In spring and summer 2021, HEALD underwent an upgrade to improve the site’s function and appearance. Users are welcome to consult the Digital Approach and User’s Guide pages for a more comprehensive description of the project’s vision and usage.
HEALD now runs on a more recent version of the MediaWiki software (1.35.2). In addition, the site went through a security reviewing process which included the migration of its database to a new one, compatible with PHP7 and MySQL as well as the consolidation of its Apache server. As a result, the HEALD team updates the site directly and no longer uses a development site whose content needed to be “pushed” to the public periodically. Many obsolete extensions were removed, while new ones were added. One of them, "Elasticsearch" has the scope to improve accuracy of search results within the site.
The Semantic Web was implemented through Semantic MediaWiki to enhance the sustainability and longevity of the site by making the data exportable and therefore retrievable. More details are available on the Semantic HEALD page.
Considerable changes responded to user’s experience survey comments about navigability, user-friendliness, and content delivery. In addition to the MediaWiki software upgrade, a new customized design layout, called “Chameleon 3,” was adopted, which includes different colors and fonts for the text. To provide a more organic browsing experience, the following parts of the site were re-configured:
- The home page hosts multiple ways to start exploring HEALD. While it remains possible to select one of the three main categories under which content is organized—Keywords, Places and People—by clicking the correspondent image, access to the three introductory essays is now also available directly from the home page, rather than from a separate page. The image grid pertaining to Keywords, People and Places in the home page features different images every time users visit the page. An icon, whose function is to quickly link to content, accompanies rotating images.
- The top bar menu has been simplified. By opening the Browse tab, users will be able to directly access the following pages: Keywords, People, Places and the Finding Aid.
- A new section, Image Collection (read more about this section on the User's Guide page) is accessed via the top bar menu. This was made possible by the implementation of the Semantic Web (read more on Semantic HEALD).
- A table of contents was added to Keywords, Places, and People pages. The feature follows a user’s navigation, so that one can see the full content of a page at a glance and move between sections of the page with one click, eliminating excessive scrolling.
- Images are explorable via an updated version of the in-page image viewer.
- Page header and footer have been adapted to the latest design guidelines in accordance with the recent re-design of the National Gallery’s logo and lettering.
The HEALD Team hopes that these changes will improve your experience.