New Library Blogging Platform

Blog platform screen shot

This, Library Tech Talk (formerly called the Blog for Library Technology), is one of the first existing blogs to migrate to the new platform. It is joined by Imageworks, from the library’s Art, Architecture, and Engineering Library. Library Web Systems will migrate blogs from other platforms into this new site over the coming months, and new blogs, including one from the Special Collections Library, will soon appear here as well.

The new tool uses Drupal’s Organic Groups module to organize blogs and authors. Each blog has its own masthead graphic to identify it; this element is shown on pages and content associated with the blog. The new design is fully responsive -- our first foray into responsive design. A responsive design doesn't require a separate mobile site, it adapts so the same content works regardless of screen size. On a desktop computer you see a sprawling layout including a sidebar with search, subscription options and other navigational elements. On small screens, like smartphones, you see the same content, but the sidebar turns into collapsible menus and the width of content adjusts to fill your screen.

More importantly, the accessibility of the design was considered from the beginning. Obstructions to users with a wide range of disabilities and assistive technologies were removed, and design features were added to make all users' experiences easier.

The new blogging platform is a collaborative effort of the User Experience (UX) Department and Library Web Systems. Special thanks go to Trevor Dobias (UX), Colin Fulton & Albert Bertram (Web Systems), and Michael Harris (a talented student in the School of Information working with Web Systems this year) for their design and implementation work.