With last year’s web audit under our belt, it’s now time to renovate our website – making it cleaner and more attractive, easier to use and update, more powerful, and more reflective of the tools and information users have asked for. We’ll keep you up-to-date on the project and want to know what you think.
October 11, 2012 - 10:46pm
As a high school junior, I remember being confused by the Grinnell College website. The print material stood out from all other colleges, but the website failed to stand out (unless you count standing out because it looked more like the site of big finance firm despite being a progressive liberal arts college). Nevertheless, I considered Grinnell, and a visit to campus solidified my decision. I wonder though. How many high school students stop considering Grinnell because of its website? Is... Read More...
September 17, 2012 - 12:53am
I started working for Web Services in September of my first year, three years ago. The college was deep in the process of moving the site into Drupal, and I was one of three students hired to help clean up and convert content. However, I shortly became the only student working with the two full-time staff on the College website. Our to-do lists always exceeded our time availability and often resulted in the resort to shortcuts. Though timesaving then, these shortcuts cost us (and ultimately the... Read More...
Posted by: Promet Source
September 4, 2012 - 4:31pm
Managing over 100 sections of a college website is no simple task. Amongst the many issues there is access control, syndication of content across the entire site, and providing a consistent and meaningful structure for users. Luckily, Drupal 7 is able to satisfy these challenges and has been the choice of hundreds of Universities and Colleges worldwide. Drupal does many things extremely well to appeal to higher education sites. First and foremost they are content rich media sites, with lots of... Read More...
Posted by: Rogue Element
August 21, 2012 - 11:44pm
As we've been working on redesigning the main website for Grinnell College, they asked us if we'd be interested in guest blogging as we went along. Below is our first post: Thank you for letting us introduce ourselves and talk a little about the design process for the new Grinnell College website. Rogue Element was founded 14 years ago with a mission to use graphic design problem-solving to more effectively communicate our clients' stories, and we think that this blog is the perfect place to... Read More...
Posted by: Donna Dralus ’89
August 21, 2012 - 9:43am
How do you like your web? On your laptop? An iPad? A smartphone? On your huge monitor that doubles as a way to catch up on your favorite TV shows? Are you a keyboard junkie who barely touches your mouse? A texting savant? Love the instant feedback of a touchscreen? Or do you use assistive technologies such as a mouth wand or a screen reader? As the web has evolved, so have the ways we use it. The growing trend in responsive web design means more and more sites look and work equally well whether... Read More...
August 2, 2012 - 5:47pm
When users visit any page under grinnell.edu, they do (and should) consider it all as simply “Grinnell’s Website”. It is, however, a large collection of web-enabled servers that perform different functions and use different tools and techniques. First, of course, there is PioneerWeb - the College’s “Intranet” - designed to be limited to internal communications. There are also a number of servers that perform dedicated functions, like Campus Calendar, Campus Directory, or Library Catalog.... Read More...
July 27, 2012 - 5:34pm
The audit identified high-impact tasks that we could complete right away. First, the site theme color was blue. So we changed it to scarlet and black. Second, the site search didn't work, so we fixed it. Third, users really wanted to see a virtual campus tour, so we launched it (and, with the help of Kabenla Armah ’04, we developed the College's first mobile app for Apple and Droid while we were at it). Meanwhile, we were preparing for the next big step. Rogue and Promet know our site... Read More...
Posted by: Jim Reische
July 27, 2012 - 9:49am
In my last post I compared website development to a family dinner: it’s not easy trying to make everyone happy, but let’s not give up and take the kids to McDonald’s. Today I want to stretch that family analogy a little further (sociologists and others, a quick disclaimer: I’m not advocating for a particular definition of family unit here. It’s just a moderately useful metaphor). At some point most every parent has keened something to the effect of, “But, sweetie, I harbor the deepest affection... Read More...
July 26, 2012 - 9:45am
While we were spending a lot of time on the back-end of our web management, our site grew, organically, freely, and not necessarily coherently. So we decided to take the next, long overdue step: to look what the actual user experience. Normally, people are scared of the audits and the consequences they might bring. We were different. We were begging for our audit. We wanted someone with hands on, real world experience to look at our site and the ways we use it. So, once again, we assembled... Read More...
July 23, 2012 - 10:26am
We assembled a big representative committee with representatives of students, faculty and staff, looked at several systems, from proprietary to open-source, from commercial to free, and discussed the possibilities on Wiki as well as with vendors that were invited to present their systems. Finally, we chose Drupal, a popular open-source CMS. At the time, Drupal had over 2 million installs, and a huge and vibrant developer community. About the same time, soon after the election of president... Read More...
- Website Renovation
- Drupal for Higher Education
- Have it your way
- Hopes of Students Present and Future
- One big (happy?) family
- Preparing for Renovation
- Promet Source
- Redesigning the Grinnell College Website: Part 1
- Student Involvement
- Temporary Student Worker to Senior Web-Student
- The What IS Grinnell Web?
- We love all our children equally
- Web Audit