First round designs coming next week!

Wow, things seem to be moving quickly. The working group has been busily learning about the various web content management systems, trying to find one that we think will work well for CC. Our primary goal is to have a system that’s both easy and enjoyable for our many web authors, while being sustainable from a maintenance perspective (i.e., easy and enjoyable for our IT staff).

At the same time, White Whale has taken all the information they gathered during their last visit and mixed and stirred it all with some secret ingredients and will be ready to show us their first round designs next week. They’ll be back on campus Thursday, December 9 and Friday, December 10.

We cordially invite you to attend the unveiling. Here are the details:

First Round Design Unveiling
Thursday, December 9 at 3 p.m.
Cornerstone Screening Room

Hope to see you there!

Dear Colorado College

Hi!  We’re White Whale Web Services of Oakland, California, and we’re delighted to be working with CC on your Web site redesign.    We work almost exclusively with colleges and universities, and if we’ve learned anything in our decade or so doing this, it’s that each of our clients winds up being completely unique and interesting; we couldn’t bring a cookie-cutter approach to this work even if we wanted to (which we don’t). So the first step in any new project is getting to know the client: that’s why we’re coming to CC this week (on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday).

There are six of us in the company (five full-time, and one contract developer), and all six of us are coming to campus.  There are essentially three primary purposes to our visit:

  1. To immerse ourselves in Colorado College’s environment: taking photos, meeting people, asking questions, and generally doing everything possible to get a feel for CC’s unique culture.
  2. To  give you (that is, everyone with a stake in the CC Web site) a platform to present your likes and dislikes, with an emphasis on where you’d like to see the CC site go in its next iteration (and over the next several years).
  3. To make it clear to everyone at CC that this redesign will be community-powered, and driven by ideas, stories, and content created by your own community.  Our role as designers and site architects is to develop designs, strategies, and best practices for a great new site, but we need you to help us fill in the details.

Note from Karen: If you missed the digest messages and would like to meet White Whale, there’s a drop-in session at 4 p.m. on Thursday in Worner 212. If you can’t make that session, please contact me and I’ll let you know which other session(s) might be of interest to you.

Ahoy, White Whale!

I’m pleased to announce that the working group has selected White Whale Web Services to be our partner for the web redesign. Their initial campus visit will be taking place on October 20-22 and they’d like to meet with you. I’m working on scheduling many meetings and will try to accommodate anyone who would like to meet with them, so please contact me (kto at coloradocollege dot edu) or add a comment to this post and I’ll do my best to ensure that there’s a time that works, whether it’s a group or drop-in session.

Keep an eye on this blog ( and the digest messages for updates in the coming weeks.

Vendor presentations

In case you weren’t able to make it to any of the open sessions that were held over the last two weeks, the vendor presentations are available here:

While these are no substitutes for their in-person presentations, you’ll be able to get a sense of who they are and how we might work with them.

If you have any feedback, feel free to comment on this post, or email me or anyone on the working group directly.

Update from the Working Group

It’s been a busy summer. In late-May, the working group was formed by presidential appointment and the RFP was issued in late-June.

Current members of the working group:*

  • Barry Sarchett, English
  • C.J. Pascoe, sociology
  • Jeremy Nelson, library
  • Judy Reissmann, student
  • Karen To, communications
  • Kris Jones, information management
  • Logan Johnston, student
  • Mark Saviano, psychology
  • Weston Taylor, information management

* another faculty appointment is pending the return to campus

We have since identified four vendors who will be coming to campus, starting tomorrow, August 4th. Each vendor will be presenting an open session to the campus community. The presentations will be a little about their companies but mostly about their solution and process and why they think they’re the right company for Colorado College’s redesign.

Please check your email for a digest message with details.

Wednesday, August 4 11am-12:15pm (45 minute presentation; 30 minute Q&A)

White Whale,
Thursday, August 5, 10:30am-11:45am (45 minute presentation; 30 minute Q&A)

Monday, August 9,  10:30am-11:45am (45 minute presentation; 30 minute Q&A)

Paskill Stapleton & Lord,
Tuesday, August 10, 10am-11:15am (45 minute presentation; 30 minute Q&A)

We hope to see you at the open sessions!

Web Overhaul Campus Forum – Friday May 7th

Web Overhaul Forum – Friday May 7th, 1-2 p.m. in the WES room (Worner)

What is it, why now, and how can you help?
Come and give us your thoughts, suggestions, and opinions!

The CC website was last redesigned in 2004 and there is a need to update some of the key components of the site, including the technology running on the server, the information architecture (how things are organized), the site content & the visual design.

If you can’t make it to the forum you can learn more about the “what” and “why” here:

and please post any suggestions you have here:

Our Objectives

As Kelly noted in her comment, its important that we have clearly defined objectives. She asks:

How will the site be used to advance the business of the college? Elevate the reputation? Increase the volume and quality of applicants? Etc.. And, how will that be measured?

In addition to these business-centered objectives, our website should be designed and structured such that the users can easily find the information they seek or accomplish their task while accurately reflecting CC .

Who are our website audiences and what are they looking for? Here are a few that come to mind (in no particular order): students, faculty, staff, parents of current students, alumni, donors, prospective students (and their families), local community members. Others?

Wish upon a star…

In order to determine what we should be focusing on in the coming months, we’d love to have your ideas about what you’d like to see in a new CC website. What are your hopes and dreams for CC’s presence on the web? What features would you like included in a new site?

We plan to hold an open forum this block to gather your ideas and would love for you to attend, but in the meantime, feel free to enter your comments below.


The short answer is that CC is an awesome college and our website should reflect that. The web and our use and expectations of it have changed vastly since our last major redesign in 2004:

  • the web is the first stop for people seeking information
  • desktop and laptop screen resolution (i.e. size) has increased dramatically, while mobile devices with small screens have become commonplace
  • the use of video has exploded
  • dynamic content has become much more prevalent and therefore, more expected
  • tools for getting content on the web have become more accessible to more people
  • the web has become a much more social place

We have all worked hard to keep pace with the latest advances in technology and communication, but there is a need to periodically evaluate and update some of the fundamental components of our site. This includes the technology running the server behind the scenes, the information architecture (how things are organized), the contents of the website and the visual design.

Read on for a longer answer to “Why?”…

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