July 28, 2014
by Creative Services
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Cascade Tip of the Month: What Does THAT Button Do?

The WYSIWYG Editor

The WYSIWYG Editor

The WYSIWYG (pronounced wizzy-wig) is the editor built into Cascade in which you input and format page content. What You See Is What You Get. Behind the scenes it does the heavy-lifting and converts your content into the html necessary for display on the web. It’s likely the tool in Cascade that you interact with most frequently, but you might not know how to use all of the available features and buttons—special characters, images, tables, links and lists, as well as custom formats and styles.

Now there’s a section of the Cascade Help Pages that breaks down each button and feature—those that should be used and those that should not (for technical, design or usability reasons).

Get to know the WYSIWYG editor and its ins and outs.

July 14, 2014
by Creative Services
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Time for a little summer cleaning

Although I’m pretty sure the idea that summer is the “slow” time on a college campus is more myth than fact, not being knee deep in the typical academic year goings-on does afford a bit of time to take a step back and get an idea of how things are going, both from a web standpoint and a social media one.

For a little web refresh, start at the homepage of your site in Cascade and click through your menu, are all the links still accurate? Is the information up to date on your homepage and other highly visible sections of your site? If not, go in and update that content, remove broken links and add your latest information. To help keep fresh content always on your site, add a new widget to your site to showcase the latest events going on in your office/department/group or the feed from your blog or Twitter account.

Have you moved offices this year or added new people to your staff? Make sure all of your contact information is accurate. This update should include your social media channels. If you’ve created a new Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account this year, be sure to add it to your website (and if it’s not included in our social media directory, let us know). Likewise, if using a particular channel has dropped off your priority list but you’d like to get it ramped back up, send Creative Services an email and we can work with you to try and figure out a social media strategy and schedule that works for you.

Do you have speakers coming in the fall for a colloquium? Student research presentations or monthly faculty brown bags? Be sure to add them to the W&M Events system so the whole campus can find out about them. You can also borrow events from the calendars of other offices on campus if you think they would be of interest to your office or department.

The added benefits to all of these updates? You won’t have to do them during the “busier” time at the beginning of the semester when you realize something may be out of date! So take 30 minutes this week and take a look at your site.

~Tiffany

June 20, 2014
by Creative Services
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Cascade Tip of the Month: Did my page publish yet?

Do you find yourself hitting “refresh” over and over on your live site wondering if your publish job has gone through?

There’s a setting for that. If you’re tired of guessing, you can set your user preferences to take you to the publish status page after you publish your edits. From there you can see your place in the queue and watch your item work its way through.

To change this setting: log in to Cascade, select the Cascade logo (that swirly thing in the top left corner), select Preferences, then User. Check the “After Publish Assets, Go to publish status page” box and hit Submit. Voila.

Access User Preferences to set your publish status page setting.

Access user preferences to set your publish status page setting.

Warning: often Cascade publishes so quickly that your item will only spend a moment on the status page. But this is a good thing.

Happy editing!

~ Jesse

May 28, 2014
by Creative Services
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Mason School of Business website refreshed… next?

After nearly a year of non-stop design and code makeovers our final school website has been refreshed. Sharing updates from the School of Education, Law School, VIMS and Arts & Sciences, the Mason School of Business website boasts a new homepage and is responsive throughout.

Desktop:

Mason home page

Mobile:

Mason mobile home page

Mason mobile page

 

We love you William & Mary! Creative Services out.

 

 

 

 

(Actually, we’re still here and we have a lot of work to do. My apologies.)

 

~ Mark Windley

May 15, 2014
by Creative Services
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Cascade Tip of the Month: What’s in a (System) Name?

A lot, actually. Especially when it comes to your image and document file names. This is the point of a recent post about naming your web files by Donna Lehmann (great find, Kathy L.). I’ll hit the highlights here, but we recommend reading her post for more detailed (and fun) explanations and examples.

Why should you care?

  • people see your file names
  • search engines (try to) read your file names
  • down the road you or your web successor will not know what IMAG3569.jpg is

Master your system names:

  • be specific and use keywords (humans and search engines will thank you)
  • don’t use spaces between words (browsers hate them and will insert a %20 in their place)
  • use dashes (-) to separate words
  • use lowercase (yes, it matters)
  • check your spelling

If your interest is piqued about simple ways to improve your web content, check out the Searchability section of our Writing & Style Guide for more best practices.

Happy editing!

~ Jesse

 

 

Tribe Voices banner

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