The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Website to be revamped

By Jenny Mith

With strategic planning on its way and a possible year-end apocalypse looming, 2012 is shaping up to be an exciting year for Grinnell College. Even so, Grinnellians have yet another change to which they can look forward in the coming year: a new and improved school website.
In early September, Promet and Rogue Element, two companies specializing in design branding and technical support, respectively, completed a comprehensive audit of the Grinnell website. Promet and Rogue Element conducted interviews with Grinnell students, faculty and staff, as well as a survey of nearly 38,000 prospective students. The results were lackluster, according to Online Media and Web Coordinator Leonya Ivanov.
“People evaluate a website from three different perspectives. One is the design, another is purely navigational, and the third one is the message—as in, how do we represent ourselves to the world?” Ivanov said. “A good website has to combine all three things. The audit shows that we are not doing well in any of the three departments.”
In terms of navigation, Grinnell’s current website is rather disjointed.
“We basically don’t have a website. We have a collection of web pages,” Ivanov said.
Despite its current state, Ivanov is optimistic about the website’s revival. Using the results of the recent audit as a foundation, Ivanov and fellow Communications and Web Services staff members hope to build a website that is functional for all audiences.
“We have big ideas as far as how to move forward with technology,” Ivanov said.“You can’t really ask people to play along if you give them tools that are hard to use.”
As it stands, the Grinnell website is virtually inaccessible to those with disabilities such as visual impairment. Fortunately, Ivanov assures that the website team has been collaborating with many members within the Grinnell community to address this issue, among others.
“We have a web committee with people from all walks of life, but we’re going to invite more and more people to give feedback,” Ivanov said.
Doug Dobrzynski ‘13, a member of the web committee, has been heavily involved in the website effort and has thus been deemed, “Senior Web-Student” by Ivanov. Dobryzinski is looking forward to planning the design and message of the new website.

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