Wednesday, November 18, 2009
The Calvin template’s new header and footer provide several benefits based on discoveries made during Dotmarketing’s Web site audience research study. In the study, J. Todd Bennett surveyed visitors about the most important factors in a college website, and respondents from every audience group cited “information is easy to find” well above all others.
Make it easy to find
The improved header provides consistent “global navigation” across the site and highlights three “site tools” (A-Z, Calendar, Maps) nested under the global search box. In the past, these global links were located in the footer. However, research revealed very few off-campus visitors saw these links or used them.
Graphically, the header’s layered appearance sets the global navigation to the background while elevating a department’s or program’s name into the foreground. The layered appearance connects the department’s name to its content in the body of the page. The background / foreground associations are subtle, and hopefully, will go unnoticed by visitors because “it just works.”
The new footer re-aligns Calvin’s template with several industry-wide best practices and serves as a gateway for inside audiences (students, faculty, staff, alumni, and parents). Best practices recommend an organization provide:
- a physical address,
- contact information,
- copyright or legal notifications,
- and / or information for job seekers.
And in addition to these footer basics we also are providing links to our presences on various social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
Kudos to the early adopters:
- English (and Youth Writing Festival) - Chad Engbers
- Sociology - Tess Lindholm
- Social Work - Tess Lindholm
- Biology - Pat Buist
- Calvin Theatre Company - Camille Jones
- Political Science - Joyce Steigenga
- Chemistry - Jodi Cole
- Ecosystem Preserve - Jeanette Henderson
- International Development Studies - Susan Camp
- Admissions - Erin Bryant
- Music - Heather Rodgers
- Gender Studies - Simona Goi
- Classical Languages - Mark Williams
- Travel - Jane Prins
- Health Services - Nancy VerMerris
- Religion - Laura Geelhoed
- Congregational and Ministry Studies - Todd Cioffi
- Spanish - Karen Miller
- News and Stories
- About Calvin
- A-Z Index
- Calvin Center for Christian Scholarship - Dale Williams
- History - Lisa Eary
- Medieval Studies - Lisa Eary
- Archaeology - Lisa Eary
- Asian Studies - Lisa Eary
- Dean of Research and Scholarship - Dawn Crook
- Information Technology - Nancy Zylstra
- Enterprise Center - Michael Harris
- Student Activities Office - Robert Vander Giessen-Reitsma
- Career Development - Laurie Lemmen
We’re taking requests
To re-align an existing blue/green template takes about two minutes to complete. Please contact Allison Graff or Luke Robinson to coordinate your Web site’s upgrade; or, make a request in the comments below.
Share your feedback!
Please share what you think. Please include why something works (or doesn’t work). Knowing why helps us all make informed decisions. As more Web sites are updated, re-aligning the Calvin homepage becomes just matter of time. Stay tuned ;-)