Web theme implementation is underway

Websites using the university's new design are starting to pop up. The mobile-friendly web theme -- based on the new Iowa State homepage that debuted last summer -- is free to download. Page design flexibility is built in, with a suite of component blocks that work for both text- and visuals-heavy websites.

The central website theme is an important part of President Wendy Wintersteen's "one university" initiative, giving users a consistent online look and feel from site to site. In a June 22 memo, Wintersteen asked campus units to support a universitywide transition to the new theme, beginning with a July 2023 goal for student-focused sites.

"Let's continue to work together as one university on the strategies and practices that lift up Iowa State, enhance our reputation and strengthen our brand," Wintersteen wrote.

Resources and tools

A resource website (theme.iastate.edu) provides web developers and content managers with tools for implementing the new theme, including:

  • A web style guide with component block details and guidance for things like content creation, information architecture, accessibility, and search engine optimization
  • General informational training videos for developers and content creators
  • Page design samples
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Developer tools, including a fractal library with asset documentation
  • Free downloads in multiple versions

Website builders also are invited to join an informal discussion forum on Microsoft Teams to learn about theme updates, crowd-source ideas, or report bugs/issues.

Theme package options

There are several options for implementing the new web theme, including a base package that can be developed for use in any content management system, a raw PHP version and a fully developed WordPress version of the package. Drupal users can contact either IT services' web development team or the CALS/LAS web development team for more information about the Drupal version. Departments and units that work with a third-party vendor should direct them to the resource website to ensure consistent implementation of the theme.

Next steps

Don't know where to start or need help? Contact project manager Erin Rosacker, edavison@iastate.edu or 515-294-8870.


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