The web team was super busy in 2021 hitting many milestones on our path to the new website rebuild. Here's a quick look at what we've been up to.

Project Status at a Glance

  • Phase 1: News Tool Update - Complete
  • Phase 2: Homepage and Top-Tier Page Design and Development, Drupal 9 Migration, Design System Creation, Componant Development  - In Progress (Expected completion: late spring 2022)
  • Phase 3: Site-wide migration to new design and Drupal 9 platform, Full Implementation of Design System - In discovery phase (development expected to begin in late spring 2022)

News Tool Launch

We launched the updated news tool in June 2021 on our Drupal 7 content server. The tool is now serving up news stories throughout the website using our new comprehesive design system. Feedback has been very positive, and our story writers have a fresh platform on which to showcase their work.

Backend and Frontend Development

Last September, we made the decision to forge ahead with combing the component-based website redesign with the migration from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9. With Drupal 7's end-of-life looming and Drupal 8 not far behind, the choice was made to transition now rather than build on the old platform. Building on the old platform would have required a huge migration investment on the tails of, if not before, the visual component-based redesign is completed. The decision has required our team to get up to speed on a dramatically different Drupal platform than we've worked on previously and on some new ways of doing things. Despite those hurdles, in 2021 we:

  • Configured a new Drupal 9 server environment (including testing, staging and production environments).
  • Built and tested over a dozen page components on the D9 platform.
  • Set a late-spring 2022 timeframe for the launch of the first D9 content (the UVM Homepage and select top-tier pages) within the new design system, aka Phase 2.

On the design and content front, we've:

  • Developed over a dozen components and their associated pieces that are continously being pushed through back-end, front-end and quality assurance queues. 
  • Began designing additional components to be built as part of Phase 2.
  • Drafted functional narratives for components that inform design.
  • Conducted user testing on critical areas of the user interface, including navigational design.

Homepage and Top Tier Prototype Review

We've shared functional prototypes of the UVM Homepage and several other pages with collaborators and senior leadership. We have received and implemented feedback and have codified many design componenets which we plan to use in the spring launch and in Phase 3 of the project. Phase 3, which includes unit websites, will begin development immmediately after the launch of the Phase 2 Homepage and Top Tier pages.

See a preview of the new design system.