Cascade Changes and New Template

This fall, the web team is introducing some changes to Cascade Server and our webpage template. Together, these changes will allow us to alter the web update process to better meet the needs of campus. 

Cascade Update 

On Friday, Sept. 26, Cascade Server was updated to the newest version. The update brings better overall performance and reliability, as well as improved load timesSome of the features of the new version include: 

  • Improved color contrast for increased visibility and accessibility. 
  • A new user activity report that provides statistics on actions such as asset creations, deletions, edits and user logins. 
  • Fully functional asset searching. Searches can be filtered by site, asset type or asset field. 

New Template 

Over the summer, we began to use a new template for some NIU websites. The new template was designed to bring a fresh look to NIU websites and align with best practices in usability. Some of the features of the new template include: 

  • An increased font size and lighter color for body text to enhance readability. 
  • A red color for headings to make them stand out on a page. 
  • A cleaner appearance for top navigation and menus to make them easier to use. 
  • Links that are the same color as body text with a red underline for a smoother reading experience. 

You can see the new template in use on the Undergraduate Admissions website. In the coming months, our goal is to upgrade all sites to the new template. 

Changes to Access 

Working with the new template requires additional training for most users. The time required for training could be a burden for users who make infrequent updates. The new version of Cascade allows us to introduce some new workflow processes to address this. The new processes involve changing who has access to Cascade. The new access structure divides users into three categories: 

  • Coordinators, who use the web update request form to get updates made. (New access effective as of Oct. 17, 2019.)
  • Contributors, who make updates in Cascade and submit them for review and publishing by the web team. (New access will be implemented in mid-to-late January 2020.)
  • Managers, who make updates in Cascade and publish pages. 

Please note: These changes do not affect faculty or lab sites. 

What access do I have? 

Most users will be coordinators. Certain users will be given contributor or manager access. The web team will contact all users regarding access level and training.  

If you have any questions about the new template or Cascade access, please contact webcommunications@niu.edu. 

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