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102C, Wisconsin Center

Reframing the Digital Campus

Monday, Oct 14 8:30 - 9:15

Presented by Ryan Dee and Eric Rasmussen

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has, since 2007, published almost all websites and apps on the same codebase, the UNL Web Framework. For our 2019 release of Framework 5, we went back to the first line of code and rewrote it for maximum flexibility, sustainability and performance. Along the way, we came up with something that we think would be useful for any institution, and published it as open source: the Digital Campus Framework (DCF). We strongly believe that our digital campuses are as unique as our physical ones are, and DCF represents an effort to support that uniqueness where it counts, while sharing as much underlying code as possible.

DCF 1.0 is a fully CSS-Grid-based foundation for web publishing. Following a separations-of-concerns approach, DCF cleanly separates ‘generic’ markup, such as grids and elements, from institution-specific design choices, which are resident in a separate theme package.

This approach has yielded several advantages. First, where we are pursuing partnerships within our own university system, it is allowing us to develop publishing systems that support multiple institutions’ unique branding needs as simply as tying an incoming URL to a theme package, and delivering the appropriate theme package back with the request. To the end user, both the URL and the look-and-feel of the delivered webpage match their expectations; it’s their URL and their institution.

Attendees will learn about the design decisions that informed the development of Digital Campus Framework, how we foster collaboration and partnership, how we manage major and minor framework deployments, and how the Digital Campus Framework might be applicable to your needs as a higher ed institution.



Ryan Dee

Senior Web Designer/Developer

Ryan Dee is the lead designer on the Internet & Interactive Media team and currently serves on the UNL Web Developer Network Shared Governance Board. He crafts user interfaces and user experiences for the Digital Campus Framework and UNLedu Web Framework, public info applications, and client sites like Sheldon Museum of Art and Nebraska Innovation Campus. Ryan is especially interested in typography, branding/identity, and web animations.

Eric Rasmussen

Senior Web Programmer

Eric Rasmussen leads Drupal development of the university's central web content management system. Leader of the Web Applications Users Group, he helps guide the direction and development of several essential public-information web applications at UNL via outreach and education.