For Pros: Build Premium Dossiers

You are familiar with all basics and want to build an extraordinarily good-looking dossier - for an atlas or a key topic - into which new articles  are filled in over a long period of time? You have got suitable images, charts and videos? Have a look.

On special occasions, dossiers without sidebars are created on boell.de. We do that, for instance, when building our atlases - see the dossier on carbon "Kohleatlas". You have more space on a page - but this space has to be used meaningfully. Before deciding not to use a sidebar, you should be really familiar with the grid and have diversified material at your disposal. Moreover, you need to take note of some aspects concerning the mobile version.

Analogous to our ongoing dossier "Flucht und Migration" (Flight and Migration) I am now creating such a dossier without a sidebar on the topic of "Rassismus und Rechtspopulismus" (Racism and Right-wing Populism). Therefore, I am creating a new landingpage with a grid. Henceforward, there are different options. Either, I start the dossier with an image or video covering the full width - as done with the Kohleatlas.

 

 

That makes sense if the project is relatively manageable, for instance as in our atlases. In our case, however, I would like to create an ongoing dossier with new articles being added over the next months - where the latest articles are to always be placed on top as in the dossier "Flucht und Migration".

 

After a while, the articles should automatically move into the topic containers. To achieve a good content structure, I will have to plan for these containers well in advance.

In the Flight-and-Migration dossier these containers for instance are named "Fluchtursachen" (Reasons of flight) and "Willkommenskultur" (A Culture of Welcome). In the case of the Racism-dossier, these would be "AfD", "Pegida" and some others.

So I am starting by dragging and dropping the 2:1-container into the grid (this is the one on top), in order to have the latest articles being added (as in "Flucht und Migration") on the left and to be able to place a short intro into the dossier on the right. I am writing the title of the dossier into the container title.

Now, I am dragging and dropping the box "Newest articles by tag" twice into the left column. These boxes will show the latest articles. For the intro text I will need a "Static HTML-Content" box on the right.

 

I need the "Newest articles by tag" box twice to feature the latest article with a big image on top and then show two more articles with only small teaser images and teasers below. It is important for all articles in this dossier to have a common tag. In the dossier "Flucht und Migration" we have set the tag "Flucht" (Flight). In our dossier this would be the tag "Menschenfeindlichkeit" (Inhumanity).

So in the first box I am selecting the tag "Menschenfeindlichkeit", in the viewmode line I am picking "Main teaser" and am setting the article count "1". This makes the latest article tagged "Inhumanity" appear on top with a big image.

In the second box I select the same tag but have two articles shown in viewmode "teaser".

And this is what the grid looks like now:

Now, all that remains to be done is to enter the intro text for the dossier into the HTML-box. I am selecting the respective topic color and the "highlighted" design so that the box will appear with a grey background and stands out from the rest. Below, I am dragging and dropping a calendar box to have the next events shown. The head section of my new dossier is ready now:

 

 

When the structure is ready, I will get back to the intro text on the right,  because it would be nice to name and format there in bold the topic containers that set the dossier structure.

Now I am dragging more containers below the new dossier head and name them by topics ("AfD", "Pegida",...). Then I am placing the respective articles there. Here too, try and see what looks good. Take a few things into consideration to avoid the dossier from looking "topsy-turvy":

  • Make sure that image sizes don't change too often. For the head, I have used "main teaser" and "teaser", but in the respective containers I only use "main teaser" and "Mosaic Slot 3" because otherwise three different image sizes would appear next to each other. This may be eye-confusing.
  • Alternate image sizes: If you have an opener with a great photo you can once use the entire page width (select the container which uses the entire page width, place the article in it and set the viewmode to "main teaser"). And if you select the 4/4-container: You can sometimes leave one or two slots empty on the right, in that way it doesn't get too crowded.
  • Images, graphics or charts, videos or audios are very suitable and will provide variety.
  • You will also find a "Quote" box under Static Content. Use this box to enter a cool quotation or a number - that will also make the page fluffy and less monotonous.

Particularly important! Check from time to time what the dossier looks like on a mobile phone. For the responsive design the system will list the parts that are now placed from left to right one below the other. You can see that when reducing the size of your browser window:

You should always keep an eye on this view - if the dossier looks bad on your mobile you must have done something wrong.

After some trial and error the upper part of my grid looks like this:

 

Further down, I am listing publications and links to other sites. The latest three articles will automatically be placed on top, but you will have to drag them manually into the topic containers when their time on top has run out. To do so, use the Content box, search for them by title and drag them into the respective boxes.

 

To keep people informed whithout having to check the dossier every day or week, I am now creating an RSS-Feed for all entries tagged   "Menschenfeindlichkeit". To do so, I am clicking on the tag to get a list of all articles and publications tagged under this tag:

 

 

 

to create an RSS-Feed from this list, hover your mouse over Edit (you have to be logged in to do so) and check the term-ID which is to be seen behind "term". Alternatively, you can also right-click on Edit and then copy the link address. Enter this link address where you need it. In our example, the link address would be: https://www.boell.de/de/taxonomy/term/9871/edit

and the term-ID of the tag "Menschenfeindlichkeit" is "9871" . The default address for RSS-Feeds on boell.de is

https://www.boell.de/de/feed/XYZ/rss.xml

(On other sites the first part will have to be edited respectively).

"XYZ" stands for the term-ID of the tag, here it is "9871". Hence, the feed address will be: https://www.boell.de/de/feed/9871/rss.xml

 

 

Readers can subscribe to this address using a RSS feed reader and stay informed. You should place the respective link directly in the introduction text:

 

Of course, I would now like to create a useful short URL for the new dossier. To do so, click on Edit, scroll down to the very end and click on Administration. If you want the landingpage to be shown in dossier-overviews (such as automatic list boxes showing the latest dossiers) and this is always recommended, click on "Show in Views". In addition to the default URL you can now add short links in the "Paths" lines. Enter "Rassismus" here. From now on the dossier will be found directly under  https://boell.de/rassismus.

 

It has become clear that premium dossiers need more work than a standard dossier, and they need persistant care. That's why creating such premium dossiers will only be worth for bigger projects which are of great relevance such as Bodenatlas (soil atlas) or Kohleatlas (carbon atlas). And also for ongoing focus topics which are to be covered over a longer period of time. In most of the cases, a simple dossier will do. However, if you build a premium dossier one day, just use the examples provided here.