Home page of nc.gov showing menu and search box feature

New Theme
Faster, better, prettier

Author: Liz Vines

Portal Theme

Themes are the part of Drupal that you, and anyone else visiting your Drupal powered application, see when they view any page in their browser. It’s also the set of files that define the visual look and feel of your site.

We recently developed a new theme (the Portal Theme) that we rolled out on nc.gov.  (We also previewed it at our last Lunch and Learn). You may also check out Our NC Military or NC Able for examples of the new theme as well.

ALL new sites built and migrated to/on the Digital Commons platform will now utilize the new theme.

Key Benefits of New Portal Theme 

  • The new theme has been designed with accessibility as a primary focus to make the state agency websites accessible to citizens with impairments and reduce liability for litigation.
  • The new theme is built on the most up-to-date mobile-friendly frontend framework, Bootstrap 5, used by 4 million sites including Amazon and Apple. 50-70% of state agency web visitors are using mobile devices, and this addresses their need for responsive and faster-loading sites.
  • The new design improves clarity and usability by highlighting most visited content on landing pages and use of imagery to support content.
  • The current theme is 8 years old with dependencies that are deprecated, not being maintained, and have potential security risks.  
  • We want to proactively move agencies from the old theme before problems arise because of the aging technologies used in theme libraries.

Portal Theme (dream) Team

Amy Hepler has 22+ years of experience in UI/UX design and development. She is Nielson Normal Group UX Certified Professional (NN/g is the world-leader in UX consulting). She holds a Human-Centered Interaction Experience Certification from Stanford University and has spent the past 12 years in UX leadership roles for elite academic institutions including:

    * Director, of Web & Digital Media, Kenan-Flagler Business School

    * UI/UX Lead Designer, Princeton University

Mark Colebank has developed websites for 25 years and for the last ten years has led redesign and migration projects for government websites. He led team efforts to modernize federal government for mobile phones; the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences website in 2013 and the National Toxicology Program website in 2017. Last year he led the development effort to modernize the frontend framework and design of the NC.Gov Citizen Portal. Mark is a Rhode Island School of Design graduate.

When do YOU get the new theme?

We expect to begin turning on the new theme for existing sites no earlier than late summer/early fall 2022. At that point we will have worked out any bugs and will have included all features. It is important to note; this is NOT a migration - all your content remains in place. The switch to the new theme should be fairly painless. We will update you on our process ahead of creating a schedule.

This blog is related to: