Athletics Redesign

Posted on February 15th, 2006 by

Athletics PreviewDue to technical differences within the underlying architecture of the athletics website, we were unable to release the redesign around Christmas alongside of the rest of our redesign Christmas. However, we have been hard at work on bringing the aesthetic and functional changes of the template redesign to the athletics website. As of yesterday, the athletics website matches the rest of our pages with, of course, a few additional feature enhancements.

First, news stories with clickable photos now use a bit of JavaScript goodness called Lightbox JS to dynamically display larger photos within the same page. While being ultra cool and web nouveau, this ultimately reduces download time for visitors. When you are on a dialup connection and only want to see a larger photograph, this is a very noticible change. We hope to further utilize the benefits of Lightbox JS throughout the Gustavus website, such as on the news site and the campus directory, when time permits. Big thanks go out to Lokesh Dhakar for making the magic happen.

Under the hood, the news stories are also our first project using the new XHTMLParagraphFormat() function for formatting the plain-text/xhtml mixed strings into valid XHTML paragraphs. We plan to additionally implement XHTMLParagraphFormat() in the news site.

Additionally, personal roster pages received a pretty cool feature enhancement. Each player’s roster page now automatically generates a list of the news stories he or she has been mentioned in. We hope that this will encourage visitors to linger on the athletics website and navigate around it via interesting and relative information.

Finally, the RSS feed icon is a minor aesthetic change that I would like to highlight. We have transitioned from the orange “RSS” box to the standard RSS icon that Firefox and IE7 are using. The athletics site is our first step toward becoming part of this new graphical standard. The icons were provided by Matt Brett’s Feed Icons.

If you have any thoughts about the redesign or feature enhancements, or would like to see a new feature that we haven’t thought of yet, we would love to hear from you.


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