We are pleased to announce the release of version 1.1.0 of the OSU Homepage.  Central Web Services and Web Communications in partnership with Disability
Access Services
have been hard at work on this release.  Originally slated for release on September 1st, there were some delays as the new features introduced some interesting bugs.

You may not notice it if you don’t look closely.

What you’ll see now:

1.  The OSU Foundation logo is now in what we call the “Top Hat”.  While it is a minor change, it is an important function, as Foundation donations help all of OSU, so please give where you can. We all appreciate it.  🙂

2.  Another important function that went into this release is the “sticky” nature of the main content area.  For those wondering what the main content area is, it is the area (including the menu) after the feature stories.  Menu pictured here.

main content area menuNow if you click on a menu, go to any of the links off the menu, and hit the back arrow, or back function of your browser, where before it would always take you back to Future Students, now it will remember where you were.  In order for this to function, cookies will have to be enabled for your browser.

As long as browser cookies are not cleared, it should remember for 30 days.  Why 30 days?  Well the initial reasoning is that if there are changes to the Future Students content area, we want everyone to know, so as ambassadors of Oregon State University, the word can be spread to everyone you know.  Now the 30 days isn’t an absolute, so we are interested in hearing from people if the 30 days needs to be longer, or even shorter.

3.  The next function we are introducing is the ability for Multimedia content in the Feature Stories.  You will now be able to play some video and audio content from the home page.  You will see a multimedia area that indicates the type of multimedia (video pictured here).  View Video Image

If you see that and click it, it will open a box and you can stream the video to your computer right there, without leaving the OSU Homepage.  Now if you don’t see any Multimedia link, it likely means that there isn’t video or audio tied to a feature story.

4.  Now what I consider as some of the most important changes, many of you won’t see.  We have put a stronger focus on Accessibility, working in conjunction with Disability Access Services to look at how accessible the homepage is for people with disabilities.  For those who don’t know much about this topic, I would encourage you to find out more.  We still have a list of additional fixes that are still being worked on for Accessibility.  The key here to note is that the focus on Accessibility is not just a one time event.  In the coming weeks, we will look to roll out more Accessibility fixes in version 1.1.1, and keep going in version 1.1.2 and further until we can get the Homepage among the best in the country for Accessibility.  With dynamic content and dynamic functionality, it is not always the easiest to accomplish.  Our goal is to look for those solutions that will help accomplish it.

So that’s it, there may be a few small bug fixes as well that you won’t have to worry about.

We’ll be next planning version 1.2.0 for release in December, where we will look to have additional features and functionality.

For those planning to be at University Day, we’ll be unveiling something new for OSU!  So come on by to University Day and visit both Web Communications and Media Services/Central Web Services.

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