2016 Updates: Our Team Pages and Directory Profiles

The 2016 redesign of the main Valdosta State website introduced a revamped Our Team template for department sites, as well as brand new directory profiles. The two are related since Our Team pages provide the data for the individual profiles. In this post we’re going to go over how they work together and how departments can fully utilize them going forward.

Cards and Directory Profiles

Cards on the Our Team template

2016 Our Team page with profile cards.
2016 Our Team page with profile cards.

The new Our Team template features a “card” for each person who has information entered for a detailed profile in the page. The card will display info entered for the NameShort Title (new field), Office Phone NumberVSU E-Mail Address, and Profile Image fields.

Directory profiles

A directory profile page.
A directory profile page.

Directory profiles make use of all of the information entered in for detailed profiles (with the exception of the Short Title field). A profile is accessible via clicking a profile card on an Our Team page or through searching the campus directory.

Making edits and publishing time

This version of the Our Team page is maintained in Cascade Server like previous versions. Each department should have an Our Team page in place that their Cascade site editor can make updates to. Many of the fields are the same, with the addition of the Short Title and Brief Biography fields.

Publishing out the Our Team page itself is as quick as hitting the Publish tab in Cascade. The profile cards and basic profiles (listed under the cards if used) will update once the page is published.

However changes to data that displays on an individual’s profile page do not show up until the next day. These changes are imported nightly and are used to compile each person’s individual page.

Profile Images

Faculty and staff can contact our university photographer Paul Leavy to schedule a time to have a profile picture taken in the studio. Department Cascade editors can work with Web Services to upload and place professional head shot images into profiles.

What if I have more than one Our Team profile in Cascade?

In some cases a faculty or staff member may have more than one profile entry on separate Our Team pages in Cascade. It’s important to note that only one directory profile can be linked to. An entry created in the system on a second Our Team page will link to the original or first directory profile created. This is the only profile that is accessible via Our Team pages or through the campus directory search.

The only information that will be unique to that second entry will be what displays on the profile card itself.

With this in mind, some individuals may prefer that their “main” profile should be switched to a secondary entry. They can contact Web Services to request which profile should be the “main” profile.

We’re open to ideas

Website development and improvement is an on going process, and the Our Team template is no exception. We’re open to ideas from faculty and staff regarding what we can do to improve Our Team pages going forward. Please leave a comment below or contact us via email (webservices@valdosta.edu) with your suggestions.

Department Site Template Updates

This week we rolled out updates for most department site templates on the main website. Changes in the update include:

  • Updated header/footer – These match the header and footer that were introduced on the new homepage.
  • Larger body fonts – Fonts are now larger with improved line height and margins.
  • Improved visibility on hyperlinks – Links are now blue and stand out in content.
  • Mobile improvements – The header on mobile takes up less room and department menus can be toggled by the menu icon in the top right corner.

The template updates were rolled out for the following templates:

  • Department 1 Sidebar Pages
  • Department 2 Sidebar Pages
  • Department Gallery Pages
  • Department Our Team Pages
  • Department No Sidebar Pages

Other template updates (college landing pages, special one off templates, etc) will be planned and rolled out in the coming months.

Please let Web Services know if you have any questions by emailing us at webservices@valdosta.edu

Updated department template example, September 2015.
Updated department template example, September 2015.

Improve Your Site’s Accessibility

Use alt text on images

Alt text provides a text alternative for images that can be read by screen reader software.

Alt text should be relevant, but succinct in relation to the body text around it. Phrases like “Image of…” or “Picture of…” are unnecessary.

How do I add Alt text to the images of my pages in Cascade Server?

Once an image is selected to insert into the body of your page, the Alternative Text field is required to fill out before clicking “Update”.

Cascade Server Insert/Edit Image Box

Establish headers for tables

Tables that contain data need specified table headers in order to help make the content more accessible for users with screen reader software.

How do I add table headers to tables of my pages in Cascade Server?

Build out your table with the structure of the data in mind. In the case below, the top row is the header row that labels the data in the columns.

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Using your cursor, highlight the header row. All cells should be highlighted completely.

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Right click within one of the highlighted cells. In the pop up menu, go to Cell > Table Cell Properties.

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In the Table Cell Properties box, go to the Cell Type select menu and select Header.

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Next, go to the bottom select menu (above the Update button) and select Update All Cells in Row. Click Update.

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Now the top row is formatted to be a table heading row. This is visually indicated by the text becoming bold.

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 Provide captions for video content

Captions should be provided and synchronized whenever video content is used.

How do I add captions to video on my website?

Web Services recommends uploading video content to Youtube and then embedding the video into the body of the web page.

Youtube’s automatic captioning is typically inaccurate, but can be easily edited within Youtube’s interface. Please contact Web Services for assistance on uploading Youtube video, editing captioning, and embedding video onto a web page.

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