This past January, I designed and launched a new website for The Triangle, Drexel University’s Independent Student Newspaper. When approaching this project I was given free reign over how the site would look with occasional feedback from The Triangle’s various staff members. Looking at their old site, I knew immediately that a complete redesign would revolve largely around images incorporated into the content to create a more visual look.
One thing that I also wanted to improve in from the previous design was including a dedicated contact page on the site (the previous design consisted of a single page with everyone’s contact information on it; not very secure). I relied on the pipes options within Contact Form 7 within WordPress to direct various emails to the correct departments while also delivering email confirmations to senders.
In addition to a new look for the homepage and the use of a contact form, I wanted it to be easier for the multimedia departments to handle their media incoming from YouTube and now Amazon S3 for video and audio content. Using the Advanced Custom Fields plugin, I was able to generate various input boxes that could be used to enter data such as video URLs and filenames, which could then be stored in the database and retrieved later- essentially skipping the embed code copy.
Also, the multimedia pages were are all set in a black and white theme to draw the viewers eye to the media content and away from the visual design of the site. FitVids.js and mediaelement.js were also used to maintain aspect ratio in responsive web design as well as help with playback of audio content.
Archives and long strings of content were also cleaned up in the new design as well as the addition of an online staff page, where authors could be tagged as staff members and added to the staff page with a few clicks via some custom meta fields- no more manually entering in names. Staff photos also became available on the staff page after a few updates.
The site is an ongoing project, and is constantly being improved. Visit it at http://thetriangle.org.