Project Progress Update #2

This week, I experimented with and settled on a solution for the timeline element on the homepage. I selected Timeline JS from Knightlab because of its simplicity and accompanying tutorials. Additionally, I was able to include an element in the timeline that I considered very important — the ability to hyperlink directly to certain exhibit pages. The inclusion of a “Read More” link in each timeline event will allow users to go straight to the event that they’d like to learn about most. To me, this is important because I don’t want users to get lost while navigating the website or feel like they need to do an extensive amount of digging in order to answer their most basic questions.

One drawback to this method, however, is that clicking on the “Read More” link opens up a new tab. Instead of redirecting the already open tab to the linked exhibit page, the already open tab remains on the homepage and a new tab opens to display the linked exhibit page. This isn’t a major problem, it just feels a bit clunky. From what I’ve learned about Timeline JS, this issue doesn’t have a solution, or at least not a straightforward one. Since the tool is an external one that has simply been embedded into the Omeka/Wordpress site, it makes sense that it wouldn’t be able to reroute the existing tab to a different internal page. It’s not what I had in mind, but users should still be able to find their way around the site once on the rerouted new tab.

The issue of the permanent navigation bar at the top of the page was solved through the selection of a different Omeka theme – Foundation. This theme includes the option of a horizontal dropdown navigational layout that is visible at the top of every page on the site. It includes a search bar and it’s easy to add new links to the bar through the navigation section under appearance. The installation process for the theme took a little more time than anticipated — I was unsure how to upload the unzipped theme folders into my cPanel as a bulk action, so I had to upload them all individually. I believe I will need to utilize this same method when I install the Simple Contact Form plugin.

At this point, the website and most of the elements are very bare bones. My goals up to this point have been to create basic pages and ensure that it was feasible for me to include the elements that I had prioritized. Now I will need to begin filling in the blanks and ensuring that the pages look closer and closer to the finished product. For the next week, I’ll focus these efforts on the homepage and the timeline.


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