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The Re-launch of Calvin.Edu

Re-cap of Stakeholder Interviews and Focus Groups

Friday, April 18, 2008

Over the course of 3 days, Todd Bennett, Adam Forrand, Will Ezell and Gaby Gonzales from Dotmarketing hosted 18 interviews and 2 focus groups with over 100 Calvin faculty, students, and staff. The resulting mountain of data is brimming with your insights and ideas about how you work and interact with Calvin.edu.

Thank you!

We’d like to say, “THANK YOU” to all who took time to speak with Todd, Adam, Will and Gaby. A few of you even made multiple appearances! And, a special “thank you” to administrative assistants Laura Van Wyk, CIT, and Barb Palsrok, Communications & Marketing, for their gracious support and hospitality in hosting us.

Next steps

The project’s next steps include compiling the data and transcribing the focus group recordings. Todd and Adam will start comparing their content and user experience notes with Will and Gaby’s technical assessment. The comments made by you will shape future online surveys and set the stage for identifying and prioritizing recommendations for Calvin.edu.

Join the conversation

As a community, let’s keep this conversation going! We’ve only just begun. Please leave a comment below, or send an e-mail to: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Shalom,
Luke Robinson
On behalf of the Web Project team & Dotmarketing

Add your comments

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  • Thanks much for this concerted effort to listen and learn together. One topic I had intended to reinforce at the Centers and Institutes focus group was the real and potential value of the C&Is; to incoming students and to the College’s broader recruitment messaging. While we do not (at present) contribute much directly to the College curriculum, we do provide a wealth of learning opportunities that distinguish Calvin from other institutions. At CSR, we teach the very kind of workplace information technology and logistical skills that alumni value very highly. In addition to bringing in speakers and sponsoring learning resources, other Centers and Institutes provide high-order student leadership opportunities. I’d welcome the opportunity to promote a CSR research employment track to prospective students interested in the social sciences and IT.

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  • I’m glad I had the opportunity participate in the focus group. I think the direction Dotmarketing will take the website is innovative & necessary. I think the Dreamweaver-free editing through the wysiwyg editor is going to help the web presence a lot. Good-riddance to the awful webupdate button. I had a similar ambition using Flash, PHP & MySQL. But now if I could only get dotCMS running on my server (I keep getting a permission denied error when I run /etc/init.d/dotCMS start). Anyway, I would like to say that I think the site has to meet 5 priorities above anything else:
    1. Effective Search feature - results need to be relevant because search is used more than navigation
    2. Login for customization (news, modules, possibly customizable navigation “quicklinks”) maybe called myCalvin.
    3. Use of story & crosslinking (i.e not bland facts in bulleted lists, but stories including names of people you might know. Like a local newspaper). Crosslinking like wikipedia where every word that has its own page is a link. Lots of pictures also (real pictures not staged “look how diverse we are” pictures).
    4. Less links in main nav/footer & clean design. Keep links of high priority in view only. Otherwise users get lost in a sea. Breadcrumb trails are a nice feature also.
    5. Fast - slow loading images/video deter good end-user experience. May need a file upload script to resize and compress uploaded items. Make sure all infromation is web-ready also. HTML is still easier to view than .pdf, .doc(x), etc. If the user needs to download the document after viewing the info then it is fine to make it available also.

    Other than that Flash isn’t evil, and left-aligned (in realtion to the screen) is dead.

    Posted by Benjamin Nanninga on 04/21 at 07:55 PM