Another dot in the blogosphere?

Useful features in Google Sites editor

Posted on: August 26, 2020

As I prepare a new online resource, I am reminded that it is the small things can make big differences. This is a design principle that could apply to the minor quality-of-life changes to the current iteration of the Google Sites editor.

Google Sites announcement banner.

The first new tool I used was the announcement banner. Previously I had to manually add a block of text at the top of every page if I was updating a site. With the new tool, I visited the settings to automatically add a banner at the top of every page.

 

Google Sites collapsible text.

The second tool I discovered was the option to add collapsible drop down text. I plan on using this in three ways:

  1. Reduce the amount of text on screen by giving my learners the option to reveal hidden text that is useful but peripheral (see example above).
  2. Provide contextual tips or help for tasks and tools that are embedded in a page.
  3. State the purpose and/or design rationale for a learning activity.

Example of expanded text that appears as a result of activating the drop down button.
The screenshot above is an example of expanded text that appears as a result of activating the drop down button.

One reason I prefer Google Sites over other tools is their general applicability. I use them for courses in higher education, but someone else might use them for a portfolio, event website, project documentation, etc. The tools Google Sites offer are not designed specifically for education, but they are simple and powerful enough to accommodate more complex pedagogical designs.

Note: I have not been paid or otherwise compensated to promote Google Sites.

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