Release Date: April 12, 2018
This release brings several frequently requested improvements to the CONTENTdm® responsive website, including options to display more than 10 collection cards on the homepage and more than 10 items on the search results page. There are also some corrections to the color of hyperlinks in the responsive site header and footer and other fixes.
If you are using the responsive CONTENTdm website with your institution domain name, we are now able to support HTTPS for your custom domain. You will need to contact OCLC Support to arrange the transfer and installation of your institution's SSL certificate to activate this functionality.
The responsive website adapts to any screen size and has significant usability, performance, and accessibility improvements compared to the 6.x version of CONTENTdm. The responsive website is now the default end-user website for more than 120 active CONTENTdm users.
Release overview recording
Features and enhancements
This release continues to add features to the new CONTENTdm responsive website. The following improvements are described in more detail below.
- Show more of your collections at once on your homepage
- Display more search results per page to improve the browsing experience
- Hide "current focus" indicator until keyboard use to improve aesthetics and accessibility
- Simplify color customization by aligning Advanced Search link color with other header colors
- Secure your custom domain name with HTTPS support for non-oclc.org domains
- Use the advanced customization support portal for developing new features or specific branding for your website
- Other improvements
Show more of your collections at once on your homepage
In response to many user requests, there is a new setting in the Website Configuration Tool to show 10 (default), 20 or 30 collection cards on the homepage. Your collection cards are now paginated in increments that match your selection for this new Website Configuration Tool setting. You will find this configuration on the Global Settings tab of the Website Configuration Tool under Page Types > Homepage. The new setting is called “Number of Collection Cards per Page” as shown in the screenshot below.
If your repository has fewer collections than the number you have chosen in the Website Configuration Tool, including the setting for 10 cards, the pagination control on the homepage will not be shown at all. This is a change from the previous functionality where the pagination control was always displayed, but remained in a disabled state if it was not needed.
If you have more collections than can fit on one page, the pagination control is now duplicated above and below the block of collection cards on your homepage. Showing the pagination control above the cards gives the end user immediate access to subsequent pages without having to scroll their browser window. This improves the user’s ability to browse, particularly for repositories that have a large number of collections. You can see this additional pagination control in the screenshot below.
If you do not want to display the new second pagination control that sits atop the collection cards, it is possible to hide it using a very simple CSS rule. Each pagination control row has a distinct class name, so either one can be hidden with a straightforward “display: none;” CSS rule.
Display more search results per page to improve the browsing experience
As with the collection cards on the homepage, there is also a new Website Configuration Tool setting to show more than 10 items on search result pages. You can choose 10 (default), 20, 30, 40, or 50 results. This setting can only be made at the global level and applies to all collections. You will find this new configuration on the Global Settings tab of the Website Configuration Tool under Search & Browse > Results. The new configuration is called “Number of Results per Page” as shown in the screenshot below.
This new search results setting is also accompanied by a duplication of the pagination control above and below the results list on the CONTENTdm responsive website. This gives users an easier way to navigate through a large number of search results without scrolling, since it puts the paginator close at hand. This second paginator is particularly helpful if you choose to display a larger number of results, so that end users can advance to the next or previous page whether they are near the top or bottom of the page.
And as with the homepage pagination controls, the two search result pagination controls have distinct class names in the HTML. This makes it easy to hide either one of the pagination controls using custom CSS if you would rather not display both pagination controls to your end users.
To make room for the second pagination control above the search results, there is also a change to where the “Generate Map” button appears in the responsive website. If you are viewing the website in tablet or desktop view (image below, left), the “Generate Map” button has moved to the left column between the Collections chooser and the search facets. In the mobile view (image below, right), the “Map” button appears above the search results adjacent to the “Refine” and “Sort” buttons. Note that the map generation buttons never appear for end users.
Hide "current focus" indicator until keyboard use to improve aesthetics and accessibility
A very frequently requested improvement has been made to the “current focus” indicator that appears in some browsers. This focus indicator was a prominent blue line or box that usually displayed around the logo in the header or around other page elements. This focus indicator has been removed on the initial page load and does not reappear until an end user interacts with the keyboard. In general, the focus indicator is necessary to maintain accessibility compliance for your site, but it does not need to be displayed if the end user is using a mouse, touchpad, or touchscreen to interact with the page. Keyboard users who tab through the elements on the page need to see the focus indicator to track where they are in the navigation, so the focus indicator appears only once a user starts to use the keyboard.
The following screenshot shows the focus indicator around the logo (in Chrome).
And this screenshot shows the new behavior without a focus indicator.
Simplify color customization by aligning Advanced Search link color with other header colors
In the page header for the responsive CONTENTdm website, the “Advanced Search” hyperlink (only displayed in tablet and desktop view mode) previously used the main “Body Links” color and styling settings from the Website Configuration Tool. This often meant that styling the “Advanced Search” hyperlink caused conflicts with the style for the rest of the hyperlinks in your CONTENTdm site. The improvement in this release is to change the “Advanced Search” link so that it follows the color settings for the buttons in the header (the search magnifying glass button and the hamburger menu icon). These colors are configured under Appearance > Header in the Website Configuration Tool. This change makes it easier to manage the color scheme for your page header in one place in the Website Configuration Tool and should eliminate the need to use a separate custom CSS file for your header.
Note that if you have already utilized the custom advanced search link CSS rule described in our Advanced Customization help portal, this new change should not cause any conflicts. It is advised that you double-check whether your custom CSS is causing any problems. You can also consider removing your custom CSS and confirming the page renders as you would expect using only the settings from the Website Configuration Tool. As with any customization involving CSS, always make sure to clear your browser cache when experimenting and previewing any changes.
Secure your custom domain name with HTTPS support for non-oclc.org domains
The web is rapidly moving to HTTPS. Major web browsers like Chrome and Firefox are increasingly showing error messages or warnings for sites that rely on basic HTTP. The CONTENTdm responsive website has supported HTTPS at the oclc.org domain since its initial launch. We recently also added HTTPS support for non-oclc.org domain names. If you have configured your CONTENTdm site to use a domain at your institution (not at *.contentdm.oclc.org), we can now configure your site to use HTTPS only.
You will need to contact OCLC Support to arrange the transfer and installation of your institution's SSL certificate to activate this functionality. Once your SSL certification has been configured in our network, your site will use HTTPS all the time, and any requests to HTTP will be automatically redirected.
Use the advanced customization support portal for developing new features or specific branding for your website
If you have customizations that you would like to share with other CONTENTdm users through the advanced customization cookbook, please contact OCLC Support to provide them.
- Footer menu links no longer show "visited" color state
- Hyperlinks containing spaces (URL encoded %20) now properly link the full URL
- Search terms are now retained when returning to Advanced Search using browser "Back" button
This list is a summary of what is being frequently requested by current CONTENTdm users and is under consideration for upcoming releases.
- Improve next/previous page user experience in compound objects
- Support for Monograph (hierarchical) compound objects
- Support for integration of the Mirador viewer into your CONTENTdm website
- Support for text annotations and transcripts in the IIIF Presentation API
- Accessibility improvements noted in the VPAT document
- Print function that includes record metadata
We are always looking to you to help us determine the priority of new features, improvements, and fixes. If one of the above issues is urgent for your site, or if another issue not listed above is more important, please contact OCLC Support with that information. You are also invited to post your ideas to the CONTENTdm Community as a discussion thread or an enhancement suggestion.
The next release of CONTENTdm is expected to be in June 2018 though not all of the above items are expected to be complete in that timeframe.
Upgrading to the new responsive website
The CONTENTdm responsive website exists alongside the 6.x CONTENTdm website. Your public CONTENTdm URL will default to your version 6.x website until you request to make the switch. After you have configured your responsive website in the Website Configuration Tool and are ready to publish it as your production website, contact OCLC Support to schedule your upgrade.
OCLC is continually improving the responsive website and is no longer enhancing the 6.x website. You decide when you and your end users are ready to start using your responsive site. Please see the document Upgrading to the CONTENTdm Responsive Website for more information about upgrading your site.