittsburgh.
  • Do not distort icons Not applicable. There is no distortion to any part of the image.
  • Do not illustrate or introduce unpublished ideas Not applicable to this image. All parts of the image banner are major identifying themes used by the university itself, however, none of the parts violates copyright or logo concerns.
  • Remember accessibility for the visually impaired Alt text is present.

In conclusion, I appreciate the work User:Gnevin has done reducing the redundancy and excess of true icons (e.g.  England) in templates and articles, where such icons are unnecessary and break the flow of prose. However, I do not see how any WP:ICONDECORATION is relevant to the long-existing (and consensus implied) style of this nav template header, nor how the removal of the banner image from this nav template would improve the Wikipedia experience for its users. CrazyPaco (talk) 18:17, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

WP:ICONDECORATION clearly apply, while this image is big it's being used as an Icon, the icon is purely decorative as it provide no layout cues and in fact give WP:UNDUE importance just become WP:OTHERSTUFFEXIST doesn't make this kind of usage acceptable . They provide no information about the Universities for 99.999% of users these building are something they've never heard of before Gnevin (talk) 19:18, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
FYI, the buildings are tightly associated with the university, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, monumental in scope, and almost always appear in reference to the school (including on sports uniforms). There is perhaps no single university building that is more culturally representative, intertwined, and associated with its university than the Cathedral of Learning. In fact, it was specifically designed and constructed to serve an allegorical representation of the university and its mission. You also fail account for how information, including cultural aspects of an institution, can be transmitted visually, which specifically applies here. CrazyPaco (talk) 01:29, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Without the context you provide and which isn't and can't be provided in the template are they are to the uninformed is random buildings , which at the size here aren't even that detailed Gnevin (talk) 12:28, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Your opinion on that is noted.CrazyPaco (talk) 18:44, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
I agree with CrazyPaco on this issue. He already addressed the MoS guideline in order. The icon may not provide encyclopedic prose about the images included, but that information is found by clicking the icon. (Sidebar – anyone familiar with Pitt knows the buildings; the building are actually icons at the University. Pun intended.) It's been in use so long with little to no objection that I don't see the need eliminate it. JohnnyPolo24 (talk) 21:30, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
A link does the same job with out the ICON concerns Gnevin (talk) 12:28, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
There are no icon concerns here. You have extended the icon MOS completely beyond its scope and context, as thoroughly outlined above. CrazyPaco (talk) 18:44, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Actually, as one of the couple of most-formative prinicipal authors of the entire MOS:ICON guideline, including the wording at WP:ICONDECORATION specifically, I can confirm for an absolute fact that its intent is specifically to prevent "I want this to look like my personal cutesy-décor-filled website" decoration of this sort. The fact that you've worked two icons into a banner doesn't make it any less a MOS:ICONS issue. Indeed, it simply doubles the applicability of the guideline! There are various navboxes that have gotten away with one image, but two is guaranteed to trigger "delete this per MOS:ICON" responses. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 07:14, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
Then the guideline should be updated because it does not state that. It apparently isn't the only template to not share that interpretation. It seems to me that you are stretching the guideline to include things that do not seem to suit your personal sense of aesthetics and the result is rigid standardization of, and in my opinion inferior, nav templates, and perhaps WP:CREEP. I find it difficult to accept that the inclusion these particular images in the banner of this template for the last four years represents a "personal cutesy-décor-filled website". This banner is an honest attempt to provide a unifying visual image and improved navigation to a large set (over 100) of articles that are all related but often disparate. CrazyPaco (talk) 09:51, 29 February 2012 (UTC)


Unaware of the above, I recently replaced the template with a more accessibly-coded version, using proper list markup, and proper sub-sections. This has been reverted, with a reference to the above. The version I made can use the banner graphic, if it must, and should not have been reverted wholesale. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 21:49, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Thank you very much for the improvement for the template. That has really improved the organization and navigability. I actually didn't see this comment first, but I've already restored that and built on it. I didn't intend to revert the whole thing intentionally, as I meant to keep that improvement but was trying to figure out how to make the category boxes it less staggered. Thanks again. CrazyPaco (talk) 23:45, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for restoring most of my edits; but I'm not clear why you have retained things like:

  • superfluous emboldening of things that are now marked up as header cells
  • faux centring of sub-headers, using non-breaking spaces
removed, a few non-breaking spaces remain to reduce sub-group box size staggering. This is an aesthetic choice.
  • deprecated font tags with color attributes
This was done to unify the colors of group headings that are variably linked and unlinked. I don't know of another way to do that. This is simply an aesthetic choice.
  • ditto with hard-coded size attributes.

These are variously harmful to some of our readers and hinder future editors. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:00, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

As far as I am aware font tags used for color remain backwards compatible on all browsers. Font tags are not unusable so I'm not sure how these would be harmful or hinder future editors. Perhaps you could elaborate if this is so. If you have any additional suggestions, please keep them coming. CrazyPaco (talk) 20:33, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
A Google search for "font tag harmful" finds many results, not least this 1996 paper. I'm aware that many of the issues I listed above were merely your aesthetic choices; that doesn't negate their armful effects. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 15:19, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
If you "need" to do some kind of font stuff, you can use <span style="...">...</span> with CSS directives. If you don't know how to do that, learn how or let someone else do it, or you'll probably break things. Playing with font colors here very often causes accessibility problems. I think that MediaWiki will convert usage of the <font> markup to <span>. I guess I can find out - my own sig uses font because the equivalent span code wouldn't fit. I just save this comment and view source. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 07:14, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
Surprisingly, it doesn't. Well, at least picking a font face has no negative side effects (the 1996 paper is generally full of crap on that one point; if the font isn't local available the browser defaults up the CSS chain; the idea that the machine attempts to "approximate" an unavailable font it complete crap). Anyway, whether done with font or span tags, setting hard-coded font sizes is the main usability problem; always use % or em units, never px. Bad color choices also have negative effects - there are several different kinds of colorblindness and some of them are way more common that the average schmoe thinks. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 07:20, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for replying here. I think we've now fixed the hard coded font sizes and previously took care of any issues with colorblindness with color check tools that Hammersoft had linked and helped to address above. CrazyPaco (talk) 09:51, 29 February 2012 (UTC)


  • Whether or not the MOS ICON applies, the following should be considered: (1) does it add usability; (2) is it unnecessarily distracting; (3) does it give undo emphasis. Are there others? --Bejnar (talk) 20:51, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
My opinion is that it does not add usability and it does give undo emphasis to what is, after all, a set of "see alsos". I am neutral on the "distracting" issue. There is talk above about aesthetics; elegance has been held by many aesthetists to be the highest aesthetic value. Elegance would dictate not using the banner in the template, as would the programers KISS principle. --Bejnar (talk) 20:51, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
Any linkable banner title could be seen as giving emphasis to a "see also". Nav templates themselves can be thought of as nothing more than an entire collection of "see alsos". The usability of the template banner is in its clickable navigation and ability to convey a unifying visual identity well beyond text. CrazyPaco (talk) 08:40, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
  • The images look pretty awful to me. They are purely decorative and therefore break MOS:ICON. Would it be possible to remove them? I accept that somebody put them there thinking they are helpful but they are not. --John (talk) 19:05, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
They are not purely decorative as described above. They are also image mapped for navigational purposes as described above. CrazyPaco (talk) 07:23, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
I guess it is worth repeating, there is no policy or guildeline addressing the use of images banners in a nav template header. If there is, please provide a link to one.
There has been any establishment of the banner as even being an icon. It is clearly not what MOS:ICON either describes or give examples of, and thus the guideline it is being stretched here in attempt to apply it and is being taken completely out of context. The vast bulk of the guideline describes the use of small flags and logos, none of which are relevant here. But giving the benefit of the doubt in order to continue the discussion, I will again go through the Icon guidelines point-by-point for Inappropriate uses:
  • Do not use icons in general article prose N/A: this banner is not inserted into the article prose.
  • Do not use too many icons N/A This banner is used only once.
  • Do not repurpose icons beyond their legitimate scope N/A: this banner represents only the topic of the University of Pittsburgh.
  • Do not distort icons N/A: There is no distortion to any part of the image.
  • Do not illustrate or introduce unpublished ideas N/A: All parts of the image banner are major identifying themes used by the university itself, however, none of the parts violates copyright or logo concerns.
  • Remember accessibility for the visually impaired Alt text is present.
and finally, probably the one that is most at cited...
  • Encyclopedic in purpose or Icons should not be added only because they look good. Icons should not be added only because they look good, because aesthetics are in the eye of the beholder: one reader's harmless decoration may be another reader's distraction. Icons may be purely decorative in the technical sense that they convey no additional useful information and nothing happens when you click on them; but purely decorative icons should still have an encyclopedic purpose in providing layout cues outside of article prose.:
The banner is imaged mapped to provide navigation to the articles which convey arguably the most significant information and thus best understanding to a readers about the topic of the "University of Pittsburgh". This allows quick navigation without uncollapsing the template. Further, the banner provides both visual and textual cues to the nature and substance of the university for quick identification, association and navigation that could not otherwise be conveyed in the space of a nav template. This is especially important for "lower-level" articles that fall under the topic, where this material provided in the banner is not in any way repetitive, but for which the banner can both unify the association but give a quick representative snapshot of the parent institution that would otherwise not be present.
Consider the following direct quotes "Icons may be purely decorative in the technical sense that they convey no additional useful information and nothing happens when you click on them". As previously described, the banner provides both additional information for the vast majority of articles in which it is used and the banner wiklinks to the relevant articles depending on what part of the banner is clicked on. And this point is then summed up the following way.."Avoid adding icons that provide neither additional information (what the icon looks like itself is not additional information unless the icon is the subject of the article) to the article subject nor navigational or layout cues that aid the reader." The banner provides visual information in both text and image in addition to navigation cues as the banner is image mapped. It is providing both information and navigation. Thus, the particular point is N/A. Thus MOS ICON does not apply for any of the 7 points listed on the guideline . CrazyPaco (talk) 08:13, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
That was a bit long! I'm afraid I am unconvinced that this is an improvement to the article. I see it as decoration still. Sorry. --John (talk) 08:44, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
Sorry for the length. To which article is it not an improvement? There are over 100 that employ it. If you mean it is not an improvement to the parent article, University of Pittsburgh, I would agree because that article already contains the relevant information and photos present in that banner. However, I completely disagree that it does not improve an article such as Pitt Rep, William Pitt Debating Union, University Times, or D-Scribe Digital Publishing, which are more similar to the bulk of the articles that use the template. In these instances, beyond the banner serving navigational purposes, it provides a missing visual identity and theme unity that are otherwise missing because unlike some universities, logos are not standardized across departments, centers, etc at this university. Thus the banner helps to create a unified identity. In addition, many articles, such as Pitt Rep or WPDU, discuss or comment on one of the two structures illustrated in the banner, providing images that are otherwise are not included in the article. CrazyPaco (talk) 10:06, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

WP:ICONDECORATION clearly applies in this situation. The graphics convey no useful information in the context of the template and are purely for decoration. This is not even ambiguous, in my opinion. Making decorative headers for nav templates is a dangerous precedent. Down this pathway madness lies. Kaldari (talk) 19:55, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

"...it provides a missing visual identity and theme unity". This is not UniversityOfPittsbergopedia. Those articles should not be branded for the university, they should be presented with the same visual identity and theme unity as the rest of Wikipedia. Kaldari (talk) 20:00, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

If it is so "dangerous", then there should be a policy against images in nav template headers. There isn't even a guideline that recommends against it. Personally, I think such image headers improve the project. Pictures are worth 1,000 words. But I'll refrain for now from continuing this argument and let others add their opinions if they have any. CrazyPaco (talk) 07:11, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
At least three editors (of which i'm one) have removed it. Has anyone else supported you, let alone re-added it? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 13:32, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
Short answer is Yes. This image banner was introduced in February 2008. The use of the image banner was originally questioned (not removed) over one year after it was introduced on this talk page in June 2009 by user Quasipalm but the exiting style was also supported by JohnnyPolo24 and Hammersoft. Since its introduction, the template has been has been worked on by multiple editors including Zzyzx11 (who added the original image map), Jrcla2, Slingstone, Woohookitty, Goodtimber, Luk, Dr. Blofeld, Phillbirt, BocoROTH, The Fiddly Leprechaun, Shizzy9989, DiscoStu412, and Superbowlbound, although I'm probably missing some. None of these editors removed or suggested to remove the image banner. Essentially, the template with an image banner has existed on approximately 100 articles without further comment until February of last year when Gnevin again brought it to discussion on this talk page raising the issue of MOS:ICON for the first time. JohnnyPolo24 again confirmed support for the image banner as well as my interpretation of why WP:ICON did not apply. The template went on for another year until this recent discussion. That would seemingly constitute WP:Consensus through the first four years of use despite the one question and one objection that were previously raised on this talk page.
And additionally, while I am quite aware of WP:OSE, this wasn't the first or last such banner, so I assume other editors that have worked on similar templates, such as here or here or here or here, would also satisfied with the style. There are also 1000s of templates, including a likely majority of university-related navigation templates, with images that fall inside the uncollapsed template that would violate WP:MOS by SMcCandlish's interpretation and those images do not even map to relevant information, so I would imagine their editors could likely be supportive of this style as well. CrazyPaco (talk) 04:57, 5 March 2012 (UTC)
  • The icons seem visually helpful, and do not detract from the article(s), so I support keeping them. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk to me 05:29, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
  • I would suggest that the image should go. While it is very well done this sort of thing would lead to ugly messes as more and more navboxes went super-graphical. We already have too many navboxes, portals, and too much ornamentation on them. Keep it simple applies to the nth degree here. Rich Farmbrough, 15:20, 4 March 2012 (UTC).
Rich, I appreciate your comment even if you disagree. My premise would be that graphics are not a bad thing, particularly for a web-based resource like Wikipedia. "Well-done" graphical interfaces can be beneficial. I agree that poorly done ones are problematic. It's not as if this template, which has been in place for four years on 100 articles has led to a spread of poorly implemented graphical navigation banners. If it is well done, shouldn't it exist to exemplify a proper way to implement it if editors reach consensus to do so? It doesn't make sense to me to prevent a style of nav template because of the possibility that bad copycats may spread across the Wiki. CrazyPaco (talk) 04:57, 5 March 2012 (UTC)
Strong Keep, I have read and reread everyones very detailed comments and justifications on this. I feel that the few editors seeking to streamline or delete the graphics, however noble, are more concerned with the proverbial "slippery slope" and what other editors on other projects may do in some as yet to be determined future. I have not seen anything specifically mentioned that has critiqued the graphics at hand other than a very expansive and overly rigid interpretation of wikipolicy. Given the length and breadth of this discussion it is painfully obvious to all here that these things are handled in a case-by-case basis, maybe not by design or purposefully but do a word count, obviously case-by-case is what this has devolved into. That said, if any wiki graphic was to ever pass a wiki case-by-case analysis, the one displayed for Pitt showcasing the most noticeable academic structure in the Western Hemisphere, let alone the Pitt campus, would at the very least barely qualify. If the point is to be an encyclopedia, to summarize infinitely complex subject matter to manageable data, then the Pitt graphic could arguably be the whole point of wikipedia. I think the endless rationalization by the few editors seeking to change or delete this only further proves that these are handled case-by-case, and further solidifies the difficulty with attempting to minimize the two images importance as not only Pitt landmarks, but academic landmarks and Western Hemisphere landmarks. Yes it takes a whole lot of postings of extrapolated wikiwonk policy, to attempt to hide the impact of landmarks like that, has it occured to the pro-deletion editors that maybe they really are that significant and encyclopedic after all, just MHO and interested in other views but the more views the more you acknowledge the images significance, and that this is a case-by-case, which on quality and significance the graphic survives. MarketDiamond 21:16, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
I am sorry that Marketdiamond dismissed my discussion of values above as a very expansive and overly rigid interpretation of wikipolicy since I deliberately did not invoke wiki policy but attempted to take an objective stance and to encourage others so to do. In particular, I was disappointed that CrazyPaco did not address values, but returned to his previously stated defense that explicit wikipolicies did not apply. Reading the above comments shows that a number of editors did address aesthetic and utility issues rather than policy. I would surely like an independent review of the status of some Pitt building as the most noticeable academic structure in the Western Hemisphere. --Bejnar (talk) 07:48, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
I think the image banner added to the template's usability due to its image map and visual identity, I do not think it was distracting but rather informative, nor do I believe it gave undo emphasis as they buildings, particularly the Cathedral of Learning, as it and Heinz Chapel are major symbols of the university. An argument could be made to swap the chapel for that of a Panther, the athletic symbol of the university, but there is no more identifiable image than the Cathedral of Learning and I do not think that is even arguable to those who are familiar with the university. I previously addressed the "see also" comment above.CrazyPaco (talk) 07:03, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
To address Marketdiamond's comment, I do not think the Cathedral of Learning is the most notable, historic or famous academic structure in the Western Hemisphere, but it is one of the largest by volume, and it is by far the tallest. Therefore, it may in fact be the most "noticeable" even if it isn't the most notable. Objectively, I'm not sure how you could argue against its noticeability just from its sheer size. Subjectively, in my experience of having toured hundreds of colleges in the US and abroad, I've personally not seen a more impressive academic building inside and out. CrazyPaco (talk) 07:03, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
  • The versions with the image/icon look perfectly in line with policy, to me.--GrapedApe (talk) 13:58, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
  • I concur with the rationale that the images are appropriate and no policy seems to exist to prevent them. The image map is useful per the reasoning above. Its removal was seemingly undertaken without consensus and such action has not been uniformly applied to other templates that include images either in the header the body of the template. Noridaeh (talk) 07:28, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Removed colours[edit]

I couldn't read this with the colour scheme it had. Removed per WP:NAVBOXCOLOUR Gnevin (talk) 12:09, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

There is zero, absolutely zero precedent for removing colors in navboxes. Colors have been checked by contrast ratio calculator long ago and approved by multiple editors. There is absolutely no justification for removing these colors. CrazyPaco (talk) 15:41, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
The are difficult to read. WP:NAVBOXCOLOUR expands on this more Gnevin (talk) 15:47, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
No, the colors have a ratio of 7:1.1 which falls under "enhanced" contrast (AAA, highest category) per WCAG 2.0 1.4.6 for accessibility for the visual impaired per the color ratio calculator. CrazyPaco (talk) 15:49, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
Please see WP:COLOR: "Ensure the contrast of the text with its background reaches at least WCAG 2.0's AA level. and preferably AAA level." The existing color scheme satisfies the highest preferred contrast ratio. The original contrast ratio of the blue and gold color scheme is actually an improved contrast ratio for the title bar compared to the default imposed by your edits for unvisited wikilink (3.6:1, AA; or 5.6:1, AA) and visited wikilinks (6.21:1, AA) as well as for the unvisited wikilinink contrasted with the lighter subgroup background (4.6:1, AA). CrazyPaco (talk) 16:07, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
I'm just saying how it looks to my eyes. Your comparing the wrong colours 002b5e and FDFDFD result in a fail. The issue with this is when you look at it you get a small amount of dark text and a lot of bright text Gnevin (talk) 11:18, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
You are comparing the wrong colors. #002b5e and #cdb87c are the only designated hex colors used in combination in this template = 7.1:1 = AAA = "enhanced" contrast. CrazyPaco (talk) 06:35, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
Surely all the colours used should meet the ratio especially the title colour and the colour used the most ? Gnevin (talk) 07:35, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
Crazypaco is right, the colors are fine. Gnevin, maybe you have an issue with your screen?--GrapedApe (talk) 13:56, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
According to the link Crazypaco provides the colours aren't fine. I've checked on multiple screens Gnevin (talk) 09:20, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
I have listed the results above and they exceed Wikipedia standards are clearly at the highest level of contrast "AAA". I am not following you at all. There is apparently something wrong with what you are doing. CrazyPaco (talk) 19:15, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Your only comparing the title text colour and the background colour directly behind it. The main colour in use here is the white (FDFDFD) that alternates with the grey.
Frankly, I'm at a loss. I have no idea why you are having an issue with the default CSS colors. You have completely lost me. The only issue was your removal of the blue and gold colors which pass contrast tests easily and have consensus to remain as is. CrazyPaco (talk) 04:40, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
I've no issue with the default colours when they are used on their own. I have an issue when the default colours are used with a gold that has a low contrast ratio and is quite difficult to see. Gnevin (talk) 08:35, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, I really have no idea what you are talking about. There is only blue and gold in combination and the default CSS. There is no non-default low-contrast ratio employed by the template at all. CrazyPaco (talk) 16:58, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Its simple put #002b5e and #cdb87c into the colour validtor Gnevin (talk) 22:38, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
The result = 7.1:1 AAA: "enhanced" contrast for regular sized text under WCAG 2.0 1.4.6 (Level AAA). I honestly don't know what you are doing. CrazyPaco (talk) 00:00, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
Sorry copy and paste error a above cdb87c and FDFDFD Gnevin (talk) 09:07, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
Again, that combination is used nowhere on this template for text. Gold text appears nowhere on a white background, or vice versa. Therefore, it has no relevance to the color contrast ratio calculations employed by the WCAG Accessibility guidelines for readability. Those ratios are only pertinent to text/text background color combinations. I understand you are stating your personal color scheme preference, however it does not enjoy consensus or relevance to the topic covered by the template, nor does the use of default CSS color schemes for college articles have precedence in Wikiproject:Universities, nor does it have the advantage of the actual WCAG designated "enhanced contrast" for accessibility enjoyed by the current blue and gold color combinations. CrazyPaco (talk) 15:51, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
The overload of while and gold are difficult for me to see. We should be making the template as accessible as possible not nit picking over the meaning of background this however would suggest this template isn't accessible Gnevin (talk) 16:35, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
I only know of one meaning of background. Your link does not suggest it isn't accessible. CrazyPaco (talk) 19:16, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Gnevin. The gold text on dark blue background in the title bar is difficult to read. Gandalf61 (talk) 09:16, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
You opinion does not concur with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (1.4). The contrast ratio is 7:1.1 which is defined as "enhanced" contrast (AAA, highest category) is superior to the default CSS (3.6:1, AA; or 5.6:1, AA). See WP:COLOR. That also does not seem to be the point of Gnevin, which I admit I am at a loss to understand. Perhaps you preferred the use of the title image banner that had enlarged text per the discussion just preceding this one? CrazyPaco (talk) 17:08, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
The colors are perfectly readable. Levance2 (talk) 01:51, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
Agreed. Noridaeh (talk) 07:29, 4 January 2013 (UTC)