Since its launch in September 2019, the DCN’s WordPress site has grown organically alongside our community. In Spring 2023, Amy Drayer, a colleague at the University of Minnesota, conducted an accessibility review of our site — and found many areas for improvement! Some of these were relatively straightforward, such as general text updates to improve readability. Others were a little more difficult to improve, as they were part of our specific WordPress theme.

While grappling with how to remediate this, we were lucky enough to be joined in Fall 2023 by our first semester-long intern, Rachel Priesman Marquez, an MLIS candidate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Luckily for us, Rachel’s interest and enthusiasm in increasing accessibility provided a perfect opportunity to give the website some attention. With the help of John Barneson at the University of Minnesota, we migrated the site to a new theme. Rachel also reviewed all of our blog posts (almost 200 of them!) and identified new categories to facilitate post discoverability. She implemented these in November 2023, and John officially migrated the site to its new theme in January 2024. A comparison of our old site to the new (see below!) shows what a huge difference a little adjusting can make!

These differences have made a huge shift in the overall user experience– even if it feels subtle. In the coming months, we will continue to make incremental and modest changes to improve usability. If there is any part of our site you think could use improvement, use our contact form to let us know!

Huge thanks to John and Rachel for their work!

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