Friday, November 14, 2008

Redesign Beta is Go!

If you want to just dive right in, the beta launch of the redesign is available at I'll gladly accept any feedback you have, but please read the rest of this entry before emailing me.

In the past, I've used architectural metaphors when discussing my job as webmaster here at Volunteer State Community College. There's even a discipline within the industry called “information architecture”. To continue with that metaphor, here's a visualization of what we hope to build:

Biltmore in the Morning

Yes, that's the Biltmore. Why not aim high? :)

Here's a visualization of where I think we are today:

House under construction

We should be far enough along to give people a pretty good idea of where we are heading. But I may be too close to the process to be an impartial judge. That's where you come in. I need your feedback to make sure we're on the right track. I don't want to end up with something like this:

Dom postawiony na głowie

(The Creative Commons search on Flickr is cool.)

So I'd like to invite you to take a look around at the progress on the web site redesign at There's still plenty of work to be done. You'll see some placeholder text here and there, maybe even the occasional broken link, and I'm sure we've got more than a few bugs. But that's why this is a beta launch. We'll spend the next 6 months or so collecting your feedback and acting upon it so that the finished product can be even better.

Feel free to comment to this post or send any thoughts you have directly to me at If you're reporting a problem, I'll need to know which page you're talking about and what browser you are using. The best way to tell me the page is to copy and paste everything out of the address bar. That should look something like “”. You can find your browser information usually under the “Help” menu. Look for “About Internet Explorer” or “About Firefox” or something like that. Select that option and you'll see a version number (along with a lot of other stuff that's not terribly important for our purposes). The sort of information I'm looking for should be something like “Internet Explorer 7.0” or “Safari 3.2”. If you know your operating system you can let me know that too, but I'll assume Windows Vista or Windows XP if it isn't specified. You can even check it out on your cell phone if you're the type of gadget geek who is into that sort of thing. Just be sure to let me know what you are using to look at the site so I can replicate the error and fix it.

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