Redesign: Campus Retail Shops website
We recently launched a redesigned Campus Retail Shops (opens new window) website. This was another in the set of Business Operations websites to get updated. Unlike the others this site is a living repository of retail tenants and shops available to the campus community. This gives the site a few unique challenges:
# Content pulled from campus map
Unlike most of our websites, the content for Shops was managed in a separate database so we could provide additional information for each location. This can be hours, parking information, specials, etc. We decided to centralize that information in the university campus map (opens new window). This required us to add more fields to each map entry, but gave us the benefit of using that extra information anywhere else the location is viewed (mobile/desktop map website, search, etc). It also allows for a single source of data, no more duplication when locations are added, edited or removed.
# OneCard fill locations map
Like the retail shops, there are other locations on campus that are not buildings, but instead are inside buildings or parking structures. These are now in the campus map proper (opens new window) instead of a custom Google map.
# Show your OneCard and save locations
Lastly, there are locations which may or may not be on Wayne State's campus. These are shops that offer a discount (opens new window) to our students/faculty/staff for showing their student ID card. This was a tough decision, should we be storing these outside locations, some many miles away, in the campus map data? In the end we decided to store the information with all other locations. The map already had the structure, no additional programming would be required and it would offer a single spot to manage all locations.
# Quick page loads with YouTube SPF
If you've been browsing through the site while reading this you may notice how quick each page loads. This site employs a method of navigation that we have used on all sites in the past year. The tool is YouTube's Structured Page Fragments (opens new window) (SPF).
# Data available in the API
Building additional things into an already large data set has it's advantages. The campus map API (opens new window) will now return this additional information for each location.
View the new Campus Retail Shops (opens new window) website.