Sitefinity July Releases
Learn about new features, enhancements, bug fixes, and the team's upcoming roadmap!Kali Karakasidou | Office of Information Technology Jul 2, 2019
Partnerships content type and widgetAt the request of the School of Education and Human Development, we’re releasing a Partnerships content type and widget that will allow them to display their partnerships to prospective and current students in a UI-friendly way. We’re in discovery mode in how we can extend this functionality to all schools & colleges (i.e.: highlighting internships), so please let us know if you have feedback!
Kinvey chatbot proof of conceptIn effort to support a University-wide high priority project, we have participated in a proof of concept to implement a Chatbot for the Registrar’s Office. The chatbot will be going live later this year and will help students and site visitors address frequently asked questions in an interactive way.
Enhanced Cards: New window target iconThe practice of opening links in a new window or tab has accessibility implications that are often overlooked. In an effort to allow site builders to open links in a new window while still maintaining a high-quality user experience for all visitors, we’ve designed and built an icon to denote when a link is open in a new window.
Hero video: theater modeAt the request of a few site builders, we’ve decided to up-level the hero video functionality by allowing users to display this as theater mode. Essentially, this allows site builders to control the video width instead of having the video stretch across the entire page. If you narrow the width dimensions, the background to the video carousel turns black.
Hero video: overlay play/pause buttonIn the spirit of accessibility and usability, our team redesigned the play/pause button to only show on hover while a video is playing. It will be centered in between the top of the video and the text box. When the video is paused, the play button will stay shown.
Hide text field if no entry on hero video and imageTo improve the UI and UX of the hero videos and images. We will now not show the text field if site builders have not entered any text. Hiding it in hero carousel will come next sprint!
Academic Program detail viewWe enhanced the detail view of the Academic Program content type by ensuring that (1) when an image is portrait, the padding and text wrap accordingly, and (2) the “Program at a Glance” box does not stretch full-width.
Widget and Database Timeout DurationWe have added an enhancement to the backend of the system to extend the duration of time that a widget can try to communicate with the database. We expect this to alleviate some of the issues we have seen when editing the People widget.
CTA in content blocks
We fixed a bug where the CTA button expanded to full width in FireFox regardless of button size selection.
WYSIWYG editorWe fixed a bug where when you select an alternative version of the header and then hover over it, it would only be shown as H1 bold.
Footer links wrapping above 992px screen widthWe fixed a bug where footer links were wrapping above 992px screen width when they shouldn’t be.
Improved security on www1, leading to OG metadata pulling in successfullyWe fixed an issue related to our SSL certificate, in which a great result was now our OG metadata will be successfully pulled in when users go to share our pages.
Accessibility updates & improvements
We made various accessibility improvements to the hero carousel, such as fixing the keyboard order, putting “slide n of n” on images so that the screen reader reads it before contents of the slide.
High priority University projects we’re supporting
Academic Program data, content type and widget; University-wide Program Finder tool
At the moment, there is unclear ownership of Academic Program data (where it lives and who is responsible for normalizing it). We’re working with the Data Infrastructure and Architecture team as well as the Registrar’s Office to determine the best way for the University to maintain this data. This clarity will immensely push forward the Program Finder implementation.
Research Administration and the Research Lifecycle Content TypeWe are actively working with the Research Admin team and a third-party partner to plan a special content type that will be used to guide researchers through the lifecycle of a research project. We anticipate that the build out phase will begin next sprint.
Other Sitefinity features & enhancements in our near-term pipeline
The following list does not depict all items in discovery or development from our term, but merely ones we know you’d be interested in knowing more about!
Keyword search & filter functionality
This would provide site users the ability to search and/or filter various dynamic content types – such as people or academic programs.
Aggregating newsroom items
This would provide site builders the ability to aggregate news items from other Sitefinity sites, Sharepoint, Wordpress, or Drupal into one consolidated newsroom. This would also provide the ability to push news items from parent newsrooms to subsite newsrooms.
People content type/widget revampThis re-build of the People content type and widget would include performance enhancements, new filter and display fields, and a re-designed plus SEO-able detail view.
Site-wide page properties
This would provide site builders the ability to set various page properties at a site-wide level, such as top navigation, website name, footer links, and various others.
Digital Experience Cloud, Personalization, and A/B testing in SitefinitySitefinity offers an integrated platform called Digital Experience Cloud (DEC), which provides the functionality for collecting user web analytics, optimizing user experiences for targeted conversions, and personalizing content to specific segments. Our new Product Analyst is evaluating these features and working with the community to discover how we can leverage them. This work also includes CRM Salesforce and A/B testing.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
AMP are a relatively new way to deliver lightning fast web pages to users. It has been proven that Google will favor AMP pages over normal mobile web pages due to the speed of delivery to the user. It has also been proven that with AMP pages, you can see a 6x growth in traffic, 23% growth in returning users, and 3x growth in load time. We’d like to turn on AMP pages for some high-impact pages, such as news or academic programs.
Facts & Figures content type and widget
This would provide site builders the ability to call out short stats, data points, or highlights in a UI-friendly way, ultimately helping build trust with site visitors.
Timeline content type and widget
This would provide site builders the ability to build dynamic visual timelines on pages with applicable use cases for curriculum pathways, admissions/enrollment deadlines, and history of school or colleges.
We’re identifying enhancements and updates we can make to our platform that will make all the sites faster and more stable.
Sites launched this month
Congratulations those who launched their new sites in Sitefinity this month!
- Family Medicine: https://medschool.cuanschutz.edu/family-medicine
- Bioinformatics: https://medschool.cuanschutz.edu/bioinformaticscore
- Pulmonary: https://medschool.cuanschutz.edu/pulmonary
- PRIDE: https://medschool.cuanschutz.edu/pride-agold
- Phys & Bio: https://medschool.cuanschutz.edu/physiology
- Hematology: https://medschool.cuanschutz.edu/hematology/
- IPE: https://www.cuanschutz.edu/centers/IPE