09
Sep 09

Center for the Arts of East Asia

The Center for the Art of East Asia (CAEA) facilitates and supports teaching and research in the rapidly growing field of East Asian Art at the University of Chicago.

Design Notes:

The CAEA site was created using the WordPress Panorama theme. The site employs a few simple tricks to make it appear more like a regular website and less like a blog. As such, its structure is not quite as straightforward as the models listed here in the “Easy” category. Still, the changes are not complicated and can easily be put in place for another site if there is interest. First, the site’s home page (where one would normally see individual posts) was re-mapped to the About page (this is because unlike e.g. a workshop, this will not be an event driven site). Second, site makes extensive use of the Panorama theme’s provision for drop-down menus (the second menu item under a top level menu is called a “child” – hence parent and child pages). The site’s About page for example has two child pages under it called Objectives and Sources of Support. In addition, the theme automatically creates links to these as drop down items in the site’s menu under About. Third, all references to page and post comments were removed from the theme to make the site feel less “blog-like”. Finally, please also note the rotating header images on the site – this is a special feature of the Panorama theme.

caea2


09
Sep 08

Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture

The Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture aims to develop a new model for graduate education in American culture, to serve as a hub for the exciting multidisciplinary study of America at the University of Chicago, and to make that study visible on a national and international level.

Design Notes:

This is a very simple site based on the Tarski WordPress theme which was put together at short notice for the center. Each section on the site corresponds to a WordPress page. The theme’s horizontal navigation bar was turned off in the theme options in favour of a Page widget displayed in the sidebar.

scherer


27
Mar 07

All Things Visual

All Things Visual is the website and blog of the The Visual Resources Center (VRC) in the University of Chicago’s Department of Art History.

Design Notes:

The VRC’s All Things Visual site makes use of the NigaRila WordPress theme. Unlike most sites that use this theme here the default horizontal menu has been left in place. Instead, much of the space in the two parallel sidebars on the theme have set aside for RSS feeds from associated blogs, online calendars and websites. In addition the site’s home page has been switched from holding individual posts to being a static page with general information about the VRC. Posts have been set to appear on a separate News page. Here, individual posts are associated with subject tags. A tag cloud sidebar widget then makes use of this to show the relative distribution of posts across various topics.

All Things Visual also employs the WordPress Mobile Pack plugin to offer up specials, simplified versions of the site for mobile visitors with smaller screens. A screenshot of the site as seen on an iPhone for example is included below. A sample of the themes available for use with mobile devices can be viewed on the supported WordPress theme page on our wiki. Any WordPress based site can make use of custom theme support by activating the appropriate plugin.

vrc
vrc_iphone