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April 21, 2014
by Creative Services
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Tribe Voices v2.0

Last week we released an update to Tribe Voices (free, web-based software that makes it easy for W&M people and organizations to create simple websites). You may not notice a lot of changes on the front end, but the code received a full overhaul updating it to the latest version of the PHP Framework we use (CodeIgniter). We also updated the HTML and CSS to follow modern standards. We did add a few new features though.

Social Media Buttons

The (oftentimes finicky) embeddable Facebook, Twitter and Flickr side bar widgets have been replaced with simple links that you can specify in the Site Settings. Now users can go directly to your Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Flickr, Tumblr, Pinterest or LinkedIn page by clicking the corresponding icon in your navigation menu. Check out the Social Media section of the Tribe Voices Help site for a more detailed how-to.

Responsive Tribe Voices ThemeResponsive Theme

We’ve also added a new theme to the mix to go along with “responsify-ing” the rest of the W&M web presence. The “Responsive” theme has flexible design that will reorganize its layout to be viewed optimally on any size device (desktop, tablet or mobile). The navigation menu is placed horizontally above the main image and an optional widget side column will appear if any widgets are chosen to be displayed. The theme also allows for a custom color scheme (you can change the colors of the backgrounds, sidebars, text, links and menus using the “Customize Color Scheme” option unique to this theme).

~Tiffany Broadbent Beker (@tb623)

April 16, 2014
by Creative Services
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Now it’s (a little) easier to find your way on campus

Campus Map…we can’t guarantee a brick won’t trip you on your way there though.

Today Creative Services launched a new interactive and searchable campus map. We’ve consolidated all of our campus location information (for W&M and VIMS) into one spot. Now you can find a building’s address, photo, disability information, directions, and which offices and departments are housed within it, all on a single page (that’s linkable from anywhere, including as a link on any Cascade page).

You can search for a building by name (or search for a department or office to determine their building) or browse buildings by name or by category:

Plus, with W&M’s responsive design, the campus map is quickly accessible on your phone or tablet and much easier to navigate than a PDF file (although PDFs of the map are still available, in large and small versions).

We’ve also done some clean up of our visiting section so the information our visitors are looking for is easier to find.

If during the course of your campus map explorations you find something that’s incorrect or missing, please let us know!

What do you think of our new campus map?

~Tiffany Broadbent Beker (@tb623)

February 24, 2014
by Creative Services
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Cascade Tip of the Month: Easier Browsing of Your Stored Images

Have you gone searching for an image in your storage folders, only to find you can’t remember the file name? Try switching to the Gallery view and browse the folder’s contents visually instead.

  1. Select a folder containing images
  2. Under the View tab, select the Gallery sub-tab to activate a thumbnail view of the folder’s contents

Browse your images in Gallery mode.

Happy editing!

~ Jesse

January 13, 2014
by Tina Coleman
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Together at last.

Discovery IIToday marks Creative Services’ 4th birthday. This year is particularly special because we are all finally together. For the last four years, our office was split between two houses on Jamestown Road. While the houses were quaint and strategically located on campus, the division made it difficult to collaborate as a team.

In December, our office and University Relations moved to the first floor of Discovery II in New Town below our friends in University Development and Economic Development. We are just off campus but the benefits of joining forces with University Relations and having our teams together in one place far outweigh that one drawback.

Looking forward to what this next year will bring as we get settled in our new digs.

~Tina Coleman

January 3, 2014
by Creative Services
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Cascade Tip of the Month: Watch Out for IE11!

Recently some folks have found their Internet Explorer updated to IE11 and that it’s causing a loss of functionality in the Cascade editor, or WYSIWYG. While some programs you work with may require this browser update, save yourself a few headaches and stick with one of the recommended browsers for your Cascade work (Firefox, Chrome, Safari) and avoid IE altogether if possible.

Happy editing!

~ Jesse

October 17, 2013
by Creative Services
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Cascade Tip of the Month: Fill Your Web Bag of Tricks with Treats!

Whether you (or your supervisors) like to admit it, what you do as a Cascade web editor is important and complicated stuff. You help W&M maintain a unified web presence. You create the content that serves to draw visitors in and showcase your department, office or program’s best attributes.

Why not stockpile a few resources? We provide the Cascade Writing & Style Guide, but there are great external resources to help you successfully communicate on the web as well. Here are just a few:

  1. Fight Against Right-Rail Blindness – A great article recommended by Dave Malmquist (our fearless VIMS Cascade manager). Learn how your users are trained to ignore certain types of content in the right-column, and what you can do to maximize this valuable real estate. The good news? The base designs of our right-column elements win half the battle. The rest is up to you.
  2. Free access to lynda.com – Thanks to Swem, IT and HR, W&M students, faculty and staff now have access to lynda.com, an online library that teaches the latest software tools and skills through high-quality instructional videos. By logging into lynda.com, the campus community can access more than 1,400 training videos on a broad range of subjects, including business skills, photography, design, music and video, home computing, animation, and web design and development. New courses are added every week.
  3. Information Architecture: The Journey, Destination, and Return Trip – This is a free webinar presented by mStoner, November 20 @ 2pm. Registration required. Information Architecture (IA) is the way you organize, label, sequence and group elements on your site — from the smallest files and paragraphs to pages and entire microsites — all of it is managed through information architecture (description courtesy of Fran Zablocki, mStoner). If you’re looking to better understand good web structure and how users access info on the web, this could be for you. Please note: this is a live webinar, so we have not previewed the content. Some items discussed may not apply to the W&M website. Feel free to contact our office or your Cascade manager if you have any questions.

Happy editing!

~ Jesse

September 13, 2013
by Creative Services
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Cascade Tip of the Month: Fixing Widget (and other) Images

Have you found one of your widget images extending beyond the widget? To fix the problem, you’ll need to crop the image to the prescribed dimensions of 240px wide by 150px tall (or 209 x 143 for Mason). While Cascade’s built-in image editor is ok for simple resizing, you’ll likely have an easier time using Photoshop, or one of our recommended free image editors. Two of our favorites are PicMonkey and pixlr.com’s advanced editor — similar to Photoshop you can set your desired image size and make an easy crop to specific dimensions.

Reminder: Be sure to use an external image editor to edit and resize your images initially — do not upload high resolution images into Cascade. To help keep our shared database “sprite,” and allow us to continue to maintain up to 20 versions of every file in your history, we still ask that you not upload very large files of any type.

Happy editing!

~ Jesse