Update on the Hope Blog Network

We’re excited to share a few things in the works for Hope blogs. As we continue our work with compliance and web accessibility, we’ll soon introduce a revised design and other enhancements to the entire Hope College Blog Network. Although this is not a full redesign, it will include a new color palette and other style elements that emphasize better contrast and legibility.

We’ve also added a new custom byline for posts that include the author and date and appears between the post title and body. To customize the name of the author, use the custom field “custom_byline.”

The design improvements will be rolled out this week, so let us know if you notice anything that doesn’t seem quite right, and we’ll look into it right away. You can report problems to the Web Communications team at web@hope.edu.

Additionally, the update will include a brand-new blogs.hope.edu homepage, which will feature highlighted blog posts and an easier way to navigate the blog directory.

Finally for our blog admins, in either mid-December 2018 or early January 2019, we plan to host a lunch-and-learn about the Hope blog network. We’ll discuss these new changes, provide insights about WordPress features and engaging blog page design, and just give admins an opportunity to share ideas with each other and us. We’ve not done this in a while so it will be a great time to come together as blog administrators.

Let us know what you think of the updated theme!

A mock-up of the updated Hope College Blog Network theme
A mock-up of the updated Hope College Blog Network theme

Tips for Campus-Wide Communication

As the semester is underway, we thought we would share some helpful information and suggestions about campus-wide communication. Let us know if you have questions or if we can be helpful in any way!

Campusmail

WHAT IS CAMPUSMAIL?

  • Campusmail is the Hope College moderated system for sending email messages to large sections of the campus community (e.g., all faculty, all employees, all students).
  • If you have an event or information that is useful to the greater Hope community, you may send a Campusmail. The message must be Hope-related and originate from a faculty or staff Hope email address.
  • Campusmails are distributed three times per weekday by Public Affairs and Marketing.

HOW TO SEND A CAMPUSMAIL

  • From your faculty or staff Hope email account, send your message to campusmail@hope.edu.
  • Include a helpful subject line and your intended recipients (e.g., all employees, only faculty, etc.). Also include a CAMPUSMAIL DISTRIBUTION header.

To:  campusmail@hope.edu
Subject: Join us for Special Event on 10/1

(Send to all Faculty)

CAMPUSMAIL DISTRIBUTION (from Jane Doe)

You are invited to a Special Event on 10/1….

NOTES ABOUT CAMPUSMAIL

  • Attachments and images are not permitted due to technical limitations with Campusmail. Instead, add your information to Google Drive and include a link in your email.
  • Using an email platform like MailChimp or Constant Contact to draft your email and then sending a single message to Campusmail for distribution violates those companies’ terms of service.
  • Regular messages to students or specific targeted groups of students (e.g., all Philosophy majors) are handled through the Studentmail system (studentmail@hope.edu), coordinated by the Office of the Registrar.

inHope

  • inHope is Hope College’s intranet and is only accessible to individuals who have a hope.edu email address.
  • inHope includes campus announcements, news, events, employee and student directories, Marketplace and links to common campus resources and services.
  • To submit an inHope announcement, complete the announcement form and determine how long you want your announcement to stay active.

Calendar

  • The Hope College Calendar is a publicly accessible master list of events. Events on the calendar also appear on inHope, department websites, and digital signage.
  • To post your event on the calendar:
    • Make your campus room reservation through EMS.
    • Select ‘Yes’ to display this event on the Hope College public calendar.
    • Include descriptive text in the “Event Details” section of the room reservation.
    • Approved events typically appear on the campus calendar in 1–2 business days.
  • List all of your department events on the calendar, even if attendance is not open to the public. If your event is invite-only, do not post your event.
  • Promote your event by emailing more information and/or a custom photo to calendar@hope.edu.
  • For assistance with room reservations, contact the Events and Conferences Office (events@hope.edu, 616.395.7222).

Please send any questions about Campusmail, inHope and the Calendar to Public Affairs and Marketing (marketing@hope.edu, 616.395.7860).

Web Accessibility Training video and presentation materials

Thank you to those of you who were able to join us for our Web Accessibility Training session in August! For those of you who were unable to attend or would like a refresher, below are links to a video of the presentation as well as the presentation materials.

Thank you for your support in making the Hope College website accessible to all of our visitors! Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any questions.

Accessibility Updates Coming to hope.edu

You may be aware of the ongoing efforts to address website accessibility as it pertains to the Hope College website (hope.edu) and our other web properties. In addition to the new Web Accessibility Policy and Web Accessibility Training recently offered, we will soon be introducing a revised design and other enhancements to the Hope website to address several issues related to color contrast and further optimizing the site to be used more effectively by screen readers and other assistive technologies.

Tip: if you notice a hope.edu webpage not loading correctly, try clearing your browser’s cache

You’ll notice these design improvements taking place in the coming days and weeks. Please note that web content editors will not be required to take additional steps to implement these updates to your department websites, as long as your site is using the new template. If you do notice something that does not seem to be functioning correctly, please let us know right away.

We always welcome your questions and feedback as we work to make the Hope website an inclusive and accessible space for all of our visitors.

The new hope.edu accessible web design
The new hope.edu accessible web design
The new Hope College Calendar design
The new Hope College Calendar design

Web Accessibility Training coming in August

As you may have heard, we’ve implemented a new Hope College Web Accessibility Policy. Additionally, we are offering web accessibility training this summer to educate those of us who are involved in editing Hope webpages. We strongly encourage our web content editors to attend.

Our first Web Accessibility Training session will be held on Thursday, August 16 from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at the Haworth Center Ballroom I & II with a free lunch to follow.

The training will be led by Jeremy Abrahams who is a senior developer, UX strategist, and accessibility specialist from Mighty in the Midwest in Grand Rapids.

If you are unable to attend, a video recording and presentation materials will be made available.

Please RSVP using this form to let us know if you’ll be attending or if you’d like the video and materials sent to you.

If you have student workers who work on the website and are available, you are welcome to encourage them to attend as well.

We look forward to this time of learning, please let us know if you have any questions at web@hope.edu.

Web Accessibility Policy

Dear campus community,

We’re writing today to give you an update on website accessibility as it relates to the Hope College website, hope.edu. Web accessibility refers to the inclusive practice of removing barriers that prevent people with disabilities from interacting with or accessing websites, so that all users have equal access to information and functionality. Hope College (and other colleges and universities) are required to have accessible websites, which is enforced by the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights.

Hope College is required to develop and post a Web Accessibility Policy, outlining a technical compliance standard and describing how Hope will ensure accessibility of our web content. This email serves as notification to the campus community of this policy.

View the Hope College Web Accessibility Policy on the college policy page or feel free to contact Jason Cash in Public Affairs and Marketing for a hard copy of this information.

Later this year we will begin to offer and require web accessibility training for all campus web content editors. We will provide more information about that in the coming months.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.

Jason Cash
Director of Web Communications and Interim Web Accessibility Coordinator

Sara Dorer
Equal Opportunity and Compliance Coordinator

Improving Open Graph Tags on hope.edu

We’ve recently made a “behind the scenes” update to our hope.edu pages and sites within OU Campus that greatly improves the metadata code provided for open graph tags. Open Graph is a technology first introduced by Facebook in 2010 that allows integration between Facebook and its user data and a website. By integrating Open Graph meta tags into our page’s content, we can identify which elements of our pages we want to show when someone share’s a page on Facebook or Twitter.

By implementing this, Facebook no longer has to guess what image to pull when our pages are shared, for example.

Facebook describes it this way:

The Open Graph protocol enables developers to integrate their pages into Facebook’s global mapping/tracking tool Social Graph. These pages gain the functionality of other graph objects including profile links and stream updates for connected users.

OpenGraph tags often look something like this:

<meta property="og:title" content="Example title of article">
<meta property="og:site_name" content="example.com website">
<meta property="og:type" content="article">
<meta property="og:url" content="http://example.com/example-title-of-article">
<meta property="og:image" content="http://example.com/article_thumbnail.jpg">
<meta property="og:image" content="http://example.com/website_logo.png">
<meta property="og:description" content="This example article is an example of OpenGraph protocol.">

Cool, right? If none of this makes sense, all you need to know is our hope.edu web pages will look better when shared on social media sites like Facebook.

Introducing: Spera

Spera 2018
Spera 2018

See the 2018 and the inaugural issue of Spera, a new print and web publication focused on the research, scholarship and creative performance of Hope College faculty. Spera will be produced annually by the Office of Public Affairs and Marketing.

Themes in this issue include: Looking Back at the Reformation, the Fine Arts, Science on the Cutting Edge, Education and Vocational, Dimensions of Disability, Life in the Public Square and Faculty Books.

Available online at spera.hope.edu.

 

Campusmail and studentmail changes

Recently the inclusion of images in “campusmail” and “studentmail” messages has become problematic. In some cases, the distribution of messages with images can take hours and hold up other messages. Additionally, the information in an image is not accessible to those with visual impairments.

Because this system is necessary for the prompt distribution of emergency and weather-related information, we are discontinuing the inclusion of images in messages for the time being. Text-only messages also have the benefit of being more easily read on mobile devices and can be searched at a later date.

If you have an image or file that you wish to share with the campus community, please upload it to Google Drive and include a link in your message.

Please also consider complementary communication options. For example, events can be submitted to the Campus Calendar, announcements can be submitted to inHope and you can create images to be shared on various screens around campus. Additionally, you might consider promoting larger events on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or your department blog.

Work is underway to develop a new system for the distribution of campus-wide messages in the months ahead.

Thank you for your understanding!

Julie Huisingh, Public Affairs and Marketing
Jeff Pestun, Computing and Information Technology