ECDS Launches Redesigned Website

Colorful banners featuring ECDS projects with words ECDS Website Redesign overlaid

The Emory Center for Digital Scholarship (ECDS) is excited to officially announce the launch of our redesigned website! With initial help from two external consultants, Kayla Shipp (ECDS Digital Scholarship Specialist) and Wayne Morse, Jr. (ECDS Co-Director) managed the overall content and layout, and other ECDS staff contributed to content in their respective areas. This redesign situates ECDS as a collaborative research center while also still emphasizing its origins in digital pedagogy. The website now better highlights the particular projects, partnerships, and people that have shaped the face and mission of the center since the first website was built, foregrounding the important resources and tools that have been assembled and created as part of these collaborations. We hope that this user-friendly redesign allows ECDS to foster more partnerships with people and organizations to create even more innovative, sustainable models of digital scholarship and publication for public and academic use.

Screenshot of redesigned homepage with rotating images and “About ECDS” section. Users can easily browse different sections of the website by clicking the tabs on the top menu. On the right-hand side, users can also select the “For Faculty” or “For Students” page.

The redesigned website showcases the quantity and quality of work that ECDS has accomplished in the last few years. ECDS was founded in 2013 as a way to “unify existing digital support services into a centralized resource for teaching and research” in one convenient location (see Emory Report, “Digital scholarship under new umbrella“). The original website design focused on introducing the center’s resources, expertise, and staff. Digital pedagogy and digital publishing were central to the ECDS mission then and, as ECDS co-director Wayne Morse, Jr. explains, the center’s commitment to these “basic tenets continue to serve us well.” The homepage also emphasized the center’s physical location on the third floor of Robert W. Woodruff library.

Screenshot of old website’s homepage

The redesigned homepage is now more dynamic, with more visual impact to draw attention to recent projects. The rotating image banners, designed in collaboration with Caroline Corbitt (Exhibitions Graphic Designer at Emory Libraries), feature ECDS resources, publications, training and initiatives, and partnered projects like OpenTour BuilderSouthern Spaces, Emory Foundations for Online Teaching (EFOT), and Slave Voyages. The homepage also allows visitors to “explore ECDS” by reading more about our collaborative workspace, provides information on how to get in touch remotely, encourages users to check out project updates and staff reflections on our ECDS blog, directs readers toward ECDS resources, and presents our research areas. The flexible homepage allows new banners and information to be updated when relevant.

Screenshot of redesigned homepage, with four easy-to-navigate sections under the “Explore ECDS” heading.

Wayne Morse suggested bringing in an outside consultant, Daniel Dever, who provided suggestions on how to best optimize the website based on how people actually interact with the site. Dever (Practical Strategy), who had previously worked with non-profits and universities to improve their websites, looked at analytics to determine what was valuable and what needed to be changed. Kayla Shipp then drew on UI/UX (user interface and user experience) design principles to customize the new Cascade template. The website was also updated to adopt a more conversational, people-focused tone and voice. These changes complement ECDS’s goals of fostering more collaborations and partnerships, hopefully encouraging more people to contact us about digital scholarship and publishing projects.

The “For Faculty” page provides information on how faculty and instructors can propose a project or invite an ECDS subject matter expert to visit one’s class. The “For Students” page also includes a link on how students can propose a project.  The “Learn with ECDS” section of this page includes graduate student opportunities like the Digital Dissertations Scholars Program (DDSP) and other professional development or research opportunities. Graduate students can also work with ECDS through the paid Digital Scholarship Internship Program (DSIP).

Overall, the redesign brings the website up-to-date and better highlights ECDS’s growth, accomplishments, and expert staff. We also recently created an ECDS dashboard specifically reflecting on our work from 2017-2019. (You can read more about the dashboard in a forthcoming blog post, to be published later this week.)

We invite you to browse the new website here, and share via social media: