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, 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 were made after taking into consideration the comments that emerged from a user’s survey about navigability, user-friendliness, and content delivery. With the upgrading of the MediaWiki software, a new design layout, called “Chameleon 3,” which includes different colors and font for the text, was adopted. In addition, to offer 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 each time users reload the page. An icon whose function is to enhance accessibility to content accompanies rotating images.
- - The top bar menu has been simplified compared to a previous version. By opening the Browse tab, users will be able to directly access the following pages: Keywords, People, Places and Finding Aid.
- - A new section, called Image Collection, was added (read more about this section on the User's Guide page). The section is reachable via the top bar menu and it was made possible by the implementation of the Semantic Web (read more on Semantic HEALD).
- - A table of content was added to each content page. The table of content follows user’s navigation, allowing one to go back and forth and in between different sections of the page without excessive scrolling, as well as being able to always see the content of a page at a glance.
- - 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 while browsing and will help you find the site’s content more easily and use it more broadly.