Following user testing of the DMDD website at the BSCB/BSDB meeting earlier this year, we’ve been working behind the scenes on some enhancements to our site. The changes went live today, and here’s a rundown of what’s new.
Perhaps the first thing you might notice is our updated homepage. If you’re planning to search the database for genes or phenotypes, a featured ‘SEARCH’ form on the homepage will make this quicker and easier.
We’ve introduced a ‘mega menu’ at the top of the page, so you can see more information about the different sections of the website and quickly navigate to the right place. The height of the homepage has also been decreased, so it’s easier to see all the content on laptop devices.
Also on the homepage: get bite-sized bits of information about the DMDD programme from the new ‘ticker’ text, sign up to our email newsletter or refresh the page to see a variety of featured images from our dataset.
DMDD recently released a temporal gene expression profile for wild type embryos – the first step towards providing molecular phenotypes for our embryonic lethal lines. We have now added a dedicated wild type gene expression profiling page, which provides some background information and a link to the dataset itself in Expression Atlas.
A new section titled ‘OUR RESEARCH’ includes content about the DMDD consortium, our analysis techniques and a list of our publications. Protocols for placental histology, transcriptional profiling and immunohistochemistry are now available, allowing users to repeat any results of interest, while the contribution by each of our consortium member institutions is detailed on the DMDD pipeline page.
We have added additional information about the mutant lines and how they were generated, updating the About the mutants page to include allele diagrams and information about how to request lines for future research.
Finally, a dedicated section about High Resolution Episcopic Microscopy (HREM) now provides detailed instructions for the HREM imaging technique. Over time this hub of information will grow to include videos and additional information on sample dissection for HREM imaging.
Our website now has a dedicated news page highlighting data releases, additional content on the DMDD blog and other news related to the project. It’s also a place to find out where you can meet us at forthcoming events, and how to connect with us via social media.
We are also keen for you to tell others about our data. You can easily download flyers or other promotional materials about the DMDD programme from our Communications materials page.
Finally, we’ve made some changes to the style of the site to increase its usability. The most immediately visible change is the switch from a serif font, which has small projecting features called ‘serifs’ at the end of strokes, to a sans serif font, which has no ‘serifs’ and better letter spacing to make the text more readable.
We’ve also changed the layout of each embryo page to make it immediately apparent what data is available for each embryo, without requiring multiple clicks.
Part of our user testing showed that users didn’t notice the feedback button on the right edge of pages, so we’ve moved this to the top right, where users look for it.
We’re excited to launch the enhanced version of our website and would like to know what you think. If you have any suggestions just click the ‘Feedback’ link at the top right of any page on our website, or post a comment below, to let us know your ideas. Make sure to leave your details if you’d like a response or are happy for us to contact you to find out more.