Other | 19. September 2019 | posted by Julia Heil

DLR.de: new home, same domain

Das DLR Web-Portal in neuem Gewand
Image: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)
Rediscover DLR.de

We have a new home. Today, we moved out and moved back in  – all at the same address! We proudly present the brand new DLR.de!##markend##

We had outgrown our current site – not only due to our new institutes and facilities, but also because of the many research projects, missions and large-scale infrastructures that have steadily been established over the years. Just as when building a house, various experts and specialists from various fields were involved, from the initial idea to the completed website – from graphic designers, through IT specialists, to data protection officers. Everything was questioned, planned, discussed and tested. The team led by Portal Manager, Andrea Haag created an entirely new design for the website as well as incorporating artificial intelligence techniques. The colour concept of the new look is particularly striking: blue, green and yellow. Blue stands for exploration and always keeping an eye on the horizon. Green symbolises our environment, which must be preserved, and yellow represents the life-giving power of the Sun. These colours are also reflected in the different formats. For example, dossiers, where socially relevant issues are well presented and easy to share, are displayed in yellow. The research areas and organisational structure are shown in blue in the new mega menu. Thanks to the clear mosaic look, the new Missions, Sites and Large-scale research facilities pages are instantly visible.

Image: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)
A dossier brings together various contributions on a specific, socially relevant, topic.

A myriad of content embarks on a journey

Our moving boxes contained over 60,000 documents and web pages featuring 7000 news items in German and English. Unlike moving house, however, the relaunch team was unable to simply hire a removal firm to take this content to our new home all in one go. Over recent months, colleagues have created any new content twice, on both the old and new portal, to ensure that nothing was lost in the transition. As is always the case when moving, we also took this opportunity to have a clear-out: we have kept the tried and tested, but left some baggage behind. On the new portal, showpieces finally have the space they deserve. For example, 50 short presentations provide information about DLR’s institutes and facilities. Important content has been archived: everything published before 2015 is marked as ‘archive material’ and can easily be found via the intelligent search function.

DLR - Fakten
Image: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)
Interactive fact modules provide information on DLR facts and figures

Networked and intelligent

This search function has been specially developed for DLR’s needs and makes our new home a ‘smart home’. Artificial intelligence not only plays an important role in DLR research. Together with the Department of Library Science at TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences, the team of developers created a classification system in the form of a thesaurus. This automatically links appropriate content and puts it in the right places. For example, the system reads the latest publications on the jobs portal, DLR.de/jobs/en, and moves content to its proper place: career opportunities in the aeronautics sector are automatically displayed on the Aeronautics page and those from the space sector on the Space page. In future, Event information will also be displayed according to the topic. At the same time, the system assigns content to the various research areas.

Until now, there was only one entrance when visiting DLR.de: your computer, because the layout of DLR.de was only designed for it. We know that most users now visit our website using mobile devices. We accommodate this – if we stick with the house-move analogy – with a self-adjusting home that is accessible to everyone. Videos in sign language and some in simple language explain the function of the website and provide information about DLR.

DLR - Social Radar
Image: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)
Social Radar: current DLR Posts 'flow in' automatically and can be filtered

Over to you

… Embark on a voyage of discovery and be surprised by our new web portal. As with anything new, DLR.de may appear unfamiliar at first. But our permanent navigation menu will help you find your way through the ‘floors and rooms’ of our new home: just like a lift, it will always show you where you are. And you are more than welcome to explore on your own, of course, because we have lots of little surprises in store: from Facts modules, through to the Social radar that displays all the tweets and posts published on social networks by DLR, to our Scrollytelling format that packages DLR’s missions and projects in the form of stories enriched with multimedia. All that remains to say is … welcome to our new home!

DLR Public Affairs and Communications

Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)
The megamenu (excerpt) is always just one click away and provides quick access to all DLR topics.



About the author

Julia Heil hat sich schon immer für das interessiert, was hinter den Dingen steckt - Fragen stellen ist eine ihrer Lieblingsbeschäftigungen. Zunächst als Volontärin in der Kommunikationsabteilung und nun als Redakteurin für das DLR-Magazin schreibt sie über die vielfältigen Forschungsthemen des DLR und taucht mitten hinein in die Welt der Wissenschaft. to authorpage