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2015 Gato Template Update

The Gato CMS manages over 380 official university websites. While the system has continued to be easy to use, the look and feel of the main website template has become dated. ITS is partnering with University Marketing to design a new template (or templates) for use within Gato. We'll use this web page to keep you up to date on the project.

Sneak Peek

Want a sneak peek at what the new templates will look like?  Click the image to take a look.  Please note that these are mocks-ups and are subject to change.

 

new template mocks

Project Updates

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December 10, 2015 - Gato Release Timeline and Publishing Information

As a reminder the Gato editing environment will be unavailable from Sunday, 12/13/15 at noon until Wednesday, 12/16/15 at noon. During the edit downtime your site will remain visible to the public.

Please have any edits you would like to make to your current site activated before noon on 12/13/15.

After the upgrade on 12/16, Gato editors will be able to change their site template and publish their changes, but the edits will not be made visible to public. The public will see your site as it appeared prior to noon, 12/13/2015.

 

You will be able to preview your changes on the Gato Public server located at http://gato-public.its.txstate.edu. Please note that the Gato Public server is only accessible while on campus. Sites updated and changes published between 12/16/15 and 1/8/16 will be activated at noon Friday, 1/8/2016. This will allow editors to become familiar with the new template and editing environment, as well as give you ample opportunity to vet the site before publishing it for public consumption.

The following timeline may be useful:

  • Noon, Sun., 12/13/15 Gato editing environment unavailable
  • Noon, Wed., 12/16/15 updated Gato editing environment available
  • 12/16/15 - 1/8/16 Editors can make changes and publish, but changes are not visible to the public until noon, Fri., 1/8/16
  • Noon, Fri., 1/8/16 Content that was published is now live and visible to the public.

December 9, 2015 - What's different in the new version?

New multicolumn layout options in the 2015 TXST Standard template

A new multi-column section allows users to display content more dynamically and aesthetically. There are six different section layout options to choose from.

Rotating banner images are not available in the 2015 TXST Standard template

The 2015 TXST Standard template includes a very large area for high-quality images at the top of your pages. University Marketing is providing an extensive library of beautiful campus imagery that has been tested and approved for the new template. You can select from these new banner images directly inside of Gato, upload your own photographs, or choose not to use images at all.

The amount of space devoted to imagery will create a very strong impression about your values and purpose within the institution. Because of the size and impact of this area, it's important that this area be static and without any slide animations. As a result the random and rotation effects in Gato banners has been removed. Your banner images will not be preloaded in the new template. You retain full control over what image is on your pages, and all of your banner images will be easily accessible in the Gato backend.

New Button content type

Buttons allow editors to create a variety of button types to link users to internal or external pages.

Document Management System (DMS) replaced by Digital Asset Management (DAM)

The DMS is replaced by the DAM, which functions similarly. You can upload individual files or multiple files using a .zip folder and link to them as you could with the DMS, but the DAM now houses all digital assets used in your website.  

Digital assets include all images (banners, image gallery images, images in the Text and Image, etc.) used in your site, as well as any file added to your site that you want users to download. This makes using assets (files) more flexible and easy.

Download paragraph replaced by Document content type

Files that were previously uploaded using the Download paragraph have been migrated to the new Document content type.

Feature paragraph replaced by Slider content type

The Feature paragraph type has been transitioned to the new Slider content type. The slider provides richer functionality and is responsively designed.

Ability to navigate to other pages in your website while editing is no longer supported

When editing a page, the ability to click on a link and then edit the linked paged is no longer available. Editors must open the page they wish to edit in the Pages area first. We are working on a resolution for this. A temporary work around is to preview the page you are editing and then select the link you wish to navigate to.

New three column footer in the 2015 TXST Standard template

The new Gato template includes a clever way of co-branding your department with the institutional branding of Texas State University. This takes place in the new footer, which is laid out in three columns at the bottom of every one of your pages. The first column will contain your departmental information. You can edit this area with plain text or HTML as you currently do. When you load the new 2015 Standard template, the information you provided in the old "site info" block - at the top right of every one of your pages - will appear in this new footer area. Your current footer, if you have one, will be hidden from view in the new template.

Templates in Rich Editor are no longer supported 

The template feature in Rich Editor, which allowed users to add content to a pre-designed layout, is no longer supported. Instead we suggest users look at the new functionality and design options provided to editors with Sections.

New responsive design in the 2015 TXST Standard template

The updated Gato 2015 TXST Standard template is now responsive, meaning your website will look great on mobile devices as well as desktops and laptops. 

Line above paragraph is replaced by the New Separator Content type

The Separator content type allows editors to place a line between content areas to help differentiate them.

.MOV files are no longer supported in streaming media paragraph

.MOV files are no longer supported in the Embed Video content type. If you have uploaded a .MOV file, it will automatically download and play in your local media player. If you embedded a video from the Streaming Media server, it has automatically been added to Mediaflo and your links have been updated.

Subpages replaced by the New Site Map content type

The Subpages paragraph type has been replaced by the New Site Map content type. The Site Map will allow you to specify the starting location and will replicate a Subpages paragraph.

Splash images no longer supported

The splash images, if used in the Streaming Media paragraph, are no longer supported.  Editors will need to create the splash image inside of the video hosting application, such as Mediaflo, YouTube, Vimeo, etc.

Training Opportunities

Beginning in January 2016, we have a variety of Gato training sessions scheduled to assist you with understanding the new editing environment and transitioning to the new 2015 TXST Standard template. Please visit: http://gato.its.txstate.edu/get-training.html to register.

We are very excited to offer you all an updated template and a more robust system. Please let us know if you have questions regarding the release by emailing us at gato@txstate.edu or give us a call at 245-5566.

November 5, 2015 - Work Continues

Much progress on the Gato template update has been made since our last communication and the team is entering the testing phase of our timeline. The updated template and new Gato editing environment looks great and we’re excited to deliver new features and design options to our users! Our targeted release date of December 16th is still on schedule.

We are offering a series of workshops called “Flip Your Site” which will allow Gato users to get to know the new editing environment and design options. The workshop will give an overview of the new editing environment and provide time for users to start migrating their webpages to the new template while a Gato expert walks around the room to help guide you during your website’s migration. This workshop is designed to be more of a working session rather than a traditional workshop that you may have attended. The Flip Your Site workshop is capped at 15 participants per workshop, so you may want to go ahead and sign up for a time which is convenient for your schedule.  Visit http://signup.txstate.edu/topics/598-flip-your-site to view the complete list of workshops and sign up. 

For a full list Gato I, II, and III workshops visit http://signup.txstate.edu

October 1, 2015 - Formal Announcement

The Gato Content Management System (CMS) is currently undergoing a template design and system update scheduled to be released December 16, 2015.  The new site template is being designed as a collaborative effort between Instructional Technologies Support and the Office of University Marketing.  It will bring a responsive and updated look and feel to sites and an enhanced user interface for Gato editors.

How will the updates affect me?

When the update occurs in December, the most noticeable thing you’ll see is a new design for the homepage.  Departments will adopt the new design for their own Gato sites in the upcoming months, so it won’t be a big change all at once.  Gato editors will also notice a new standard template when creating a new page, and an updated editing environment.

What changes will there be?

The new template is universally designed (responsive and ADA compliant).  Gato sites will work well on mobile devices, tablets, and also desktops.  Sites will contain new typography, and content will be media rich and easier to navigate.

Want to see a preview of the updated templates?  Click the image to see a sneak peek or visit  https://git.txstate.edu/pages/mwe12/gato-templates/about.html

gatoimage

 

 

How did you decide on what changes will be implemented?

University Marketing and Instructional Technologies Support worked together to engage users via focus groups, surveys, and individual interviews.  A wide range of users were represented and a lot of valuable user input was gathered.  The data collected from this research was used to drive the changes for the new template.

When will I see the changes?

Both the Texas State homepage design and the new standard template are scheduled to be released on December 16, 2015.  Individual site template updates will happen in the months after that, at the discretion of the site owner.

What will happen to my existing site?

If you have a site that has been identified as having highly customized pages, your department will be contacted preceding the release to assist you with your questions.  Only minor changes will be visible until you decide to switch templates.

When will support end for the existing standard template?

Support will end for the existing standard template on June 1, 2016.  At that point, all remaining sites using the old template will be automatically migrated to the new template.

Will there be any training available?

Yes, training sessions will be available beginning in January, 2016.  We will send more information about training opportunities in our November update.

Where can I go to learn more?

If you would like to learn more about the update or see examples of what the new template might look like, visit the Gato Support site at http://gato.its.txstate.edu/release-notes/whatsdifferent.html.

If you have any questions or comments, please email us at gato@txstate.edu.

 

August 1, 2015 - Programming Continues

The programming staff continues to work on the template updates. Their estimated date of delivery is December 16th, 2015, which is a month later then we had originally hoped for. However, Gato is powered by Magnolia CMS, and we are also upgrading to the latest version, Magnolia 5. This should dramatically increase our ability to add additional features in the future.

July 1, 2015 - Designs Submitted to Programming Staff

We've met our deadline and delivered final and near-final design and functional prototypes to the programming team. Design and functional elements which will be incorporated include:

- Updated header design with large image/banner area.

- Updated main navigation (sticky navigation).

- Updated secondary navigation.

- New universal footer with site contact information.

- 1, 2, 3, or 4 column layout.

- Responsive design.

- Button Paragraph.

- Updated featured/slider paragraph

- Updated calendar paragraph.

- Updated mobile responsive layout.

Some features will continue to be updated as we move forward in the programming phase.

 

June 1, 2015 – Major Look & Feel Progress

Template design has accelerated substantially, including the overall look and feel of headers, footer, desktop navigation, sidebar, and mobile navigation. Approvals are being achieved at a steady pace and a recommendation for global web fonts has been sent for approval. Feedback has been solicited from focus group participants via email with many excellent observations and comments. New paragraph types are being discussed and designed, and work on forms, buttons, and slider design/functionality is underway.

Template progress, style documents, and testing links are all available here: https://git.txstate.edu/pages/mwe12/gato-templates/

Please use a recent version of Chrome, Firefox, or Mobile Safari, and submit feedback to Michael Edelstone at edelstone@txstate.edu.

April 2, 2015 - Setting Timelines

The team (webmaster, design, programming) met  and laid out a series of dates to make a late summer deadline. The next step is to detail all the components that need updating or creating, prioritizing them and then building mock-ups to test. 

We'll be soliciting feedback of those soon!

March 21, 2015 - In-Depth Interviews

A series of in-depth interviews were conducted with a variety of Gato users to get additional feedback as it would apply to specific websites. These interviews reinforced the feedback from the focus groups.

March 20, 2015 - Focus Groups

A series of focus groups were held March 12th to get initial feedback from Gato users. Michael Edelstone at University Marketing presented the following websites as examples of directions in design and layout Texas State may want to pursue:

HIGHER EDUCATION

University of Nebraska: ChemistryLibrariesHuman Resources

Bates College: Visual ArtsPresidentFinancial Services

University of Nevada, Reno: Graduate SchoolBudget OfficeCollege of Liberal Arts

Berkeley University - Natural Sciences: http://nature.berkeley.edu/

University of Michigan - Admissions: http://admissions.umich.edu/

University of Chicago - Safety & Security: http://safety-security.uchicago.edu/

 

STUFF I'M WORKING ON

University Marketing website: http://www.umarketing.txstate.edu/

Discover website (Office of the President): http://www.txstate.edu/discover

Super early designs I'm playing around with: Template #1 | Template #2

Focus Group Feedback Summary

Like:

  • Grid based layout (content location flexibility)
  • Modern look
  • Use of feature sliders
  • Collapsible menus
  • Persistent top navigation
  • Responsive across screen size (desktop, tablet, mobile friendly)
  • Large image areas on background
  • Use of buttons/icon sets
  • Large Marketing footer
  • Use of right-hand navigation
  • New web font choices/Typography
  • Image heavy sites
  • Strategic use of background video
  • Info graphics
  • Use of secondary colors
  • Text over image overlays
  • Seperate popular links/quick links section
  • Mobile quick links
  • More action shots from University for Marketing
  • More professional video

Dislike:

  • Fullpage dropdown menu
  • Large (marketing) footer for everyone
  • U of N Chemistry too frenetic/too image heavy
  • Background video
Gato Template Update 2015 FInal : Gato Template Overview (PDF, 98 KB)

This document helps explain the background, thinking, and motivation behind the Gato template udpate.