So you’ve noticed that your ePortfolio has changed in appearance from the ID5 template to ID6? Now are you wondering if the editing interface has changed and if it has any new functions/options? Well here are the 6 main improvements for ePortfolio editors in the new template.
1. Editing ease
Most of the functionality of the tools and features will remain the same in the new template, just more accessible. One of the biggest advantages you’ll notice is that you will be able to see both columns together when editing your ePortfolio. You will also be able to see other elements of the page such as borders and banners so you’ll see exactly how it’s going to look on the page without having to click back and forth through previewing. You’ll see an outline around each of the columns and be able to edit each column in its place, but you’ll still only be able to edit one at a time. However if don’t want to see the banners when editing then you can click them out of view with the Show Header While Editing button. So in a nut shell, you’ll still have the Edit bar with the icons and buttons, you’ll still have to click Publish, but you’ll get a much more realistic impression of what it’s like when you’re actually in the content editor.
2. Fixed-width design
The old ID5 template uses a fluid design which offers flexibility and accessibility which allowed the creation of designs that would flex and stretch to fit the viewer's screen. However this type of layout has its limitations as editors can lose control of the layout of a page (I’m sure many of you have experienced this!) and the importance of the content maybe lost. Once an ePortfolio has been transferred to the ID6 template it will have a fixed-width design. You as an editor will have more control over how the page appears and the design will stay the same, despite how large the screen is viewed on. There is also a fixed space to work with, so text line lengths are easy to control, as is the placement of text and images. As users now use a wider variety of devices it has become more difficult to create a design that looks good for every screen size, however this type of design is the best option to make your ePortfolio more accessible to viewers.
3. Banner and site design
The new ID6 template allows different sizes of site banner, with content options inside the banner. It also permits borders to the left and right of the page content styled to compliment the departmental site design. These new features will be selected by your department and may contain a texture, image, or perhaps a continuation of the design. Although these options will not be editable by you as an ePortfolio user they offer many benefits to an ePortfolio. The banner and site design will allow easy amalgamation of your ePortfolio and its content into a department – it will make it more obvious where your research fits within the university. The modern design will also provide an eye catching back drop so minimal resources can be used when editing without compromising appearance.
4. Design layout
The new ID6 template offers several choices of page layout (see examples) as opposed to the old default of a wide centre content area and a smaller right hand side column. There is a drop-down menu in the SiteBuilder content editor displaying the layouts in a visual format; you just click on the format you want to use and then start editing the text in the area that you want. If you use these new templates, all the content will be viewable and editable at the same time. The new layout function will give you more flexibility to present yourself as you wish with ease.
5. Page headings and fonts
You may find that the headings in your page change when your ePortfolio is transferred to the ID6 template. There is now a choice of five different headings for use in a page, whereby the size of each heading level more accurately reflects its importance within the page. You may also have noticed a change in the font displayed on your ePortfolio. There is now a choice of standard font sets, as opposed to the common font used throughout the university in the ID5 template, which will be chosen to match each departmental site design. Although you will not be able to select a specific font yourself as editors, you will find that your ePortfolio will naturally stand out and better reflect the distinctive nature of each department and your research.
6. Box styles
The number of box styles available for use will decrease in the ID6 template. There will be around four box styles that you’ll be able to select from the drop-down menu however these are designed specifically to fit with your departmental site design.
More details about the changes to the template and a video explaining them is available from go.warwick.ac.uk/id6