Website Training Begins May 3

Sign up for Salli training

Faculty, staff and students can begin using Salli, the new content management system, for basic page editing on May 3. Training sessions will be held in Galileo 111, and are scheduled for the following dates and times:

  • May 3, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • May 4, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • May 5, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • May 6, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
  • May 10, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
  • May 11, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m
  • May 17, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
  • May 18, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m

An RSVP form will be made available shortly, or you can RSVP to Web Editor Mike Jung at ext. 4031.

  • A note on design: The design templates have been delivered by White Whale and are in the process of being built out in the CMS.

Website Redesign Update, April 11, 2011

Dear Colleagues,
The website redesign is progressing on all fronts. The first set of design mockups have been approved, and can be viewed at http://redesign.stmarys-ca.edu/documents.
Unfortunately, the development of the content management system is moving more slowly than planned. The new CMS will be made available to campus web curators on Tuesday, April 26 instead of April 1 as was originally hoped. As a result we've extended the launch date for the new site to August 1, and have developed a series of interim steps to assist our campus colleagues in developing content and entering it into the new site. These include a series of drop-in lab hours for those who wish to edit their webpages' existing text, deliver content such as photographs and videos, and discuss the design mockups in more detail with College Communications staff.
The first week of lab hours is Monday-Friday, April 11-15, 1 p.m.-4 p.m. in Garaventa 240. If you'd like to drop in please RSVP Web Editor Mike Jung with the date and time of your choice (x4031 or mej3@stmarys-ca.edu). More hours will be scheduled for the week of April 18 as well.
We understand that the revised timing on the CMS rollout is less than ideal, and are committed to supporting campus clients to make this new timeline as workable and efficient as possible.
Regards,
Mike Jung
Web Editor, Office of College Communications
(925) 631-4031

Homepage Design & Interactivity

Dear SMC community members,

Over the past several months, the Website Redesign Committee has been working with our partner, White Whale, to address the feedback provided by the community on the website concept we shared with the campus this fall. We are happy to provide an update on the work of improving and enhancing our institutional website.

White Whale has delivered the newest version of the homepage design, with a slideshow that demonstrates how website visitors might interact with the page.

Important: the blurry photo of the chapel is not something we're required to use. The images in the large center circle are not part of the design, they're merely suggestions for what could be used in that area. Also, the slideshow has approximately a dozen images - you can click anywhere on the slidesow to advance to the next image.

The Website Redesign Committee believes the design modifications included in this version effectively respond to feedback of the SMC community, as follows:  

  • The color scheme should be less kaleidoscopic and more in tune with the College's official colors.
    Saint Mary's blue and red are now the dominant colors in the design, the overall number of colors is much lower and the colors selected are more muted.
  • The circles are busy, distracting and cluttered.
    The center circle has been made bigger and more prominent. There are fewer background circles and they are much lower in brightness and contrast.
  • The homepage needs to hold more content.
    The new version shows how website visitors can click through to see as many as 8 different "buckets" of stories - the homepage can potentially contain over a hundred separate stories, which can be easily updated, re-organized or changed.
  • The beauty of the campus needs to be prominently featured, and with more than a single photo.
    One of the "buckets" of content will hold a slideshow of campus photos, and can potentially be the first bucket of content website visitors see, if it's appropriate for the College's homepage needs. Campus photos can also potentially be included in every bucket of content.
  • The design needs to be seen and tested by prospective students.
    The design has been reviewed by informal focus groups of prospective students, and their response has been enthusiastic. More systematic feedback will be solicited during usability testing of the homepage.

As a reminder, the goal of the Saint Mary’s College website project is to develop a distinctive design that authentically represents SMC. The new site will provide an easy-to-use information architecture, reflect the physical beauty of the campus and provides a means for compellingly showing (instead of only asserting) our academic excellence, Lasallian/Catholic character, and commitment to social justice, inclusive excellence and global reach.

We believe the revised home page design achieves these objectives in several ways. By breaking the rectilinear column style that dominates almost all college homepages, the circles boldly announce SMC’s distinctiveness. The circle design provides a way to easily tell multiple stories, and is conceptually rooted in the College's intellectual tradition (seminar, small classes, inquiry and dialogue), spiritual tradition (the image of a rose window) and commitment to inclusive community (the globe, overlapping circles of different color). The prominent placement of the College logo, use of SMC colors and large campus photo in the center connect the circles to our visual identity. Cleaner navigation at the top and bottom, an improved search  function and a dropdown menu for Academics will make it easy to find desired information.
 
We ask that you share your thoughts and opinions about this design by Wednesday, February 16, either by commenting on this blog post or emailing Web Editor Mike Jung. Thanks very much.

Writing for the Web Handouts, February 8, 2011

The following handouts were distributed during Tonya Langford Moyle's Writing for the Web/Content Strategy workshops on Tuesday, February 8:

New Timeline, January 31, 2011

The timeline for the website redesign project has been adjusted in response to the release of a new version of the content management software (Drupal 7). Campus content managers, who were originally scheduled to begin learning & using the new system on February 1, will now begin that process on April 1. The final launch date for the new, redesigned SMC website has been moved from May 1 to August 1.

Revised timetable

  • January: WW/SMC Work together to finalize full IA and content recommendations
  • Jan 24: Begin mapping out full IA on the department/program level
  • Jan 26-28: Meet with Website Redesign Committee & staff re: WW IA/Content recommendations and mapping of full IA on department/program levelFeb 14: WW/SMC IA and writing for the Web training sessions
  • Feb 14: SMC feedback on design bouquet
  • Feb 14: Complete mapping out full IA on the department/program level
  • Feb 14: SMC College Communications (w/ White Whale contract support) begins new content development for strategically important pages & areas: landing pages, Admissions, etc.
  • Feb 14: SMC Web Services begins content migration
  • Feb 14: SMC content contributors begin entering stories through “give us your story” webform
  • Feb 14: SMC Web Services begins building out lower-level pages
  • Feb 15: WW full IA and content recommendations complete
  • Feb 21: SMC (Campus Web Group) content strategy meetings begin (meetings held every other week until launch, schedule to be reassessed after launch)
  • Mar 7: WW Site template coding begins
  • Mar 14: WW Delivers set of flexible design elements
  • Mar 22: Phase 1 Rollout of design, templates and CMS tools to SMC community
  • Mar 31: WW coding of all templates complete
  • Mar 31: SMC College Communications (w/ White Whale contract support) completes new content development for strategically important pages & areas: landing pages, Admissions, etc.
  • Mar 31: SMC Web Services completes content migration
  • April 1: WW/SMC training, testing, and campus-wide content editing begins
  • April 1: SMC (CaTS Training Services) CMS software training begins for all campus content managers
  • July 1: WW/SMC training, testing, and content migration complete
  • July 1 - August 1: SMC bug-checking, final content editing
  • August 1: NEW SITE LAUNCH

Web Contributors User Group

Thank you to all of you who came to our first two kickoff sessions. To those of you who have yet to attend we will be holding another kickoff session this week. Sessions are open to anyone in the campus community who is interested in getting involved in the new site.

Join us Friday, Dec. 3, from 1:00-2:00 p.m. in Garaventa 130.

At this session we’ll:
-- Give you a first peak at the the system that will allow you to easily upload stories, pictures and video the website.
-- Review best practices for developing content for the web, such as words, photos and video.
-- Discuss the new Saint Mary’s site and how you can be a contributor at any level of participation you choose.

We hope to see you there!

Thank you and next steps

On behalf of the Website Redesign Committee, thank you to all who contributed your comments on the proposed website design. We were encouraged by the dialogue that was generated around the draft design and the passion with which the community is engaging in the process. We look forward to many more conversations about the new site.

The committee has delivered the community’s feedback to White Whale, both in distilled and raw form. The firm will be examining the concerns raised and will come back to the community with revisions to the design that respond to those concerns. We heard from many members of our community that we should be presenting the design to a larger array of external constituents. As such, we will be working with White Whale to test the next iteration of the design with prospective students, alumni and other external constituents.

In the next couple of days, the community will receive an invitation to participate in the content creators and managers kickoff session. Whether you are officially assigned to manage content on the current site or you have an interest in getting involved in the new site in any capacity, we’d love to see you there. We’ll be discussing how the new site will work, the launch timeline and the simple things you can be doing now to prepare your area of the website for migration to the new system this spring. More on that session very soon.

First Look at the SMC Website Redesign Concept

White Whale has unveiled their initial concept for the next Saint Mary’s College website. The 14 JPEG images listed below show a variety of views of the proposed home page, as well as a selection of proposed internal pages (e.g. Student Life).  You can provide your feedback by commenting on this blog or directly emailing your comments to Elizabeth Smith at jes5@stmarys-ca.edu.

A First Look at White Whale's Proposed Design (Oct. 26, 2010)
Please rememeber that these design mockups are static images, not functional web pages. The interactive elements of the proposed design will be made clear as we progress through the design process.

Feedback needed on Strategic Recommendations

White Whale has provided a new document for review by the Saint Mary's community:

  • Strategic Recommendations
    From the document's introduction:
    We have been listening to Saint Mary’s carefully, and now intend to present a few ideas from an objective position. Although graphic designs tend to attract most of the attention, the ideas and documents that form their foundation are just as important— perhaps more. And the work of creating them is a crucially
    important part of our creative process.

It is crucial that students, faculty and staff provide their feedback as quickly as possible. Please read this document and email your feedback to Web Editor Mike Jung in the Office of College Communications by Friday, October 8. You can also leave feedback by commenting on this blog post. Thanks very much.

Feedback needed on IA & Content documents

White Whale has provided 2 documents for review by the SMC community:

It is crucial that students, faculty and staff provide their feedback as quickly as possible. Please read these documents and email your feedback to Web Editor Mike Jung in the Office of College Communications by Friday, September 24. You can also leave feedback by commenting on this blog post. Thanks very much.

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