I’m happy (and relieved…and nervous) to share a redesigned and realigned web site for the Scholars’ Lab!  Realignment is an apt word for these changes, I think, because they were done in an effort to better showcase the work the Scholars’ Lab has been doing and the manner in which we do that work. The realignment has been a few months in the making, and there are lots of great updates to the site, so this will be a modest summary of those updates, with more posts to come detailing some of the motivations behind new features and content.

We’ve taken care to highlight the work and focus areas of the Scholars’ Lab throughout the site. Additionally, we’ve added some content features for better communication and sharing of our work and events. In particular:

  • We clearly delineate the SLab’s areas of focus—Project Incubation, Graduate Training, Experimental Humanities, and Geospatial Scholarship—on the home page.
  • We have new section of the site for our Makerspace!
  • We’re featuring splendid photographs of all our current staff and graduate fellows. (Many thanks to Shane Lin for the photographs.) a complete list of all the people who are or have been associated with the Scholars’ Lab on the People page.
  • We maintain an archive of events on our Events page, with permanent pages for each event, collecting related posts, comments, and social media conversations about particular events.
  • We provide a persistent but not-intrusive way to sign up for our newsletter.

The part I’m most proud of: We decided this summer to do what we ask our Praxis Program fellows to do each year, and devise a charter that summarizes the things we care about as scholars, teachers, and colleagues and spells out the ways in which we expect to conduct ourselves and our collaborations.

The design itself leans toward a more modern aesthetic than the previous design. You can read more about the technical details of the site on our Colophon page, but here’s a rundown of some technical and design changes:

  • We spent some much needed, ongoing attention to accessibility in the site’s design and markup.
  • We include space for a decorative header image, one that authors can change on individual posts and pages.
  • We use bigger, more readable typography throughout. (As with the previous design, I wanted to make sure that the content we share on the site, is the primary focus, with other elements serving a support role.)
  • We have a main navigation that works much better across devices and screen widths.

There are still a few wrinkles to iron out, and if I know me half as well as I think I do, I’ll be ironing those out for a while. If you see a problem with the site, feel free to leave a comment here or add a ticket to our Github repo for our WordPress theme.

Complaints and issues should be sent to me. Candy and compliments should all go to my incredible colleagues at the Scholars’ Lab for content, feedback on design, terrific feature ideas, and support.

As Design Architect, I focus on front-end development, user interface, user experience, and aesthetics for Scholars' Lab projects, but I know enough programming to cause trouble for the folks in R&D. In addition to helping faculty and students on their research projects, I keep office hours and do research and teaching for our Makerspace. I'm…

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charter-ing a path « Bethany Nowviskie

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