Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Sneak Peek

The air was electric with anticipation as tens of thousands of rabid fans weaved their way past hacky sack circles, t-shirts sales, and long Porta-John lines descending on a crowded stage of speaker stacks and the ultimate in pyrotechnics…

Ok, well not exactly.

Actually it was Blow Hall room 311 and this week a lucky few got a sneak peek at the new look for the W&M web. But it was “electric”. We have been anxiously waiting for this day and mStoner did not disappoint. Mark and Patrick presented three design concepts to the groups and the prevailing notion- we cannot go wrong with any of the three. The concepts were created by three different designers and covered the full spectrum of what many consider to be the expectations of the W&M community- from traditional and conservative to bold and playful. The attention to detail was obvious and their professionalism true to what we have come to expect.

While the concepts differed in style there were important similarities:
  • a lot of W&M student and campus imagery
  • an accurate and carefully crafted Information Architecture
  • simple and helpful navigation
  • support of web standards
  • ability to implement comfortably in a CMS
  • spiffs

What are spiffs? I didn’t know either. They are special interest features “with an extra ‘f’” and all the designs made use of them on the top and secondary (a.k.a. landing) pages.
It was obvious that mStoner listened carefully to everyone they met during their recent intake sessions. To those of you who participated in the discussions, thank you again- I believe you will find your ideas and opinions were a great influence.

Beyond the sneak peek presentations and initial feedback collected here, mStoner is conducting usability tests and surveys of our three concepts with early decision W&M students and with high schools juniors. It is comforting to know that they too are committed to making our web presence a true source of tribe pride.

posted by Mark Windley


Anonymous said...

Please, please, please - if you are going to make a committee decision on a design, have at least a few people with a design background in that committee. Don't make another new logo...

Anonymous said...

Are you going to be posting any previews on this blog as the process progresses? To the outside observer it seems that little/no substantial progress has been made on a new website.

re.web said...

The design options for the W&M web site were created by three professional web designers at mStoner. We are also fortunate to have the exceptional photography of W&M's talented photograher, Steve Salpukas. Feedback on the new Home page designs from many individuals and groups will help us refine the concepts. See for a complete list - note the group of design and communication professionals.

re.web said...

Yes, we will be posting the new Home page design concepts in the very near future. Thanks for your patience.