EdGEL: A tool for the University’s digital design

Our range of available services has been expanded recently by the official launch of the EdGEL website, which hosts information and tools to support the University brand and its digital presence.

GEL stands for Global Experience Language and in EdGEL refers to those elements that deliver the University’s digital design:

  • Global – it can be used in more than one context and applies to a wide range of digital applications, not just websites.
  • Experience – it can provide a consistent experience across various internal and external facing services.
  • Language – it provides design guidelines, as well as code elements, which can be used either in whole or in part, relative to needs.

Other big organisations, a great example being the BBC, have followed this path by developing and continuously enhancing their digital design frameworks to address their business requirements.

What is GEL? – A synopsis of what GEL is, in the BBC website.

What is it for?

The goal of EdGEL is to provide a simple to understand, easy to use and pleasant to view design framework, that uses established web standards, is accessible and can be expanded to cover business needs.

The framework will be used to streamline the user experience between different University services. EdGEL can be used in any project with a digital design requirement, from websites to other web-based services or systems. Our goal is to continuously update and enhance it to cover existing and emerging business needs, for example, since EdGEL has been used to deliver the central University Website, it has already been made available as part of the EdWeb Distribution to use locally.

What is available

At the EdGEL website users can find:

  • the full code, guidelines and documentation on best practice in using EdGEL and supporting the University brand, as well as links to further resources.
  • live code examples of specific design elements and patterns, as well as how all this comes together when used in the front end of the central University Website.
  • all available communication channels including how to get support for EdGEL, as well as information to expand it beyond its current delivery.

EdGEL website

Technical foundations

EdGEL is built using the Twitter Bootstrap framework, which can be very flexible, provides basic design elements and supports responsive delivery, i.e. change of look and feel according to a device’s screen size. Bootstraps’ iconography is used extensively with CSS and LESS, to allow dynamic style sheets to deliver the style.

If you want to learn more about EdGEL, or you have questions or need support to use it, please contact us at website.support@ed.ac.uk.

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