1. marraskuuta 2018

New user-friendly website for FSD

Dear reader, it is very much possible that you’re reading this after noticing that our website has been given a facelift or after reading an announcement about it.

The previous FSD website was launched over six years ago, and a lot has changed in the way people browse the web since. The former site was not very suitable for use on mobile, or even tablet, screens. Even though nothing was broken per se, the site wasn’t exactly optimised for the mobile visitor. Unlike now. We have designed our new site with accessibility in mind, and it scales responsively to different types of screens.

Of course, the website overhaul had other objectives as well. Not getting caught up in the old ways was one of them. In six years, our services have also changed a lot, and we want to bring them forward in a new way. The starting point of the redesign was that all our user groups should find the services or information they need quickly and effortlessly.

The appearance has also changed. Now everything is a bit bigger and more colourful. Our website is our most important customer service channel and our business card as well as a meeting point for data depositors and users.

Content grouping has changed

Navigating the site is now done mainly via a “mega menu” that replaces the traditional sitemap and is always accessible, regardless of which page the user is currently viewing. We hope that this will facilitate finding the relevant contents if the URLs of pages have changed. However, we primarily aim to redirect the user to the right address automatically.

Most of the content regarding datasets directly has been moved to the Aila Data Service. The new site will include instructions on searching and using research data, introductions of featured datasets and theme pages as well as links to the most recent datasets on Aila.

Everything is new under the hood

Improvements on the site are not only cosmetic. With our partner Redflow Inc., we have developed a modern content management system, based on Hugo, for generating static pages. The CMS will be used for maintaining the FSD website and publishing new content. We wanted a secure solution that we could fine-tune to meet our needs and to fit seamlessly in with our development environment.

In the future, our other services will also receive the new look. For now, many of the services offered by FSD, such as Aila, Data Management Guidelines and Research Methods Web Resource MOTV, will have the old interface. The Swedish version of the website will receive more content in the coming weeks.

A lot of work has been done for the new website, but we have surely missed something. Maybe we have forgotten to move some content to the new page. Perhaps the interface works illogically on some browsers. It might be that a link takes you to the wrong place or nowhere at all. We will be glad to receive any feedback regarding the new site (tuki.fsd at uta.fi)!

Tuomas J. Alaterä
IT Services Specialist
firstname.surname [at] uta.fi

This blog post is available also in Finnish:
Tietoarkistolle käyttäjä- ja mobiiliystävälliset uudet verkkosivut.