Today I was delighted to finally be able to press the button to release the new version of the website for my department. NDORMS is a research department within the Medical Sciences Division of the University of Oxford and, while my colleagues are busy doing clever things ranging from staring down microscopes and paying very close attention to what is going on at a cellular level right through to delivering (and following up) the resulting improvements in care, I spend my working days beavering away on a range of information systems to support them.
Updating the site was my first major task when I took up the role about six years ago and a major upgrade has been well overdue, galvanised by adding a communications officer to our team. By not having to deal with all the decisions about how things should look, I’ve been able to turn things round very quickly, based on my existing dynamic framework and a healthy dose of Bootstrap to provide a responsive CSS framework.
There was one thing that needed immediate fixing (moving to the live server revealed that the link to the Bootstrap files, hosted elsewhere, didn’t work entirely as expected in that context) but I managed to figure that one out and even find time for a little further tidying up. There will certainly be more to come over the next few days and weeks, both minor tweaks and rewiring some major underlying systems. For now though, I’m content to have helped bring the new look to birth; it is at least as significant a step forward as the previous upgrade and, thanks to improved foundations, a lot less painful. Perhaps we won’t leave the next iteration quite so long though!