Home Page Evolution

November 07, 2007

1:30pm-4:15pm

Attendees

  • Gabriel McGovern
  • Amy Thackery
  • Jennifer Boehmer

Agenda

  • Finalize design proposal for tomorrows manager's meeting

Discussion

Gabriel started by presenting the newest iteration of the design. It incorporated several updates from a short meeting with Amy and Jennifer the previous day. The biggest improvement was the treatment to the news/announcements area...

November 07, 2007

9:30am-12 noon

Attendees

  • Gabriel McGovern
  • Amy Thackery
  • Jennifer Boehmer
  • Luis Menchu

Agenda

  • Gabriel - Present V4 Homepage proposal to group.
  • Finalize timeline.

Discussion

Gabriel started by presenting his proposal for the website. It contained a vision for the next evolution (V4) of the website and incorporated all of the goals for the homepage originally set by this committee. It also included the design for an interim page that would cover most of the goals, while the larger vision is being developed.

Most of the feedback from the group was positive. Jennifer proclaimed "If we did nothing else but center the page, it would be worth it - that makes a big difference!". However, there was agreement that several items should be further explored:

Colors/Texture
Overall the colors and position of the texture was liked, but perhaps they could be better. Amy agreed to work with Gabriel on this.
Tag Line placement
The proposed version uses tag line as the title fro the Homepage. Amy noted that it really helps to balance the page and everyone agreed. However, Jennifer insisted that it needs to be directly next to the logo. This has been discussed in the past. It tends to dilute the logo and causes many users to skip over the entire section. In the end we agreed to try several options including: 1) Moving the tag line to the lockup, 2) Leaving the tag line but line it up vertically with the logo and 3) adding PCC to the tag line...
Horizontal lines
Amy mentioned the tension caused by many horizontal lines on the page. An effort will be made to resolve this by: 1)Softening/modifying the edges of the colored boxes on the left and 2) Removing the bottom button line on the right.
Commitments
The commitments section is still under discussion. For now we might leave it out.

The timeline was then discussed. Luis would like to see the interim version up by the end of the month with the new version in place by the start of the year. To do this the following would need to be met:

November 9:
Decision to move ahead need to be confirmed.
November 14:
Promotional tie in elements discussed at the bi-weekly web features meeting. We will need to have the promotional/secondary area content planned out.
November 23:
All major design decisions need to be finalized.
November 29 :
New look presented at Advancement Managers Meeting
December 1:
Launch interim homepage.
December 6:
New look presented at Marketing Campaign Meeting
December 10:
New look posted online for input
January 2:
Launch V4 changes site wide. This would include the homepage complete with texture and updates

Jennifer had reservations about moving ahead. She stated that there were new goals/priorities being developed for the homepage. This was new information to the rest of the group. Gabriel mentioned that it is very difficult to design for goals, if he does not know what those goals are... She could not remember them all, but mentioned: Getting Started, Student Life, More Campus presence.

After assurances that the homepage could continue to evolve, Jennifer agreed to speak with Kristen about moving forward. Luis and Gabriel volunteered to also meet with Kristen if that would help move the process forward.

October 26, 2007

9:30am-11am

Attendees

  • Gabriel McGovern
  • Amy Thackery
  • Jennifer Boehmer

Agenda

  • Re-start the design work
  • Schedule following meetings (with design to be shown to managers in Dec)

Discussion

Once again, the meeting began with an overview of the main goals of the project. Amy then took some time to show off a series of mockups that she had previously presented during a managers meeting. For both Gabriel and Jennifer, this was the first time seeing these. Gabriel then presented a mockup based on the marketing materials presented during the June 14th meeting. Everyone agreed that the mockups are definitely a step in the right direction, but more work is needed.

The rest of the time was used to discuss the process form here on. Gabriel suggested a 3-step process:

  1. Gabriel and Amy would meet regularly during November to create a series of finalized mockups.
  2. The results would be presented in December to a larger group, consisting of managers and other invested parties.
  3. The final mockup would be placed on the web for community feedback prior to launch.

However, Jennifer preferred a 4-step process, with her approval proceeding the presentation to the larger group.

Sept 4th, 2007

Contact made, but Amy could not set an exact date - expect to be contacted next week...

August 30, 2007

9am - cancelled

Amy was forced to cancel the meeting due to other project commitments. I will contact her next week to set up a new meeting time.

June 14th, 2007

11am-11:45noon

Attendees

  • Gabriel McGovern
  • Amy Thackery

Agenda

  • Present progress on design mockups

Discussion

This was a short meeting. Amy did not have mockups, but did have a chance to show other elements that marketing is currently working on. A good amount of time was spent discussing ways to incorporate the design elements into the website.

Time was spent near the end of the meeting to go over the original goals. Adding "texture" was just one of the original initiatives.

June 5, 2007

11am - cancelled

Amy was forced to cancel the meeting due to other project commitments. New meeting set for June 11th.

May 25, 2007

11am-1pm

Attendees

  • Gabriel McGovern
  • Amy Thackery

Agenda

  • Present progress on design mockups
  • Schedule follow up meeting in early june

Discussion

Discussion started with a review of the goals for redesigning the webpage. These included: 1) incorporating the tag line, 2) defining a place for promotional tie-ins, 3) adding texture and 4) displaying the college's commitments.

Gabriel started by showing a very rough mockup that included several of the defined goals. Changes included:

  • Subtle gradient textures on the tabs and background.
  • Moving news/events and announcements up to make room.
  • New section: Tag line above commitments section.

Unfortunately, Amy did not had the chance to mock anything up. A new meeting was set for June 5th, with the expectation that we would both bring new designs to the table.

May 10, 2007

On May 10, 2007, a meeting was held to discuss the evolution of the www.pcc.edu home page. Since the release of the new PCC website design we have identified numerous needs and desires. These have come about through testing, feedback and the expression of functional needs. The goal of this meeting was to document these needs, discuss the concepts behind them, prioritize the issues, and develop a timeline.

Attendees

  • Luis Menchu
  • Jennifer Boehmer
  • Gabriel McGovern
  • Amy Thackery
  • Karen Sorensen
  • Tyler Lechtenberg

Agenda

  • Process
  • Status
    • What works well?
    • What is untouchable?
    • How do we know?
  • Needs
  • Priorities
  • Timeline and Next Steps

Discussion

The meeting opened with a discussion on process which included a summary of our agenda. Attendees were informed that several needs have arisen in regards to the PCC home page but before discussing these we were to take a look at our status -- what we know about the home page. Gabriel presented a graphical breakdown of the primary components of the home page and Luis summarized usage statistics for April 2007. Information from these discussions will be posted to these notes as supporting materials.

The group talked about needs and desires. Each item was discussed regarding its merits and any concerns associated. Items discussed included incorporating the tag line onto the home page, using the tag line in a contextual manner on the About PCC page, expressing PCC commitments, promoting ongoing ad campaigns, giving the home page more flavor (i.e., less corporate feel, more texture), revisiting "Take classes for fun" navigational text, adding a student voice.

After discussion on each item, there was a prioritization. The section below presents a summary of each item and the resulting priority.

On discussion of timeline, we seemed to be in agreement on a fall rollout for a newly evolved home page. A mid-August rollout, we believe, will provide ample time to review options and gather input on proposed changes. This will also coincide with or shortly precede several other key dates: start of the term, inservice, MyPCC update, and the new web features season.

Resulting Needs & Priorities

Tag line on home page
Priority: High
Following much discussion there was agreement that Gabriel and Amy would develop options for incorporating the tag line and associate it with the Web Features area.
Add some texture
Priority: High
We would like to warm up the site a little bit to take an edge off the current corporate feel. This is an opportunity for our current creative team to add some flavor to the site and address some nagging design issues.
Campaign promotion/tie-in
Priority: High
The desire to carry-over ad campaigns from the physical world to our online visitors was discussed and there was consensus that current containers of the home page satisfy this need. The primary area discussed was the Announcements area with the feature area available for the less frequent but high-profile campaigns. The feature area would be used consistent with the Web Features framework -- the campaign would be worked in as a feature on a person. The suggestion was made that the marketing team should include the definition of feature or announcement content as part of the campaign project planning.
Commitments
Priority: Medium or Separate Project
There is interest in conveying the commitments of PCC more prominently on the home page. For example, diversity is relegated to the footer currently and could use more exposure. It also isn't necessarily a link requiring space in the footer of every page. Commitments may include the following list but movement forward on this is dependent upon buy-in from college administrators, the development of appropriate content for each commitment and the agreement on what these commitments are.
  • Diversity
  • Quality of instruction
  • Sustainability
  • International education
  • Educational modality
  • Economic and workforce driver
  • Community
Student voice
Priority: Low
The idea to incorporate a student voice (e.g., personalization, blog...) was expressed. During the meeting this evolved into the thought of opening up Web Features for public comment. In a blog type environment, students, faculty, staff and the public could expand upon the featured story or add their own perspective. A discussion was held on the need to moderate postings but that the monitoring should be to limit explicit language or threatening tones and not to filter expression.
Tag line in context on About PCC
Priority: Separate Project to update About PCC content
It was felt that the tag line could be further explored on the About PCC page where it could be used in tighter context with the content.
“Take classes for fun” text
Priority: Hold
Interest on the part of Community Education to modify the text leading to their web pages. Due to concerns outside the realm of this meeting, this item was placed on hold. (Post meeting note: We may have some newer statistical analysis of the home page that may provide some additional input on any decisions in this area.)

Moving Forward

  • Gabriel and Amy were charged with returning to the group in a month (mid-June) with mockups for the home page.
  • Luis was charged with starting discussions with Russell and Kristin around the idea of allowing public comments for Web Features and for pursuing the idea of a more visible Commitments presence.
  • Luis will set up mid-June meeting.
  • Rollout: mid-August.