We have some important feature updates landing on the Mosaic platform over the upcoming months. These feature updates follow a common theme of significantly improving the flexibility of the platform and allowing a greater differentiation in the design between sites.
This roadmap of work has been sponsored by the GLAM group (www.glam.ox.ac.uk) to take Mosaic to a place where it can provide the world class level of engaging public-facing web sites required by the likes of the Ashmolean Museum and the Museum of Natural History.
One of the main benefits of our platform is that all sites will be able to take advantage of these improvements as soon as they are released.
Outlined below are some of the key feature updates which have already been released, with others in the pipeline. Details of how the features work are available in our Release Notes.
An aspiration we have had since the start of this project, stretching back to the pilot, was to get a user experience much closer to ‘in page editing’ than came with Drupal out of the box.
Quickedit is the first iteration of us implementing this kind of experience, and we believe it’s a significant step forward in the usability of the system for content editors. We regularly build our own sites, such as our >Agile methods primer<, to dogfood our platform and we all now struggle to imagine Mosaic without it! We’re keen to take feedback on its implementation and potentially make some tweaks to it, so let us know how it works for you. > More details
Extended Font and Colour Management
One of the challenges in managing the features of the platform is striking a balance between providing the ability to quickly and easily create great looking sites, and providing the flexibility to makes sites look just the way that's wanted.
One area where this is a challenge is font and colour management. While the platform at first allowed selection from several pre-set themes or opting for a certain amount of customisation, the extent of this configuration was limited.
A recent release addressed this by adding new advanced colour configuration allowing around 20 different areas of the site to be altered. Font configuration was totally revamped to operate in a very similar way to colour configuration, allowing for both simple and advanced customisation, with a selection of more than 25 fonts available. Options to configure widgets as well as page and site level settings are now available. > More details
Custom content types
The early platform built on the base Page, Article, Event and Person content types, by providing some additional options out-of-the-box which could be enabled or disabled for each site.
This update greatly extended this by providing an easy way for Site Owners to create their own custom content types. Want to have a ‘Picnic’ Event type or ‘Apprentice’ Person type? – now you can! > More details
WYSIWYG column layouts
Large blocks of text on a website can be unappealing and difficult to scan and it’s a bother to have to use a different region in a page layout just to break this up. It can also be inconvenient if you want to add other widgets more flexibly, not constrained by the region.
In this nifty new feature you’re able to select from a range of different column layout options – with different numbers of columns or relative column widths - to add your content in the WYSIWYG widget. In one WYSIWYG area it is now possible to stack one layout option on top of another to give a wide range of layout flexibility within the same page region. Used with images and the colour configuration options to change the background colour of the WYSIWYG widget, a wide range of attractive and distinctive layout panels can be added to pages.
In fact, this feature has so much potential, we’re also providing a simple single column Page Layout where you can add all your widgets in, one underneath the other, and configure them as needed to build a page. Used with the listing and slideshow widgets, the new-and-improved WYSIWYG widget unlocks many more options for building appealing and distinctive webpages. > More details
Moving a site onto Mosaic is a great time to review where content is located and whether or not a site’s menus and URLs are easy to use and memorable. Web users, though, may have bookmarked important pages or there may be key addresses in promotional materials that need to still find the correct page when it’s moved to a different location.
Mosaic already provides several features to help in this area and with this update we added support for external redirects and brought these features together in a new ‘URLs and redirects’ configuration tab. Redirect support provides a further tool, alongside the ‘URL aliases’, ‘Missing pages report’ and ‘Custom 404 (Page not found)’ functionality, to allow URLs on a Mosaic site to be redirected to pages on external websites or intranets. The custom management of redirects allow rules for individual pages or for whole sub-areas of your site to be created, with support for mapping sub-paths of a site to external site paths. > More details
And more …
We are also working on enhancements to simplify, extend and make more consistent the various ways that listings – including carousels and slideshows – can be added to your site. More details on this and other new features as we have them!