As we mentioned in January, programming in SASS has been a major learning curve. As we try to keep the new CSS file small enough that loading time doesn't deteriorate your experience, we are combining functionality to make the user experience, in general, more intuitive. We are also making some improvements to the accessibility of different modules which is a constant work in progress as technology changes.
First of all, there will be two primary templates used across the Tarleton website. The first one you have already seen on the main Tarleton homepage is called "Stacked" due to the way the modules stack up on top of each other like pancakes, cake layers, sandwich layers, or any other delicious food product you can think of (we love food). The second template will have the same functionality, the same modules, as the "Stacked" template, but it will also include the navigation you need in order to provide all your departmental content, called "Right Navigation."
|Screenshot of the sandbox (no factual information) version of "Right Navigation"|
Some of the most exciting news, though, came from testing the content we have placed on the right hand side instead of the left. The location of the navigation menu was a big question in the Digital Media Advisory Committee, so we wanted to get it right. Right hand side navigation assisted users to read the content on the left first and then look to the navigation for more information if they couldn't find it. This will increase the importance of content on pages and help us strategically build navigation menus that are clean and concise.
We also found out that placing the contact information on the right side, below the navigation menu, was very intuitive for our users. They targeted it immediately when asked who to contact for more information about our fake degree program.
Obviously, the right navigation would take up a great deal of real estate on a mobile phone's screen, so it will be located under the same menu button as our Main Menu navigation on mobile phones - just above the Main Menu. This is a common practice among commercial and educational websites, and it keeps our web pages clean and open for our main focus: your content!
|Screenshot of an academic degree program page|
- Tall Aside: provides a location for main textual content and an option to provide text, images and videos on an aside box
- Rotating News: scrolling bucket layout of images and content
- Button: basic module to post button looking links for significant information
What is our time table for all of this? Each staff member and student intern is focusing on a different aspect of this conversion process. We have a goal to highlight a new degree page once a week. We are also aiming to start creating pages in the "Right Navigation" template this summer. As we receive programming requests and other design/development requests, this timeline gets shifted, but we are very excited to be moving to a more responsive website and working with you to put your best foot forward on your departmental websites!