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Web Communication Community

Web Communication Team Update

Thanks again for all of your continued support during this time of transition for WSU’s central web team. As we rebuild the web communication unit, Clint Young will serve in an interim capacity as WSU’s web director.

In addition, Danial Blaile from CAHNRS will provide WordPress development support on an interim basis. For the next three months, he will lend his skills and expertise halftime to assist the central team in platform maintenance and addressing critical needs.

I would also like to thank Phil Cable for his contributions to the web team over the past few years. We wish him continued success and all the best in his future endeavors.

As always, if you encounter any issues, have questions, or want to learn something new, please visit us at open lab every Friday morning or visit our service desk portal.

Events site update

The WSU Events site was recently overhauled to provide an improved experience for visitors and users alike. Feedback is welcome and appreciated as the site continues to be developed!

New design

The most obvious change is an updated design. All events for the given day are displayed in the home page header, a search field and filters for viewing events by type or campus are provided below that, and a curated set of events is featured in the body.

All other pages include the given day’s events in the footer, and the entire site has a persistent footer with a calendar for quickly viewing which days have events, “Submit an Event” and “Contact Us” buttons, and a mark that links back to the home page.

Event entry

The new event submission form was designed to be more intuitive and easier to use. Built using WP Event Calendar as a base, some additional fields were added for capturing further details visitors might expect to see.

The venue and organizer entry processes in the previous system led to the creation of multiple duplicates, so the new system offers a simpler interface for both.

  • For venues, there is now a list of buildings to select from, and a “Notes” field for entering more specific details (like a room number, for example).
    • If you don’t see your building listed, or notice that the name of a building isn’t quite correct, please don’t hesitate to contact us about it!
  • For organizer information, there are fields for entering a “Name”, “Email”, and “Phone Number”.

A completely new set of fields is available for creating a call to action link. These are optional and can be used for purposes like linking to a registration or RSVP form.

Users of the previous site might notice that “Tags” and “Categories” have been dropped in favor of “Types”. The “University Organization” taxonomy has been updated, too, and between these two changes, a majority of use cases for “Tags” and “Categories” from the old system are accounted for.

Event feeds

As with the previous site, the new site serves as a system-wide calendar and offers API endpoints that can be used for displaying specific subsets of events on any site.

For sites on the WSUWP Platform, the WSUWP Content Syndicate Events plugin is still the easiest way to display a feed of events. Support for the “Type” taxonomy has been added, and the documentation will be updated to include instructions on how to pull a feed by “Type” soon!

Web accessibility update

Washington State University websites must be accessible to everyone who attends, works at, and enjoys the University.

New policy and procedures govern web accessibility

WSU recently updated its web accessibility policy, Executive Policy #7 (EP7), and added web accessibility procedures. The new policy and procedures strengthen the University’s ability to make its websites accessible to a diverse community. They set standards for WSU electronic and information technology (EIT) that are consistent with state and federal accessibility guidelines, regulations, and laws.

WSU employees must uphold accessibility standards

It is your responsibility to ensure that content that you create or update for WSU is accessible and complies with the revised policy and guidelines.

Required training

Starting in January 2018, WSU will offer web accessibility training online. Registration information will be announced after the first of the year.

Training is mandatory

If you are a web developer, content publisher, editor, domain owner, or have any other role in updating WSU web content, the University requires you to participate in training annually. You must complete training before publishing WSU web content.

Please share this information

If you are not directly involved in your department’s web content development, please forward this message to the appropriate staff.

Support services

The WSU Web Communications staff offers services to help you make your websites accessible. In addition to online training, you can take advantage of monthly workshops, online resources, and in-person support.

Monthly workshops

Strong working knowledge of accessibility issues and requirements is essential for web communicators. These free monthly workshops keep your knowledge up to date.

JANUARY 2018 WORKSHOP

Writing for the web and making content accessible

Thursday, Jan. 4,
3:00–4:00 p.m.

Spark Academic Innovation Hub 212 (Pullman)

Live-streamed online (all campuses) This workshop introduces best practices for writing accessible web content. Whether you are a full-time web writer or you occasionally update content on your department’s website, you will learn how to create content that is accessible, organized, and succinct.

Register now

WSU web accessibility website

Bookmark this site! The web accessibility site provides resources for content creators, as well as scheduling and registration information for training sessions and workshops.

Web open lab

Fridays, 9:30–11:30 a.m.
ITB 2025, Pullman campus

Drop in to exchange ideas and get answers to your questions. Web Communications staff lead these weekly sessions. All are welcome to attend.

Online communication platform

Connect with more than 150 members of the WSU web community on the Slack communication channel. Join conversations, ask questions, and share solutions to accessibility challenges.

Join the WSU Web Slack Team

The Web Communication team has embraced Slack as one of its daily tools. We use Slack to enable communication around the many projects that we work on day to day, as well as to increase incidental communication—sharing tips, suggestions, and interesting things that we find throughout the day.

Not too long ago, we started another Slack team for general use by the WSU web community. Anyone with a wsu.edu email address can join this team and participate in discussion. We hope to use this as another way to foster an open and collaborative culture around the web at WSU.

Signing up is quick. Head to https://wsu-web.slack.com/signup to create an account. Once you’re up and running, post questions and discussion topics in the default #general channel.

We’d like to encourage a default to open mindset. Rather than relying on private messages, ask questions in the open so that everyone can benefit from the answer. Over time, we can gather more frequently asked questions and turn them into more proper documentation on web.wsu.edu.