New year, new website

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13 January 2014

By now, with all the time we’ve spent inside trying to stay warm, I hope you’ve noticed that AIP has a revamped and redesigned website: aip.org. In the waning days of 2013, after months of planning and building, we launched the new site. Some of the improvements should be readily apparent, but there are others that are more hidden. I’d like to tell you a little about the hidden improvements and why they position AIP better for the future.

AIP home page

Atomization of content. Previously most of our web content was trapped in html pages. Now, with the transition to the Drupal web content management system, our content can be broken down into smaller and smaller chunks, and these chunks can be recombined and served many different ways.

Why is this important? Because of the way that people consume information. The food metaphor is often used for web content: people snack on their smartphone (bite-size bits of content like a headline) and eat a full meal on their tablet or desktop (a complete article). If they like what they’ve eaten, they may want more (related content). Mobile usage continues to explode, and now we’re much better prepared.

Separation of design from content. This means that how the words and images are styled is separate from the words and images themselves. A headline can be displayed in nice large type on a big monitor and smaller on a smartphone without duplicating the text and coding it differently. Pages adapt automatically to the device that they’re viewed on. 

Add to this the emerging trend of wearable technology and who-knows-what in the future, and you understand why this feature is so important.

Cloud publishing. We want our audiences to be able to get our information whenever and however they choose, and we want to offer that same freedom to our writers and editors. With our newly adopted web technology, staff can publish and edit their content from anywhere that they have an Internet connection—no advanced html knowledge necessary. Making the web publishing process easier means more and better content.

So wherever you are, on whatever device you are using, our intention is that AIP will deliver a good experience to you . . . and continue to do so well into the future.

Please visit the site and let us know what you think by emailing web_management [at] aip [dot] org. All comments and feedback welcome!