White Whale Unveils Section Web Pages [live-blog]
10:33AM We’re getting started. Welcome to the White Whale presentation of section and departmental pages for the new Middlebury website. Go/webredo for more info.
10:34 White Whale is introducing themselves! Meet them here. It’s Janie Porche’s birthday! We’re singing the song and everything. Video taping this presentation.
10:35 Packed room in Twilight Hall, Auditorium. Mostly staff, some faculty, actually more students than you’d think.
10:38 Today is about top-level navigation (i.e. the links below the homepage “waveform“)
10:41 Section pages “pay off” promise of the homepage. Section pages also include the waveform but with giant open photos.
10:42 Arts page pushes a lot of content (dynamic content) whereas Admissions is more minimal (static content). Bottom of page has a “carousel” with same side-to-side functionality of the bars, but without the bars.
10:49 Top guides to navigating back or forward in content. Go back to “academic departments” or forward to “quicklinks” for current students (customizable)
10:52 Question about departmental permissions to edit content. Anything that changes on a regular basis, you should be able to change.
10:54 Chester Harvey asks question about Geography department highlighting more student work than on the mockups. Yes — departments should be able to add their own stories to their departmental homepages.
10:56 Stories: Add your stories here. Question: do stories need to be polished? Not necessarily — funny and interesting tidbits welcome. Content may be further polished later but original input just requires: name, description, and a link.
10:59 Question: what is a tag? A way of attaching words to a story so that they can be better searched.
11:00 Question (faculty): why are departments “below the fold” (hidden further down the page)?
11:05 Question: Are the departmental sites too busy? The pages are for everyone, not just 18 year old perspective students. Some faculty less than thrilled with busy-ness and others respond that they think that it is workable. Seems to be a focus that “well, even if I don’t like this page, “kids” will.” Concerning that people put aside their complaints in favor of “doing for the perspective students.” These pages need to be workable for everyone. Further comments about the style of web design.
11:10 Comment: “keep in mind the simple basic questions” — implies that White Whale misses those points in the design.
11:17 Search will be different. Yes. Applause.
11:20 Comment: “a lot of information on a single page — is that a philosophical choice?”
11:28 Unveiling of Bread Loaf mockup. Called a “disambiguation page.” Need to separate our Bread Loaf School of English and the Writers Conference and the locale.
11:30 One person complains about homepage design. Many of those points already on Redo blog.
11:31 Question: What is mobile strategy? Yes, displays just like normal on iPhone but stripped down version on other mobile platforms.
Overall, good meeting — some contentious faculty questions about busy-ness but overall alright. White Whale should be back next month for more. Go to redo blog to comment or comment below.