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The Re-launch of Calvin.Edu

Re-aligning the Calvin Web site

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

A left aligned Web site vs. a center aligned Web siteThe 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:

  1. English (and Youth Writing Festival) - Chad Engbers
  2. Sociology - Tess Lindholm
  3. Social Work - Tess Lindholm
  4. Biology - Pat Buist
  5. Calvin Theatre Company - Camille Jones
  6. Political Science - Joyce Steigenga
  7. Chemistry - Jodi Cole
  8. Ecosystem Preserve - Jeanette Henderson
  9. International Development Studies - Susan Camp
  10. Admissions - Erin Bryant
  11. Music - Heather Rodgers
  12. Gender Studies - Simona Goi
  13. Classical Languages - Mark Williams
  14. Travel - Jane Prins
  15. Health Services - Nancy VerMerris
  16. Religion - Laura Geelhoed
  17. Congregational and Ministry Studies - Todd Cioffi
  18. Spanish - Karen Miller
  19. News and Stories
  20. About Calvin
  21. Academics
  22. Community
  23. A-Z Index
  24. Resources
  25. Calvin Center for Christian Scholarship - Dale Williams
  26. History - Lisa Eary
  27. Medieval Studies - Lisa Eary
  28. Archaeology - Lisa Eary
  29. Asian Studies - Lisa Eary
  30. Dean of Research and Scholarship - Dawn Crook
  31. Development
  32. Information Technology - Nancy Zylstra
  33. Enterprise Center - Michael Harris
  34. Student Activities Office - Robert Vander Giessen-Reitsma
  35. 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 ;-)

Add your comments

4 comments on "Re-aligning the Calvin Web site"
  • The new web site design doesn’t include any quick and easy link to Athletics or Sports. I had a difficult time trying to find it. I haven’t seen any college web sites that don’t show this link. You should consider adding it to the new design as I know many parents use it.

    Posted by Dale Hoekstra on 02/03 at 03:36 PM
  • Thanks, gents. We will try to get with the program by the end of the year.

    How long before we can apply this template to Expression Engine blogs (like this one!)?

    Posted by Neil Carlson on 11/20 at 06:17 PM
  • LOVE IT.  Nice job.  I’m sure Engineering will be soon to follow (even though we just updated last year.

    FYI - A - Z directory

    Links for Natural Science and Natural Resources both link to Geology/Geog/Envr. Studies page.  That might be on purpose but if it is you might consider making it one link called Natural Sciences and Resources. 

    When I clicked on both of them it confused me.  Seems like something is missing.  ie Biology is a natural Resource.

    #2 Link to Scientific Computation and Modeling gives a 404 error.

    #3 Learning Opportunities page -  Could you link to another page that gives more expamples of interim classes other than knitting & the music of U2?  Perhaps DCM and how within DCM there is a variety of focus?  Before Registration, I ran into a Freshmen who thought all DCM classes were exactly the same.

    #4 I would recomend that you consider making the font on A - Z Calendar and Maps Bigger.

    Posted by Michelle Krul on 11/19 at 10:12 AM
  • Kudos to Luke, Phil, and the rest of the marketing team. This format looks so much better and I appreciate the time Luke took to update our site. Now I really have no excuse not to completely revamp our pages and make things easier to find for everyone! Thanks guys!

    Posted by Dawn Crook on 11/19 at 09:02 AM