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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!

Heads up – previous generation template outage

Just a heads up for everyone –

On Monday, April 18, 2016 there will be a short outage of the previous generation template. All sites that use templates from designer.wsu.edu will be affected. IT will start work on a server starting at 7:30 am, and the outage should only take 10-20 minutes.

This will not affect any site using the current Spine template.

 

The foundations of clear navigation

An emerging design trend hides a website’s navigation when viewing the desktop version. The menu is activated by clicking on an icon which design insiders call the “hamburger”.

Hamburger menu icon

The hamburger is useful for mobile sites where the screen real estate is small since it hides the navigation until the visitor taps it. However, using it on desktop versions presents usability challenges. This is an example of “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”.

 

Time magazine home page
Time magazine’s desktop version of the home page. All major sections of the site are hidden behind the hamburger.

 

Time home page with menu
Clicking on the icon causes the navigation to slide out. Once a link is selected, the menu slides back and the main navigation sections are hidden from view once again.

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