The Responsive Web

We’re working on making the website responsive/mobile-friendly. This means that we’re adapting the current site so it can respond to different screen widths such as tablets, phones and desktop computers. We’re planning to go live by mid-August. Hello 2016!

Changes you’ll notice:

  • The main menu (green area at the top) will have fewer links to allow the entire menu to be available at all screen widths.
  • We’re ensuring that all links currently available in the main menu will be available within two clicks.
  • The quicklinks currently at the top of the main menu that include “login” and “library” will be moved to the footer at the bottom of the page.
  • The search functionality has been enhanced to improve navigation and accommodate the reduction in menu links.
  • Multiple-column layouts will become single columns at smaller screen widths.
  • The common page layout (left sidebar with grey menu and page content on the right) will display as two columns at larger screen widths and as a single column at smaller screen widths.
  • All images will resize according to the screen width.

Not much will change on your end since the Drupal experience remains the same. However, we encourage you to start thinking about how your content displays at the different screen widths. Here are some tips to get you started.

Tips to optimize the website for the responsive layout:

  • Use the fewest number of columns possible.
  • When using multiple columns, be aware that the first column will display above the second column at smaller screen widths.
  • Do not use tables in your web pages. They will not display properly at smaller screen widths. Try reformatting your content if it currently uses tables. If you’re having trouble displaying content or data, we can help.

 

Updates to Announcements

We’ve made a few updates to the Announcement content type. We especially love that any new announcements will now display within their assigned section.

published with labels

Here is the full list of updates:

1. Choosing one single section rather than several

This is how we were able to give Announcements a home within their chosen web section.

choosing a section

2. The ability to add a cover image

The cover image will display at the top of the published Announcement. Note that there is a minimum image size of 646×50 pixels.

inserting a cover image

3. Assigning a date

By default the Announcement will use today’s date.

assigning a date

4. Adding a video gallery from YouTube

You can add YouTube videos by pasting the URL into the video gallery field.

adding a video gallery

5. Adding an image gallery

Upload images into the image gallery field to create an image gallery display at the bottom of the published Announcement.

image gallery field

 Watch this (silent) video to see the changes in action:

Instant Publishing to the Live Website

As of Monday, June 30, any Drupal content saved as Published will be instantly published to the live website.

Our current system publishes to the live site once per hour between 9:15 and 4:15, so we’re very happy to move into a more streamlined approach for publishing content.

Updates to Events

We’ve made some updates to the Event content type and display. If you take a look at the Event content type in Drupal at https://drupal.unbc.ca/node/add/event (note that you’ll have to be logged in to see this), you’ll notice that we’ve added in some new fields.

Descriptions on how to use the new fields are included within the form. Training videos and documentation for web editors will be updated in the coming months, but in the meantime feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.

Here’s a preview of what to expect:

Add an Event Cover Image

New field: Event Cover Image

The Event Cover Image will display the image at the top of the Event page display, and also on the Events landing page at www.unbc.ca/events.

This is an Event displaying with a Cover Image (shown at the top), a Video Gallery and an Image Gallery down below.

The Events landing page displays a preview of the Cover Image to the left of the Events listing.

Create a Video Gallery

We’ve added in the ability to add Youtube videos to Events! Just paste the Youtube link into the Videos field.

New field: Videos

Video Gallery display

Add an Image Gallery

Create an Image Gallery directly in the Event by uploading images into the Image Gallery field.

New field: Image Gallery

Image Gallery display

 

Thanks,
Emilie

News Item is now Announcement

We’ve renamed the News Item in Drupal to be Announcement. The content type remains exactly the same, but when you go to create a News Item, it will be called an Announcement instead.

Additionally, the News tab which displays on webpages will remain as News.

New Buttons

We’ve included some new button styles with the updated designs:

Buttons created before the design updates are displaying as solid grey buttons. To get the arrow or file extension to display, you will need to re-apply a button style as either a link style or document style.

Some Facts

  • Document Buttons will detect the type of document and display its extension.
  • If there is too much text for the button, the arrow or doc extension won’t display.
  • If there is way too much text for the button, the text will be cut off at the end of the button.
  • Buttons that take up the entire width of the page are not recommended.
  • If a link has too much text for a button, then it should be styled as a regular link.

 

Global Navigation Updates

The Office of Communications has been working on refining the global navigation for the UNBC website. We’ve received a lot of feedback since we launched the new navigation system nearly a year ago, and we have been working to address many of the concerns that you’ve brought to our attention.

We’ve also improved the way the links display in the mega menu to improve use.

These updates will be put into effect the evening of January 2nd, 2014, in conjunction with the design updates http://blogs.unbc.ca/web/design-tweaks/.

Research

In addition to the feedback that we’ve received from a variety of web audiences, we’ve conducted in depth analysis of our web analytics to see how our web users are searching for UNBC online content, analyzed a report of over 2,000 higher ed website navigation systems and trends, as well as evaluated other navigation trends and analytics.

Using common terminology and organization of links helps web users such as prospective students, who may be looking at several higher ed website, find the information they are looking for quickly and easily.

The Result

Overall, the navigation has not changed substantially. Some terminology has changed (ie: from “Apply to UNBC” to “Admissions, from “Careers” to “Jobs”) and the location of some links has shifted.

Below you will find screenshots of the updated global navigation for your reference until we launch them in January 2014.

Global Navigation

Global Navigation – will display at the top of every page on the UNBC website. Click the image for a closer view.

Admissions Mega Menu Expanded

Global Navigation with the Admissions mega menu expanded. Click the image for a closer view.

Programs & Courses Mega Menu Expanded

Global Navigation with the Programs & Courses mega menu expanded. Click the image for a closer view.

Campus Life Mega Menu Expanded

Global Navigation with the Campus Life mega menu expanded. Click the image for a closer view.

Services Mega Menu Expanded

Global Navigation with the Services mega menu expanded. Click the image for a closer view.

About Mega Menu Expanded

Global Navigation with the About mega menu expanded. Click the image for a closer view.

 

Design Tweaks

The Office of Communications has been working on some design tweaks for the UNBC website. We’ve received a lot of feedback since we launched the new designs nearly a year ago, and we have been working to address many of the concerns that you’ve brought to our attention.

These updates will be put into effect the evening of January 2nd, 2014.

The examples below are just a sample of the improvements that we’ve been making.

Slideshows

Current slideshow design.

 

New Slideshow design

  • Easier to read caption
  • Button that allows the user to clearly see that they can link to additional information
  • Button also serves as a call to action to invite the user to explore more
  • Play/Pause Controls – allows the user to pause the slideshow for more time to read the captions and is an asset in terms of accessibility
  • Funky slant that mimics the angle in the “N” of the UNBC logo

Grid Alignment


  • The website has been fine tuned to align to a baseline grid. This helps ensure that text, images and other web content has consistent spacing and alignment. The changes here are subtle, but result in a significant improvement to the display of the content, enhancing the user experience.

Mega Menu

Current mega menu

 

New Mega Menu

  • We’ve improved the way that links display in the mega menus, improving the navigation experience.
  • We’ve also adjusted the sensitivity on the expansion of the menu, making it easier to use as well.
  • We’ve updated links in the global navigation as well: http://blogs.unbc.ca/web/global-navigation-updates/

Our Alumni

New Alumni Profile

Current Alumni Profile

We’ve fixed the issue of how the text  in Alumni Profiles wraps.

Events

Current event tab on the left, new designs on the right.

  • Times how display on a 12 hour clock, making it easier to understand at a glance
  • We’ve also displayed the campus and location for all events in the tabs

Buttons

Current buttons

New Buttons

Current Grey Buttons

New grey buttons

Web users often complain about clicking on a link when they don’t realize that it will open a file. We’ve added functionality to the buttons so that if the button links to a file, it will display the file extension showing the user what to expect before they click.

Colours

The colour palette has become more neutral. This allows greater emphasis on the content and less on any particular design element. The user will be drawn quickly into images, navigation, links and headings. These are the elements that are primarily sought when a user skims a web page for the content they seek.

We’re using the official UNBC green and gold, accented by grays pulled from various natural elements found on the UNBC campus, as well as a blue/green, again pulled from campus elements, that is used for links.

A Simplified File Browser

We’ve simplified the file browser so that you’ll only have access to files from sections you have access to.

So, instead of seeing files from every section of the website, you’ll only see the files that matter to you :)

Those changes will be pushed out today, Sept 26, 2013.