Friday, February 29, 2008

Kindred Spirits

I love driving to VIMS. It's always a relaxing 25 minutes on the Colonial Parkway.

Today, Mark Windley and I spent a couple of hours meeting with Barb Parcell (VIMS webmaster) and Dave Malmquist (VIMS communications director) about their plans for a new VIMS web site. mStoner is creating a new home page design (blue for water?) for VIMS and their site will be part of the new web CMS.

We talked time tables and design choices - and contributed ideas about everything from web writing to project planning. Mark and I promised to share various documents and spreadsheets developed for our own re.webing.

Enjoyed a return trip on the Parkway and fired off a few attachment filled emails to Barb and Dave.

posted by Susan Evans

Monday, February 25, 2008

W&M Faculty: We Need You!

We are beginning the writing phase of the W&M web redesign project. A critical and challenging task will be writing the text for the Academics section of the new website. "Academics" is one of a handful of navigational links that will appear on every page of the new website.

The opportunity to describe our exceptional core academic programs is an important undertaking and we need your help. To support this writing effort, we welcome the thoughts and ideas of as many faculty members as possible.We would appreciate your input by March 11. Your collective contributions will be provided to members of the re.web project team and to the professional writers at mStoner. Thank you.

posted by Susan Evans

Saturday, February 23, 2008

re.web Project Hits the One Year Mark

Today, we celebrate the one year mark of re.web. On February 23, 2007, W&M's provost, Geoff Feiss, announced the effort to renew We've tackled a lot in 12 months:
  • identified funding and created a budget
  • established a project site and blog
  • gathered the active web redesign advisory committee
  • conducted an RFP process
  • selected a web consultant
  • participated in web strategy conversations
  • researched and recommended content management software
  • selected, and perfected, a new design
  • facilitated 29 formal campus presentations
It's been a rewarding 365 days . . . and counting!

posted by Susan Evans

Friday, February 22, 2008

What's with the Latin?

Some of you have noticed that all of the web design prototypes we've been unveiling contain Latin. The use of Latin as placeholder text is intended to allow you to focus on the layout of the web page, not the readable content.

Turns out this is an ancient practice with roots in the printing and typesetting industry. Read more at

posted by Susan Evans

Thursday, February 21, 2008


W&M is fortunate to have committed students reporting for our student news organizations. Here's the re.web news coverage to date.

The DoG Street Journal (February 5, 2008)
"New College Web Site Design Announced" (Jake Nelson)

The Flat Hat (February 8, 2008)
"Makeover for" (Alex Guillen)

The Virginia Informer (February 18, 2008)
"College's New Web Site" (Aimee Forsythe)

posted by Susan Evans

Monday, February 18, 2008

GUEST BLOGGER: Saying "Yes" to Web Re-Tooling Pays Off for Arts & Sciences

Back a year or so ago, before we started our work re-tooling the Arts & Sciences websites, I checked with some colleagues at other institutions to see if they had any suggestions or advice.

“Don’t even try” was about the most positive comment I heard. “Not possible in a university environment to rally around shared objective. Like herding cats.”

Turns out, William and Mary really is different.

Nearly all of our units have now been through the transition process with their websites. We took a fresh look at the content, and new ways we could serve our audiences better. We cleaned up a lot of coding and deleted old files. The results have been gratifying, and we’re now positioned very well for the coming transition to re.web.

Each of our units approached the re-tooling a little differently. The common thread was a real commitment to presenting our work--and the College--so that our audiences could better understand what it is we do, and how they can participate or benefit.

It’s exciting to contemplate what we can accomplish as our 400+ W&M web editors pull together through re.web. And I’m pretty sure those nay-saying colleagues of mine are in for another surprise.

posted by Steve Otto, Director of Communications for Arts & Sciences and guest blogger

Friday, February 15, 2008

Weekly re.web Podcast: Are you listening out there?

Episode 15 of the re.web podcast is called "Are you listening out there?" I need to know: do you find this podcast useful? If you occasionally listen and think we should continue the weekly episodes, please comment on this blog entry. Thanks!

Links to the re.web content within the W&M on iTunes U site:

posted by Susan Evans

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Undergraduate Admission: now and later

Besides sifting through a record-breaking 11,500 applications for undergraduate admission, the W&M Admission Office is devoting precious time and vital energy to Web 2.0. In fact, their web presence was taken up a notch this year when they created a Meet the Committee page and a new W&M Admission group in Facebook. Good stuff.

Just think what's possible when they get their hands on the new W&M design!

posted by Susan Evans

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

But what will my department's site look like?

When many W&M web editors view the new design for, they almost immediately wonder how their own departmental sites might look. I'm no exception - the IT site, and hundreds of other sites, will use the new page layouts.

Using the current About W&M page, here is a makeover using one of many options that will be possible for W&M web pages:

posted by Susan Evans

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Campus Life: a before and a possible after

Cindy Baker, Henry Broaddus, Steve Salpukas, and others on the re.web project team are talking weekly about the new design for the W&M site. We're having a lot of fun seeing what second-level (landing) pages might look like.

Applying the new design to the current Campus Life page results in a startling and welcome contrast.

posted by Susan Evans

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Weekly re.web Podcast: The Real Deal

Episode 14 of the re.web podcast is called "Just Give It to Me Straight."

Links to the re.web content within the W&M on iTunes U site:

posted by Susan Evans

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Concept One Is the One

After two months of review by hundreds of individuals (you!) and many, many campus constituencies, the W&M Web Redesign Advisory Committee is pleased to announce that the future W&M website will use Concept One!

Thanks to Joel Pattison for developing a few FAQs about the new W&M web design choice.

Working with the mStoner designers to enhance the appeal and impact of what was ingeniously titled "Concept One," we expect the evolution of this concept to continue for a few more weeks. Watch this blog, the re.web Facebook group, and the re.web project site for future versions.

As we plan for the new look on, you'll notice that the re.web project site and this blog will begin to take on the look of the Concept One design :)

Thanks All!

posted by Susan Evans