The web at Wesleyan is undergoing major design and functionality changes, and the Website Design Team is seeking input from the Wesleyan community.
“This team has been charged with preparing a new website design strategy for the university,” says Melissa Datre, director of the Information Technology Service’s New Media Lab. “Through their request for feedback, peer school interviews, and faculty and student input, they will, over the next several weeks, propose to a new design concept for Wesleyan’s website presence.”
In early March, the team launched a web redesign blog to give every member of the campus community the opportunity to participate, contribute thoughts, stay up to date on activity and read about what others are thinking. The group also meets with constituents across campus, gathering information and planning improvements in function, access, and design on the university’s website.
Several Wesleyan community members already have shared opinions on the redesign. Sam Friedman ’10 wrote about the positive graphic continuity of the Wesleyan site. “Every page seemed a part of the ‘Wesleyan experience’ online,” he said. “I think it’s important to continue that wholesome graphic identity- it just needs a little modernization.”
Vernon Thommeret ’10 suggested the Web Design Team compare Wesleyan’s library page with those of Vassar College and Oberlin College. “Oberlin’s might not win any design awards, but it’s certainly more inviting and comfortable to read,” he wrote.
Brian Glenn ’91, suggests encouraging faculty in all departments to feel as though they are stakeholders in their department’s pages, and in their own.
“The institution I work at routinely encourages faculty to update our pages, and provides an easy mechanism to do so,” he explained. “This is made possible in part thanks to a uniformity across the departments in design … Faculty webpages could certainly be uniform in ways that provide useful information but still allow each professor to maintain his or her own website for a more personal design.”
The blog, created by University Communications and Information Technology Service’s New Media Lab, enables the Web Advisory Group to make the web redesign process transparent while incorporating others’ ideas into the project.
“A leading objective in redesigning the website is to appeal to prospective students and parents in a dynamic way,” says Steven Jacaruso, art director in University Communications and team leader of the Website Design Team. “We are creating a web experience that announces change and builds awareness that exciting things are happening at Wesleyan.”
Other members of the Website Design Team are Adrian Cooke, associate director of web technology in University Relations; Mariah Klaneski, graphic designer in the New Media Lab; Ryan Lee, new media developer, Patricia Leone, World Wide Web administrator; Anne Marcotty, senior designer in University Communications and Philip Isaacs, new media developer.