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Written by Sharon Howell   
Tuesday, 03 February 2015

You will soon notice a striking new visual design in the header and background of The new look does not end with color changes and first impressions. A series of incremental improvements are planned which will culminate in a new navigation and menu structure similar to Gospel Library mobile.


Research, user feedback, and direction from Church leaders led developers to make changes to keep pace with current technology and to meet the needs of the Church. The end-product will be more personal for users and easier to navigate, search, and use.

In the upper right, navigational controls for “My Account and Ward” replace “Sign-in/Tools.” The dropdown menu from here groups options into three categories: “My Account,” “My Ward,” and “Tools and Support.” This will simplify choosing the most popular tools.

The four menu options on the header bar are repositioned to be more visible. The header remains anchored while navigating within For now, dropdown menus retain many of the same selection items in familiar places. That will change with future upgrades.

From the world icon in the upper right corner select the “Select Country/Language” option to connect to local content on country communication pages. These will be formatted to include the same navigation menus as This integration allows seamless transitions from local pages to and back again. Users will be able to open resources without needing to open first and they can easily return to their starting point. In addition, users will be able to choose between site-specific search options, or all of, saving time and yielding more relevant search results.

The new interface includes typefaces on menus that change from grey to black when selected, submenus that expand, and selections that open web content. In many places you will see links displayed as images with display titles. These web objects scale well on many different platforms. They are visually appealing for users and make finding content much quicker than scrolling closely spaced lists. Church websites and mobile apps already use these to great effect.

Future plans include a new navigation structure and other changes to enhance the user experiences. In many places, links to email, social media, and RSS feeds invite you to share, subscribe, or provide feedback. Your interactive participation with is important to developers. Be patient while you see improvements unfold. Help is as close as the search box on the header.



# Glen 2015-02-04 05:59
I can't wait to try it. Do you know if accessibility (a11y) was designed into it? Are aria roles being used for landmarks to help with navigation for screen reader users? The current site doesn't use them but it would be helpful if role=search, role=navigation, role=banner, etc was used.

Headings are also very helpful for navigation. The current site has an for the church logo and s for the 4 sections at the bottom. Hopefully you'll continue using tags or role=heading and aria-level=#.
# Glen 2015-02-04 06:09
I'm also curious, from a web design perspective, if you often have to spend a lot of time on seemingly small decisions? For example, which category to put 'maps'. I use maps quite often for my ward and can see it being under the 'my ward' category. But I also use it generically when looking for chapels in other cities so it's a tool. Putting it under the 'tools' category gives you a symmetry so that each category has four links. So I'm just curious if it took time to make that kind of small decision.
# Glen 2015-02-04 06:18
From a ward clerk perspective, the old 'username/tools' menu had extra items at the bottom: missionary recommendation, CDOL, and FIR. The first two are also available from within 'leader and clerk resources', under 'applications'.

The new design looks like it has LCR in the new tools section. To get to FIR, will I have to click on the 'all tools' menu item?
# Glen 2015-02-04 06:38
Will the existing shortcut URLs still continue to work? Such as,,

At one point, I thought worked but I think that was removed/broken a while ago.
# Carol Eileen Oertli 2015-02-04 15:51
I've just seen it, and the bright white background on most of the pages is quite hard on my eyes. (I'm on a home computer, not a mobile device.) Also, the font size seems to be bigger, which involves more vertical scrolling. Is there any way to adjust background color or font size?
# Glen 2015-02-04 20:03
My third and fourth comments are resolved.

Carol, regarding font size, you can use Ctrl++ and Ctrl+- to adjust your font size. (Cmd++ on a Mac). I think most browsers also offer a way to set fonts in their settings/preferences window.

You might be able to control the generic background from preferences too.
# Glen 2015-02-05 09:30
Not sure if anyone is reading all these comments :-)

Again, for Carol, both firefox and internet explorer let you set a default font size and background color. I can give more details if needed.
# Carol Eileen Oertli 2015-02-05 20:17
I'd forgotten about Ctrl+ and Ctrl- to change font size; thanks for the reminder!

Also thanks for the suggestion to use the browser to change background color. (I'm currently using Firefox.)It does have an option to change background color, but the selections are pretty limited. I'll experiment a bit and see what I can come up with
# Jeff Hunsaker 2015-02-05 21:36
Help!, New interface crashes browser on iPad.

When the new interface was made active on Wed the 5th (2015), I was immediately no longer able to access from my iPad, regardless of which browser I would attempt to use. I currently use Chrome, Safari and Dolphin on the iPad. I am in our bishopric and I use the website constantly.
When I open any browser and go to the address it looks as if it is going to load and then it crashes and closes the browser application. (iPad 2, iOS 6.1.2)

Please Help!!!!! Thank you.
# Glen 2015-02-06 11:50
Jeff, as two other data points, I'm using an ipad air (1st gen) with iOS 8.1.2 and it's working ok and I'm using an ipad 2 with iOS 7.1 and it's working ok too. So maybe the problem is with iOS 6.1.2?
# Glen 2015-02-06 12:10
My reply is too long so I'm splitting into two.

Part I
Carol, I use FF too and know the settings only provide a limited number of background colors, and setting that will affect every website. There's an alternative that takes a few steps to set up but works great and you can customize it for whatever websites you want.

- Go to about:support then click on the ‘show folder’ button.
- Create a sub-folder called chrome
- Create a stylesheet called userContent.css and put the file in that folder

For example, I set my focus outline so I can easily see where I'm TABbing

*:focus { outline: #00FF00 solid 4px !important; }
# Glen 2015-02-06 12:10
Part II
You can also specify specific websites.

@-moz-document domain(
*:focus { outline: #FF0000 solid 6px !important; }
body {background: #00FFFF !important; }

This sets the background color to a gaudy cyan but you can see how it works. It's only set on the element, which doesn't cover everything for but it's a start.

glen dot walker at sas dot com for questions
# Rick Bangart 2015-02-08 09:56
I can no longer add appointments to our ward calendar using my Kindle Fire or Android phone. I'll create an appointment for the calendar, make the start time 10:30am, and when I try to make the end time 10:45am, it changes the start time to 01:03 am. I go back and fix that and it changes the end time to something completely arbitrary (e.g., 11:15am). When I finally got the start time as 10:30am and the end time as 10:45am, I created the event only to find it was actually scheduled for 10:30am and ending at 7:45 am. This is crazy.
# Glen 2015-02-08 11:08
I tried adding a calendar item from my ipad and it worked ok. That doesn't help you but I was curious if it was globally broken. The little spinners for the dates are hard to touch. I didn't type a number directly in the field, did you? Have you tried the website on a desktop?
# Rick Bangart 2015-02-09 08:20
I've not had a problem with using the website on a desktop. But it'd be nice to update the calendar on my tablet at church. And the date/time spinners are eratic on my tablet, too. For some reason, the start/end fields are "linked" and changing one unpredictably changes the other one. I hope it gets fixed.
# Glen 2015-02-09 08:39
Quoting Rick Bangart:
For some reason, the start/end fields are "linked" and changing one unpredictably changes the other one.

Can you tell if the linkage only happens when you try to use the spinners? Or do they appear linked even if you tap in the field then type a new number?

I know there's a linkage if you try to specify an ending time that's earlier than the starting time. It will change your starting time. Same if I try to specify a starting time after the ending time.

There also appears to be a permanent linkage with the end date. If I set a start time, then an end time, then go back and change the start time, my end time will automatically change. It will try to keep the same time span. However, I can then change my end time and it won't change my start time.

This happens on the desktop and the ipad. I have not seen the crazy time range that you saw (1:03am)
# Glen 2015-02-09 08:41
Quoting Glen:
There also appears to be a permanent linkage with the end date.

Sorry, that should have been time.
# Christopher Robert Anderson 2015-02-10 19:05
I would bet that you'll have better luck clicking on the feedback link at the bottom of the page. They have always responded to me, it seems like.
# James Brian Wilson 2015-02-11 16:44
Is there a plan to add home teaching to leader and clerk resources so that home teaching reporting can be done on
# Stephen Lewis Lundwall 2015-02-12 05:54
The study mode in the scripture page for this site is not working and has not for the last several days? Is this something that is being updated? When will it be back online? Thanks
# Joseph Casimer Bebel 2015-02-14 06:43
Since the change in format, we have not been able to scroll down on the ward directory. The scroll bar is not showing. Did not have that problem before.
# Joseph Casimer Bebel 2015-02-14 06:45
Need to clarify that the inability to scroll down on the ward directory is limited to our ipad only.
# Glen 2015-02-14 09:15
Joseph, scrolling on the ipad works on my ipad air (1st gen) but it's not obvious if you're not used to the ipad. If I try to swipe up/down anywhere on the page, it does *not* scroll the directory part but tries to scroll the page as a whole. I'm guessing that's what you're seeing. You have to swipe up/down with your finger over the family list in order to scroll just the directory part.

In general, the ipad does not show a scrollbar until you start scrolling. I see that with the page as a whole. I should see a scrollbar as I scroll the family list but I don't. I think that's a bug but it doesn't prevent me from scrolling.
# Kathy Christensen 2015-03-01 17:07
Is there a way to change the font color in browser? Being color blind the blue is hard to read.
# Kathy Christensen 2015-03-01 17:12
I made it dark blue with the help of my son. I'll install grease monkey or something to try to make it always a darker color. Bright, light colors on white background is rough if you have any degree of color blindness.
# Malorie Aaron 2015-03-12 11:44
Hi, my name is Malorie Aaron. I have a suggestion with this new attempt of visibility. The eye goes to the pictures in the center of the screen first. I think that many desktop/laptop users will find it irritating that the alignment of the header and nav are not aligned with anything else on any of the webpages.
As far as desktop/laptop usability goes efficiency is being sacrificed for attempted visibility. The center area with lots of pictures is where the eye goes, so moving the navs way off to the sides actually decreases visibility and make efficiency decrease at the same time. I'm using efficiency to mean the amount of effort or time it takes to preform a task.
This could be fixed by making the header and navs responsive so that they stay aligned with the rest of the content.
I hope this helps.

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