10/8/13 Web Status Update

Mon, 2013-10-14 11:31 pm
  • Password reset: To address an identified problem with the account creation system, you will be asked to change your password the next time you log in. A verification email will then be sent to your Grinnell e-mail account. Please open the e-mail and click on the link in it to confirm your identity. You will then be taken to the website to set up your new password.
  • Re-assigning people to offices and departments: On launch day a technical issue resulted in some users becoming detached in our database from their home office or department, when they changed their passwords.  We have manually fixed all known problems. However, if you are still not showing up on your department or office page please submit a ticket to http://www.grinnell.edu/help/request and we will fix it promptly.
  • Hiring temporary professional help to work on tickets: We are hiring qualified IT temps to help us work quickly through the list of tickets. Our student support team has been doing an extraordinary job with a large volume of work. But as mid-sems approach we need to give them time to study and take care of themselves, so are taking other measures to make sure the work continues at pace.
  • Access to documents and forms from the old site: The vast majority of tickets submitted to date are for internal forms and documents. As I explained at the faculty meeting, over time we hope to move much of this internal business to a new campus Intranet, not yet developed. However, I apologize that the launch has disrupted business processes in the meantime. If you need a form or document that is not on the new site, you can access it via the old site at http://retro.grinnell.edu. If you encounter broken links as you browse that site, try manually replacing the "www" part of any non-functioning URL with the phrase "retro".
  • Calendar and events: We are are working through technical challenges related to campus calendar integration. We can add events to the calendar, but the process is manual and labor-intensive, taking time that would otherwise be spent on prioritized fixes and improvements for you. We're happy to help you post your events, but ask that you please limit your requests to events that are truly mission-critical for now. We will report back to you as soon as a timeline is in place for getting the calendar fully operational.
  • Searchability and "404: Page not found" messages: As the new site is indexed and the old site is gradually taken off-line, we are starting to experience fewer "404: Page not found" errors. The incidence will continue to  shrink as Google indexes our site over the next 2-10 days (this is the window Google commits to). In the meantime, we are also working on an interim solution that will suggest pages on the new site, based on which pages on the old site are being sought. Look for this solution to be deployed within the next few days.
  • Responsive design: This fall we will also release a new "responsive" theme. This version of the site will detect what type of screen or device you are using and adjust page dimensions and layout accordingly. The new theme is expected to fix many of the look-and-feel issues that users reported, including fuzzy fonts and images. We apologize for the inconvenience to smartphone and tablet users in the meantime.
  • Accessibility: We have worked out a contract with Interactive Accessibility, a national leader in web accessibility reviews, to conduct a comprehensive accessibility audit of the new website. This audit, which will also include the Forum alumni website, is the first known comprehensive audit of Grinnell's web presence. I expect to receive the results in approximately three weeks, and will begin implementing changes immediately. That phase of work will continue for up to three months, with the goal of achieving Section 508 Level 2 compliance—a stricter standard than that observed by most college and university websites nationwide.