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GSS Improvement Release Updates for 2023

Timeline

2023 November 27th

GSS Event Page Enhancements

Recent updates have been made to the GSS Event Page, focusing on enhancing user experience and resolving technical issues. Since the last interface update in July, the following improvements are now implemented:

Optimized Display Across Devices

  • Improvements: Display issues on both desktop and mobile platforms have been identified and rectified.
  • Result: The event page now ensures smooth display functionality on all devices, with special attention to mobile responsiveness.

Interface Design Adjustments

  • Improvements: Fonts, layouts, and image dimensions have been standardized and optimized.
  • Result: These changes contribute to a cleaner, more navigable page layout, facilitating ease of use and content readiness for visitors.

These enhancements are part of ongoing efforts to deliver a seamless and accessible user experience on the GSS Event Page.

Ethan Nguyen

2023 November 11th

Launch of the GSS Student Resources Website

Exciting news for the student community at UBC Vancouver – the “GSS Student Resources” website is officially launched and ready for access. This platform is meticulously crafted to support students with a variety of resources.

Discover the main Student Resources page here: Students Resources – Graduate Student Society | UBC Vancouver

Resource Pages Overview

Design for a Modern User Experience

The design of these pages adopts a clean, minimalist block layout, prioritizing straightforward navigation and a contemporary user experience. Ensuring that information is easily accessible, each page has undergone extensive testing for optimal display and functionality across various devices and web browsers.

Ethan Nguyen

2023 October 23rd

Introducing the GSS Gallery

Explore the gallery here: GSS Gallery

Vibrant Visual Experience

Ease of Access

  • What: The GSS Gallery is seamlessly integrated into our website, readily accessible from the homepage menu bar, and also featured in the “More in GSS Gallery” section at the bottom of the homepage.
  • Why: To ensure that every visitor can navigate effortlessly to relive the memories we’ve created together.

Engaging Design

  • What: A design that’s not just about aesthetics but also about emotions – friendly, colourful, and exuding charm that we fondly term as “cute.”
  • Why: We believe in creating an environment that’s not only visually appealing but also emotionally resonant, reflecting the spirit of our community.

Interactive Photo Browsing

  • What: Photos that come to life with a simple click, offering an immersive preview experience.
  • Why: To make the journey through our shared memories as interactive and engaging as the moments they capture.

Cross-Platform Compatibility

  • What: A gallery that’s designed to perform smoothly across all devices, from desktops to mobiles and tablets.
  • Why: Because every student should have the chance to connect with GSS moments, regardless of the device they use.

With the GSS Gallery, we aim to foster closer connections among students and to the myriad of GSS activities and events. It’s a space where our collective memories will be treasured and celebrated for years to come.

Ethan Nguyen

2023 October 16th

Enhancing User Experience: GSS Venue Rental Page Revamp

Specific Improvements Implemented

Front-End Adjustments

  • What: The development and integration of a new clean, modern design accessible from the top menu of the homepage, including individual venue pages with photos, facility lists, and a novel Google Calendar integration for booking availability.
  • Why: These changes enhance the readability and navigability of the website, with a particular focus on improving the user experience on mobile platforms such as iPhones and Android devices, reflecting a modern, responsive web presence.

Key Achievements

Mobile Optimization

  • What: The redesign of the GSS Venue Rental page now supports an optimized mobile experience, ensuring that the interface and layout adapt seamlessly to handheld devices.
  • Why: As mobile internet browsing prevails, this optimization guarantees that the GSS website remains accessible and user-friendly for students and clients seeking venue information on the move.

Structural Coherence

  • What: The introduction of a unified layout and structural design, culminating three months of dedicated enhancement efforts to reach the website’s optimal state.
  • Why: This consistency in design not only strengthens brand identity but also contributes to a more intuitive user journey, enabling students and clients to effortlessly locate the information and resources they require.

Ethan Nguyen

2023 October 4th

Introducing the Centralized GSS News Hub

Centralized News Access

GSS News Section

  • What: A dedicated space for the latest updates and posts relevant to the GSS community.
  • Why: To provide immediate access to the most current information and announcements, streamlining communication.

GSS Weekly Newsletters

  • What: A repository of our weekly newsletters, offering a retrospective of recent activities and insights.
  • Why: To ensure members don’t miss out on any important information shared in the weekly roundups.

GSS Jobs

  • What: A section showcasing the latest job opportunities and career-related information beneficial to GSS members.
  • Why: To support our members’ career advancement by providing them with timely job postings and career resources.

GSS Events

  • What: An area to highlight and promote upcoming GSS events.
  • Why: To increase engagement and attendance by making event details highly visible and easily accessible.

Seamless Navigation Options

Accessing the GSS News page is straightforward and user-friendly, with two simple methods:

  1. Via the Menu Bar: Located under the “About” section, providing direct access from the main navigation.
  2. Direct Link: “More in GSS News” – conveniently situated right under the News section on the homepage for quick reference.

Ethan Nguyen

2023 September 23rd

Celebrating Four Months of Remarkable Growth on GSS Website

Major Changes Implemented

User Interface and User Experience Overhaul

  • What: A complete revamp of the website’s UI and UX.

  • Why: To offer a more engaging and easier navigation experience for our users.

Introduction of Modern Graphic Designs

  • What: Implemented modern graphic elements to enhance visual appeal.

  • Why: To capture users’ attention and create a lasting impression.

Strong Social Media Presence

  • What: Consistent and meaningful engagement on various social media platforms.

  • Why: To direct more traffic to our website and to stay connected with our audience.

Backend Enhancements

  • What: Improved the backend functionalities and frameworks.

  • Why: To support the new features and to ensure the site remains scalable and secure.

Events Organization

  • What: Efficient planning and publicity of various events through the website.

  • Why: To drive user engagement and offer valuable content.

Achievements in Search Engine Visibility

  • What: Our website now ranks at the top in Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo search results.

  • Why: Enhanced search engine visibility increases the chances of being discovered by new visitors, thereby boosting overall website metrics.

Ethan Nguyen

2023 September 7th

Mobile Responsiveness Improvements

Specific Improvements Implemented

Front-End Adjustments

  • What: Changes in the layout, user interface elements, and visual components of the website.

  • Why: To improve readability, navigability, and overall user experience, especially on mobile platforms like iPhone and Android phones.


Key Achievements

Mobile Optimization

  • What: The GSS website now offers an optimized layout and user interface for mobile devices.

  • Why: Given the increasing use of mobile phones to browse the internet, this ensures that the GSS website is easily accessible and navigable for students on the go.

Structural Coherence

  • What: Achieved a coherent and unified layout and structural design that represents the optimal state of the website over the past three months.

  • Why: Consistency in design and structure enhances brand recognition and makes the site more user-friendly, allowing students to comfortably find whatever information they need.

Ethan Nguyen

2023 September 1st

Introduction to the New Post Template for the GSS Website

Objectives

  • What: Introduce a newly designed and pre-structured post template for the GSS website.

  • Why: To streamline the content creation process, ensuring consistency across posts while eliminating layout-related issues. It aims to enhance both user experience and operational efficiency.


Detailed Components of the New Post Template

Section 1: Essential Post Information

  • What: Includes the title of the post, the date it was posted, categories it belongs to, and a featured image.

  • Why: To provide immediate context and visual appeal to the reader, allowing for quick comprehension of the post’s topic and relevance.

Section 2: In-Post Search Bar

  • What: A search bar embedded within the post.

  • Why: To encourage readers to explore related topics or posts on the GSS website while engaged with the content, potentially increasing overall site interactions.

Section 3: Brief Introduction about GSS

  • What: A concise introduction to GSS.

  • Why: To build trust and establish a closer connection between readers and GSS, particularly for first-time visitors or those unfamiliar with the organization.

Section 4: GSS Weekly Newsletter Subscription

  • What: A simple form for newsletter subscription.

  • Why: To make it convenient for readers to stay updated with GSS activities by subscribing to the weekly newsletter in a matter of seconds.

Section 5: Main Content Area

  • What: The primary area where the actual post content will be added.

  • Why: Designed for ease-of-use, this is the only section that needs to be populated when creating a new post. The template takes care of all other structural elements.

Section 6 & 7: Recent Posts and Upcoming Events

  • What: Displays the most recent posts and upcoming events.

  • Why: To keep readers engaged with the latest GSS activities and to promote upcoming events, encouraging further interaction with the GSS website.

Section 8: Post Navigation

  • What: A navigation bar at the bottom of the post.

  • Why: To help readers easily move to previous or next posts, enhancing their navigational experience on the GSS site.


Conclusion and Benefits

The implementation of this new template offers numerous advantages:

  1. Time-Efficiency: All layout and structural elements are pre-designed, allowing team members to focus solely on content creation.
  2. Consistency: Ensures uniformity in post layouts, contributing to a cohesive and professional look across the GSS website.
  3. User Experience: Designed to engage the reader in multiple ways — from seamless navigation to easy subscription options — enhancing their overall experience.

By incorporating these elements, we not only streamline our internal operations but also significantly improve how our audience interacts with our content.

Ethan Nguyen

2023 August 31st

Introduction to the New Event Post Design and Structure

Detailed Sections of the New Event Post Design

Section 1: Essential Event Information

  • What: This section will house the event’s name, a brief description, venue details, and other key attributes.

  • Why: To provide users with an instant overview of the event, facilitating quick decision-making.

Section 2: Date and Time Details

  • What: Information on the date, starting time, and ending time of the event will be highlighted here.

  • Why: Allows visitors to quickly assess whether they can attend the event, without having to search through multiple areas of the page.

Section 3: Fee and Registration

  • What: This section will detail the event’s cost (if any) and will contain a link for ticket purchasing or registration.

  • Why: To streamline the ticket-buying or registration process, making it easier for interested visitors to commit to the event.

Section 4: Upcoming Events

  • What: Suggestions for other upcoming events will be displayed here.

  • Why: To engage visitors with additional GSS activities, potentially increasing attendance for future events.


By adopting this new structure and design, we aim to enhance the user experience on the GSS website significantly, specifically for those interested in attending GSS events. The new layout is designed to be intuitive, providing all necessary information at a glance while also allowing for quick and easy navigation.

Ethan Nguyen

2023 August 29th

Revamping the GSS Linktree: Aesthetic and Functional Improvements

Design Updates

  • What: The design of the Linktree page has been updated to mirror the GSS website theme, making it look more modern and formal.

  • Why: Consistency in design across platforms fosters brand recognition and trust among the users. The redesigned Linktree will help uniquely represent GSS while promoting a cohesive brand image.

Notes for Maintenance

To ensure that the revamped Linktree page remains effective and consistent, here are some essential notes for future maintenance:

Directing Traffic to GSS Website
  • What: All links attached to the Linktree should direct users to the GSS website rather than third-party platforms like Eventbrite or UBC Grad.

  • Why: The primary goal is to drive more traffic to the GSS website and help students get acclimated to using the GSS website as their go-to resource.

Thumbnail Images
  • What: Thumbnail images should be cropped to square dimensions and avoid including any text.

  • Why: Thumbnails appear in small circles on each button in Linktree, and properly cropped images without text will ensure they present well and are easily recognizable.

By implementing these updates and adhering to the guidelines for future maintenance, we aim to optimize the GSS Linktree both in terms of design and functionality.

Ethan Nguyen

2023 August 26th

New Design and Layout for GSS Hiring Posts

Redesign of the Hiring Post

  • What: The Hiring Post has been redesigned based on extensive research from various references, including UBC job postings and other hiring websites.

  • Why: A well-designed Hiring Post is critical for attracting the right candidates. By adopting best practices from reputable sources, the post is now optimized for readability, engagement, and action.

Additional Sections in Hiring Post

  • What: Several new sections have been introduced in the Hiring Post, including the “Follow GSS on UBC Career Center”, “Most Recent Job”, and “Upcoming Events” sections.

  • Why: These additional sections serve various purposes:

    • “Follow GSS on UBC Career Center”: This section aims to increase GSS’s followers on the UBC Career Center platform and provides another avenue for job seekers to find GSS-related job posts.

    • “Most Recent Job”: This feature allows visitors to easily access the latest job opportunities, making the browsing experience more user-friendly.

    • “Upcoming Events”: Promoting upcoming GSS events in the Hiring Post serves a dual purpose of keeping the community engaged and informed.

Ethan Nguyen

2023 August 24th

Revamping the Search Feature on the GSS Website

Search Functionality Across Platforms

  • What: The search feature is now fully functional on all platforms. Users can input keywords to find relevant posts, events, and pages.

  • Why: Previously, the search feature was not returning correct results, making it difficult for students and staff to quickly find what they’re looking for. By fixing this, we have significantly improved the website’s user experience.

Search Bar in the Homepage Footer

  • What: The search bar located in the footer of the homepage has been repaired and is now operational.

  • Why: Having a search bar in the footer allows users to quickly search for content regardless of where they are on the page, offering another layer of convenience.

Animated Search Button in Menu Bar

  • What: An additional search button has been added to the menu bar. Clicking on it triggers an animation that expands to fill the screen, providing a focused area for search input.

  • Why: This new feature adds an element of interactivity and aesthetic appeal to the website. Furthermore, the animation creates a sense of engagement, making the search process more intuitive and enjoyable for the users.

With these updates, we aim to reinstate and improve the search functionality on our website, providing a better and more efficient user experience for everyone involved.

Ethan Nguyen

2023 August 22nd

Introducing New "Newsletter Section" on the GSS Homepage

Automatic Display on NEWS Board

  • What: The creation of a new newsletter post will now automatically display on the NEWS board on the homepage.

  • Why: This automated approach eliminates the manual work of updating the NEWS board, streamlining the content updating process and ensuring that the latest newsletters are easily accessible to our community.

New Design Elements in Newsletter Post

  • What: The Newsletter post will feature a new design, incorporating multiple sections for better navigation and interaction.

    • Newsletter Frame: Contains the newsletter content, with smooth scrolling functionality.
    • Newsletter Board: Displays the six most recent newsletters for additional browsing.
    • Newsletter Subscribe Form: Allows new visitors/students to subscribe to the GSS newsletter by entering their email.
  • Why: The new design aims to make the newsletter post more user-friendly and interactive. The different sections serve the specific needs of the users, from sharing and reading to subscribing, offering a complete and enriching experience.

Weekly Newsletter Updating Workflow

  • What: Every Friday, after the newsletter is emailed to subscribers, the content will be posted on the homepage using a pre-designed template. This will then automatically update on the NEWS board.

  • Why: This weekly update workflow ensures that the website stays current with minimal manual intervention, providing visitors with the most recent information seamlessly.

By implementing these updates, we aim to make the GSS newsletters more accessible, interactive, and useful for our community. The automatic update on the NEWS board and the new design elements are all intended to enhance the user experience.

Ethan Nguyen

2023 August 18th

New Homepage Footer Feature: "GSS Weekly Newsletter Subscription"

GSS Weekly Newsletter Subscription Box

  • What: Added a new section to the homepage footer where visitors and students can input their email addresses to subscribe to the GSS Weekly Newsletter.

  • Why: This new feature aims to facilitate easy subscription to our weekly newsletter, especially for first-time visitors or students who want to stay updated with GSS activities and news. It provides a straightforward way to engage with our audience and keep them informed.

By implementing this quick and easy subscription feature, we aim to increase engagement and keep our community better informed about upcoming events, news, and other updates. It takes just 5 seconds to subscribe—simply input your email and hit the button.

Ethan Nguyen

2023 August 2nd

UX Improvements

Improved Layout, Font, and Font Size

  • What: The layout has been refined to be more user-friendly, with a focus on text readability. Font sizes have been adjusted to be smaller and more modern.

  • Why: These changes aim to enhance the visual appeal and readability of the website, especially for mobile users. Smaller, modern fonts and an improved layout contribute to a cleaner, more organized look and feel, facilitating better content consumption.

GSS Logo Loading Indicator During Page Transitions

  • What: Added a flashing GSS logo as a loading indicator during page transitions.

  • Why: This provides users with a visual cue that the page is still loading, which serves to improve the overall user experience by reducing perceived wait times.

Ethan Nguyen

2023 July 31st

Launch of Redesigned Event Page: Elevating User Experience and Navigation

Countdown to Next Upcoming Event

  • What: The new event page features a countdown to the next upcoming event prominently displayed.

  • Why: To create a sense of immediacy and excitement among visitors, encouraging them to learn more about upcoming events and consider participating.

Card View for Upcoming Events

  • What: The upcoming events are displayed in a ‘cards view,’ each card representing an individual event with key details.

  • Why: This visually appealing and modern layout facilitates easy browsing and quick understanding of each event’s specifics, thus enhancing user experience.

Monthly View for All Events

  • What: An option to browse all events in a monthly calendar view is available.

  • Why: This feature offers a holistic view of all the events scheduled for the month, allowing visitors to plan their involvement better and ensuring they don’t miss out on events they are interested in.

The redesign aims to offer a cleaner, more modern interface that aids easy navigation and efficient information retrieval, thus fulfilling the needs of our diverse visitor base.

Ethan Nguyen

2023 July 20th

New Events-Related Component on Homepage: Enhancing User Engagement and Information Accessibility

Display of Two Upcoming Events

  • What: The new component will showcase information related to the two upcoming GSS events.

  • Why: To keep our community informed and excited about upcoming activities, encouraging higher participation and engagement.

Visual Countdown to Nearest Upcoming Event

  • What: A countdown timer is included, ticking down to the start time of the nearest upcoming event.

  • Why: This creates a sense of urgency and excitement, prompting users to take note of the event and plan accordingly.

Real-Time Display for Ongoing Events

  • What: A “Events happening now” section will automatically appear and count down until the end of any ongoing event.

  • Why: To provide real-time information about current events, encouraging immediate engagement and participation.

Design Consistency and Cross-Platform Compatibility

  • What: The component is designed in line with GSS’s main colors and is optimized for mobile viewing.

  • Why: To maintain brand consistency and ensure a smooth user experience across various devices.

Automatic Updates

  • What: All components within this new feature will be automatically updated.

  • Why: To reduce manual maintenance efforts and ensure that the information displayed is always current and accurate.

Ethan Nguyen

2023 June 28th

"News and Events Slideshow" Section at Top of GSS Homepage: Enhancing Information Accessibility

Immediate Load and Dominant Display Position

  • What: Upon landing on the GSS homepage, the News Slideshow will be one of the first elements to load, taking up more than 60% of the visible space.

  • Why: To immediately capture the attention of visitors and prominently display the most recent and important GSS updates.

Automatic Sliding and Looping of News

  • What: The news items in the slideshow will automatically slide, looping through the different updates.

  • Why: To provide a dynamic, engaging experience and ensure that visitors are exposed to multiple pieces of important information without having to interact manually.

Direct Navigation to News Posts

  • What: Clicking on any slide in the slideshow will open the corresponding news post in a new browser tab.

  • Why: To allow easy and immediate access to detailed information, thereby improving user engagement and the information dissemination process.

Smooth and Cross-Platform-Compatible Animation Between Slides

  • What: Incorporated a smooth and visually appealing animation when changing between slides in the News Slideshow.

  • Why: To enhance the aesthetic appeal and user experience, while ensuring the animation runs seamlessly across all platforms. This creates a more engaging and professional presentation of the news updates.

Ethan Nguyen

2023 June 26th

Revamped Photo Gallery

New Design for GSS Photo Gallery

  • What: Introduced a new layout and design elements specifically for the GSS Photo Gallery.

  • Why: To modernize the gallery’s appearance and make it more visually appealing, further enhancing user engagement and overall experience.

Randomized Photo Order Upon Refresh

  • What: Implemented a feature that changes the photo order randomly each time the gallery page is refreshed.

  • Why: This provides a dynamic and fresh user experience, encouraging visitors to engage more with the gallery.

Cross-Platform Optimization

  • What: Ensured that the Photo Gallery is fully responsive and functional on all platforms including desktops, tablets, and smartphones.

  • Why: To make the gallery accessible and user-friendly, regardless of the device used, thereby improving the overall user experience.

Ethan Nguyen

2023 June 19th

GSS Website Goes Fully Responsive

Font Size Reduction

  • What: Font size for both body text and headings has been reduced across all posts and the website.

  • Why: The reduction improves readability and layout, making the text easier to read and optimizing space on the web pages.

Cross-Platform Compatibility

  • What: The website has been enhanced to be fully responsive, working seamlessly on computers, mobile phones, and tablets.

  • Why: This update expands the website’s accessibility, allowing students to access it conveniently from any device, thereby improving user experience.

Transition Animation Addition

  • What: Fade-out and fade-in animations have been added when transitioning between different web pages.

  • Why: These animations provide a smoother user experience, adding a level of professionalism and a modern aesthetic to the website.

Ethan Nguyen

2023 June 15th

A Fresh Look and Enhanced User Experience

Navigation Bar Design

  • What: Minor adjustments to the design elements like color, button shape, and iconography.

  • Why: To create a more visually appealing and elegant appearance that aligns with the brand’s aesthetic.

GSS Photos Carousel

  • What: Added a zoom-in feature that activates upon clicking an image.

  • Why: To enhance user engagement and allow better viewing of the images, making the carousel more interactive.

New “Our Services” Section

  • What: Introduced a new section on the homepage titled “Our Services”.

  • Why: To provide an easily accessible overview of the services offered by GSS, improving user navigation and information retrieval.

GSS Students’ Board

  • What: Complete redesign of the layout, including new fonts, colors, and graphical elements.

  • Why: To make the board more visually appealing and engaging, which can potentially increase student interaction.

GSS News Section

  • What: Articles are now displayed as neat cards, and the font size has been reduced.

  • Why: To present the news in a more organized and visually pleasing manner, making it easier for visitors to scan through multiple articles.

Footer Section

  • What: Colors and design elements have been updated to align with the brand’s guidelines.

  • Why: To create a more modern, friendly, and visually cohesive look, replacing the previous gray color that was less engaging.

Ethan Nguyen