For some time now there has been a visual disconnect between the university’s home page and department Web sites. The home and doorway pages feature a more sophisticated branding, and the department pages have fallen behind. The good news is that this is all about to change. The Web team has been hard at work in developing a new skin for Cascade Web sites and it's finally ready.
On Monday November 15th, all Web sites that are currently being managed out of Cascade will be updated to use the new skin, and there will finally be continuity between the main university pages and the department sites.
How will this affect you?
If you’re in some way responsible or involved in maintaining a department Web site you might be wondering, “How will this affect me?” and “What will I need to do?” The answer to the first question is that your Web site is about to get a face-lift. If you’re curious how extensive the changes will be you can take a glance at any one of these live Web sites that have graciously served as your guinea-pigs in developing the new skins:
As you can see from the examples above the basic structure of your Web site will remain intact, and for the most part changes are chiefly aesthetic. However there are a few changes that are worthy of mentioning:
- Faculty and Staff Pages - There have been many requests to enhance the staff pages to include additional information (e.g. Curriculum Vitae). The new skins have provided us with an opportunity to reevaluate this request. We have changed how the faculty and staff profiles now work. The “More Information” button now takes visitors to a page devoted to each faculty or staff, and it’s on that individual page that we now provide additional fields of information such as Curriculum Vitae etc.
- Galleries - With the rise of mobile devices and the decline of flash it made sense to revisit how Galleries were being created in Cascade. So, we have re-written the galleries so that they do not require flash and instead use a more modern approach to presenting galleries in a modal pop-up. This is a stopgap measure. We didn’t want galleries in existing Web site to stop working, our true end goal is for departments to make use of another tool for managing photo galleries. In the future departments will use Google’s Picasa to create and manage galleries and the Web team will provide a means to seamlessly integrate those galleries back within Cascade Web sites.
- Important Dates - We will roll-out a new method of creating important dates when the work on the Campus Calendar is complete.
What do you need to do?So now that we’ve addressed question of how the new Cascade skins will affect you, let’s talk about what you need to do. Virtually nothing. That’s right, we’re not asking you to do anything. On Monday November 15th the Web team will bring down Cascade so that we can migrate all of the Web sites to the new skin. We will make an announcement in advance of that so that you can publish out any changes that you may need to make. After we've migrated the sites your Web site will have the new skins. Nothing will change in how you build or maintain your Web sites, your site will just look different. The one thing that we do ask is that if you encounter anything strange or broken that you let us know using our feedback form. We also ask for your patience. Flipping the switch on the bulk of the university Web site is a big job. We’ve done our best to ensure that it goes smoothly but inevitably there will be some issues and we will work through them as quickly as possible.
So let’s recap what this all means. On Monday November 15th your Web site will look different, and you will manage things exactly as before. If something is broken or odd just let us know and we’ll be happy to assist you.