Last week I was pleased to finally unveil a new design for the website of my employer, the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences. I had been gradually refining the department’s public facing website since I arrived there at the end of last year but most of the changes had only minor visual impact. For example, I changed the whole site being a collection of static HTML files to running on a dynamically scripted webserver. That made site management much easier (including giving me access to log files showing activity and errors) but all this work was a prelude to undertaking a more significant redesign.
I think think the new site achieves a clean, modern look that reflects well on the department as a place carrying out cutting-edge research on a wide range of conditions affecting bones and joints. It is also a step forward in accessibility. The previous site used the out-dated paradigm of relying on tables for layout whereas the new site relies on CSS for layout and only uses tables for genuine examples of tabular information. This will make it much more usable for those relying on technology like screen readers.
This week in my blog, I plan to explain some of the thinking that has gone into the design of the new site.
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