Vox Daily, Dartmouth’s news digest for announcements and events, is being upgraded this month with a new look and an easier submission interface for users.
At the same time, Web Services—which is part of the Office of Communications—is working with Information, Technology and Consulting on a major project to migrate more than 100 Dartmouth websites to an updated version of the Drupal content management system over the next 18 months to give them a fresher look and to make them more mobile-friendly.
Modern, Inclusive, Accessible
“New Vox will continue to be filled with news and announcements our community relies on to stay informed, but it will no longer look like it’s being sent from the dawn of the internet age,” says Justin Anderson, senior vice president for communications. “We are thrilled with the new, long-overdue redesign, which had as its main goal to make Vox more accessible and inclusive and the underlying system easier to evolve and upgrade.”
Managed by the Office of Communications, Vox Daily is an email digest that goes to all faculty, students, and staff—an audience of approximately 15,000 people—Monday through Friday.
In addition to the featured news stories of the day, the newsletter publishes announcements and events submitted by staff and faculty through the Vox content management system, which is accessible to employees with a NetID.
The updated system was developed with input from students and other community members, with help from the DALI Lab. The system will have an accessible website design that will work with screen readers and other accessibility devices.
The new system will feature a modern character set, including accents and diacritical marks, and will allow text to be hyperlinked.
The original system was developed more than 25 years ago. “It let community members self-submit information, which was ahead of its time,” says Jon Chiappa, executive director of Web Services. “But because the system was so old, any changes we made to the system risked creating issues we wouldn’t be able to fix. This upgrade sets us up to be able to improve the system as the technology evolves. ”
The changeover to the new system will begin Friday, Dec. 8. Users will be able to submit posts on Monday, Dec. 11.
Updating Institutional Websites
Most Dartmouth websites, including those for academic departments, centers, and institutes, currently run on the content management system known as Drupal 7, which Drupal will soon no longer support. Over the next year and a half, Web Services will help most Dartmouth sites to migrate to the most recent version, Drupal 10, which Anderson characterizes as a “substantial upgrade.”
The new sites will have more flexibility in the display of content, as well as a refreshed design that will reflect the style of the dartmouth.edu homesite, which was updated in 2021. An example of a site that recently launched in Drupal 10 is Commitment to Care, Dartmouth’s strategic plan for student mental health.
“The new sites will have a significantly more modern aesthetic and be more mobile-friendly,” says Anderson.
The Drupal migrations will include most undergraduate academic sites, as well as sites belonging to the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Student Affairs, Dartmouth College Health Service, the Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies, the Leslie Center for the Humanities, the Montgomery Fellows Program, and the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy, among others.
The websites for the Tuck School of Business, Thayer School of Engineering, Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth Library, and Athletics are not managed through Drupal and are not affected by this update.