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New Department Theme

February 2018

This year the KSAS Communications Office is undertaking a refresh of our Department/Program theme.

The last theme redesign was more than five years ago and contains a few outdated, though still functioning, frameworks and libraries.

This new theme is built with the most current version of Foundation, with a focus on accessibility, responsiveness, and device adaptability.

What will not change

  • Your content. No content will be edited, and everything will remain in WordPress.
  • Website structure. No information architecture modifications will be made with the theme switchover.
  • Overall layout. The layout of the new theme is very similar to the layout of your current theme.

What’s new in this theme

  • Unified color. Due to web accessibility issues with several colors currently offered, and increasing branding standards, websites will now all feature the standard Hopkins blue.
  • Homepage introduction. We’ve created a 1-2 sentence introduction area on the home page to boost SEO (search engine optimization) and introduce users to the website.
  • Lack of background image. Even with ever increasing viewport sizes, analytics show only a tiny fraction of the current background image is visible to a large majority of users. Additionally, the background image does not even currently appear on mobile or tablet devices. These images have been removed in the name of responsiveness and device adaptability. Taking its place are…
  • Larger hero images. Let your department or program shine with the larger homepage slider and featured image area for pages. Pages without a specified featured image will display one of a dozen-plus rotating images featuring the university and its students.
  • Wider content area. To meet the growing demands of larger and varied monitor sizes, your main content area will see an increase of over 40% in width.
  • Enhanced navigation. Previously, the sidebar menu could not go more than two levels deep. Now, pages three levels and more deep are easily navigable. Additionally, breadcrumb navigation is more prominent.
  • SIS courses layout. The page for undergraduate and graduate level courses now closer resembles the SIS course registration website. Each section of a course, the course level, the room location, PosTag(s), seats available, and additional information is now visible.
  • Links to Twitter. Faculty members on Twitter can now enter their handle and link directly to their account on their individual bio page.
  • Hub news. Using pre-selected topics or custom keywords, related articles from The Hub can now appear on your homepage in addition to, or in lieu of, your department news.
  • Widgetized areas. Widgets are now larger and feature engaging colors with varying styles depending on their content type.

What does this mean for you?

We will be contacting you individually when your website has been selected for this switchover process. The theme switching process is very straightforward and handled entirely within WordPress. A demo of your website in the new theme will be provided at this step.

If we need to modify any existing content to fit the new theme, we will discuss it with you and your stakeholders prior to the theme switchover.

We aim to have this project complete by the start of the 2018-19 academic year.

Please feel free to ask any questions, or if you’d like to be an early adopter.

Thank You!