Regional Ethnology of Scotland | New site

Delighted to announce the publication of a new website for the Regional Ethnology of Scotland research group in collaboration with European Ethnology Research Centre.

This site was developed and designed by the Digital Innovation team using Drupal 8 and Bootstrap , as a visually pleasing and interactive reference guide for the activities of the Centre as it extends it reach from Dumfries and Galloway to the whole of Scotland.

The site has been revamped visually and structurally to support the user to refine geographically, and direct towards different media content. Rich media content in the form of an interactive map, oral history recordings and image and video content support the Centre in showcasing research output in a user-first approach.

“I just wanted to thank you on behalf of the EERC for all your work in creating the Regional Ethnology of Scotland website. Its comprehensive search facility and straightforward navigation is a real boon; it also looks fantastic. All in all, it’s the ideal platform for both promoting the project and disseminating its various outputs.

I’d also like to add a note of personal thanks to Ann and Gavin, who at all times have been happy to share their expertise and ideas, and to answer any questions – all in a way that made it understandable to someone who knows little about computing.”

Kenneth Veitch, EERC

#cahssdigitalinnovationteam #eerc #killingit #giveusashout

The Space and The Place | Creative Industries Interdisciplinary Conference

This week the Centre for Research Collections hosted a conference bringing interdisciplinary world class scholars from various institutions together to discuss state of the art research on creative industries with a focus on the relationship between space and place.

Looking at the relationship between space and place, the Digital Innovation team were tasked with developing an asset suite and a narrative direction for the conference artwork, tying together the Edinburgh Futures Institute redevelopment with innovation and interdisciplinarity.

Edinburgh Futures Institute building video shot

Creative Industries Interdisciplinary Conference

Rachel Hosker, Louise Williams and Clare Button from CRC could not have been more generous with their time and knowledge as we were putting together ideas and suggested some excellent candidates: Conrad Hal Waddington, Norman Dott, Gertrude Helzfeld and Isabella Pringle. All associated with the Old Royal Infirmary on Lauriston Place and all alumni or former employees of the University of Edinburgh.

Barry Topping, College videographer put together a video, we created take-home postcard sets from vintage ORI images from the Lothian Health Services Archive (thanks Louise!), a digital timeline of the history of the ORI and a set of posters.

Take a look at the timeline here

(TIP: you can shrink the timeline down using the minus arrow to see it all on one screen!)

#killingit #getintouch #CAHSSdigitalinnovationteam #efi

Excel at Drupal 8 structuring

For large-scale Drupal projects, one of the tools we use at the requirements-gathering stage is a build spec document. Previously, we used the one from’s blog post. But with the arrival of Drupal 8, having Media in core, and the Paragraphs module, we needed an updated version.

Drupal 8 Build Spec 1.0

Although this is a technical document, mainly for use by developers, producing it at an early stage helps to inform the whole project by raising questions about how the system will work. For example:

  • “What page templates do we need?” – By listing likely content types, as well as views, we have an idea of what templates will need to be designed, and what fields are likely to appear.
  • “Is this vocabulary really a content type?” – If you find that a vocabulary is being given fields and is likely to have its own templates, you might consider making it a content type instead.
  • “Should the banner image in news/events items be mandatory?” – If clients don’t have appropriate images, will they be able to use default images, or will the design need to accommodate items without images?
  • “Can programmes belong to more than one theme?” – If the design uses colour-coding, what happens if an item can have more than one theme attached (or none)? Can the design accommodate this?
  • “How will the site be structured and what should URLs look like?” – In addition to sitemaps, there’s a philosophical question of how to structure paths and where each item of content should live. By nesting destination pages under a theme, you risk limiting the flexibility of these pages and creating unwieldy URLs. Defining simple paths based on content type is often cleaner and more flexible.
  • “Should this intro text include HTML?” – The intro text in a design may be plain paragraph text, but will users want to use simple formatting?
  • “What image styles do we require?” – How should the system scale and crop images, and will content editors need to find images in specific dimensions?

This is a sample of the types of question that are prompted by filling in the spreadsheet, and all require input from clients, copywriters, designers, and front-end and back-end developers. For this reason, it’s useful to complete the spreadsheet early in the process. Whilst the document itself is technical and geared towards Drupal developers, it can be shared with all parties, alongside other requirements documentation such as a more traditional functional specification document (with MoSCoW prioritisation) or user stories.