We consolidated our templates for “www” (not faculty) into a single template that has multiple view options set via the folder and page properties. This allowed us to keep continuity of design between the full-width views and the standard (interior) views and share the navigation across pages. There are also multiple navigation menu options (explained in next section) between these full-width and standard views.
The standard view matches closely to the 3-column “interior” page you are familiar with for our current template. However, that standard view no longer uses the “sidebar” (right-hand) space as a property to turn on/off – we automatically converted those sidebar spaces/content into a column format in the body of your pages with this new template. This standard view assumes the use of a left-hand navigation menu space and existing navigation menus will be converted as-is into this new template. Below the navigation menu is a new section for the “Contact Us” information (this used to be a simple email in the footer – now it allows for more details).
The current full-width pages were created by the Web Team after consultation with the department to provide high-interest media with minimal text and act as a high-level portal for areas of interest within the department. One of the drawbacks to these pages was a separate horizontal navigation menu that was not in synch with the interior pages and it required Web Team support to update. There was also a shift in header/footer design between these homepages and the interior pages. The new template fixes these issues by sharing consistent looks for header/footer, and a new menu system that can be used throughout the entire department website in conjunction with a reduced side-navigation menu. This navigation menu is also coming from the same/single navigation file that department authors can edit and publish directly.
For those departments that want to take advantage of this full-width view, it will still require an initial consultation with the Web Team to check the admin-only properties for enabling the view after setup/review of a navigation file that will work with the horizontal menu.
Most departments that have the standard "interior" template right now rely upon a left-hand navigation menu that is present on all pages in their site. This menu will be automatically converted to a restyled left-hand menu on the new site/template but otherwise function the same way it did previously. It will still be maintained with the _includes/_nav.inc file that is currently used. The CCC and Kinesiology sites demonstrate this standard menu.
The horizontal (top) navigation is now available for all websites and not just for the homepages. With some adjustments to the common navigation file (_includes/_nav.inc) and a properties setting (turned on by the Web Team), your site can utilize the enhanced navigation that is based on sections. This does two things:
The initial rollout of the template will come with just a few new features, but it positions us for future development that relies on a much more modular and robust framework. Training and self-help guides will be developed and communicated as new features are released, but here are a few things to expect with the rollout or soon after:
You will not be expected to perform any additional work in order to make this conversion happen. You may choose to make adjustments, on your own timeline, if you want to take advantage of some new features offered with the template (namely navigation updates to switch from full left-side navigation to the combination of horizontal and reduced left-hand navigation). The Web Team will automatically convert and publish most pages, but this also means some pages may get published out to the live site when they should just be in OU Campus. It will be helpful if you make a list of such files so they can either be removed from OU Campus before the rollout or they can be unpublished soon after the rollout.
The new template will be just as easy to use for daily editing of content as our current template, so there will not be an immediate need for retraining. However, there are additional page properties and functionality that you may want to take advantage of with the new template. We will be providing self-help guides to point out those properties and features and our new OU Campus training sessions (not yet scheduled) will cover those features as part of the "Introduction to OU Campus" training. Look for future communication about available trainings as we have not yet determined if special sessions are needed for current authors or if we can rely on self-guided videos to retrain.
If you have any follow-up questions or concerns about this rollout process, please contact the Web Team (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will try to provide a timely response either individually or as part of a list of known issues, FAQ, etc. which will be posted in the next section.