SABRINA SHU ’21
A more advanced and convenient Trinity College institutional website is coming in Aug. 2018. Trinity will enhance their front-end user experience and switch to a WordPress Content Management System (CMS), joining Williams College and other peer institutions, in an effort to make the site more navigable for visitors and user-friendly for content editors.
The decision to update the site was sparked by changing expectations of the Trinity community and the college’s new strategic vision. The website was last updated in Feb. 2011. Since then, Trinity community members have voiced demands for a quicker and easier-to-use website. In response to these demands, the school’s Digital Communications Department is working on a website that is accessible, has a modern aesthetic design, and is mobile-friendly.
The project is currently in its early stages. The website redesign team is working on content strategy alongside Fastspot, a Marketing Agency based in Baltimore. The team stated on their website that in order to be as successful as possible, “we would need to bring in a strategic partner who could conceive of, design, and develop a new institutional web presence that captures the vibrancy and exciting evolution of Trinity College.” According to a blog by the Office of Communications that details the project’s progress, Fastspot’s “deeply collaborative style melds strategy, design, and development into a fluid and iterative process that felt like a perfect for the project’s core web team.” Fastspot has experience in website design for colleges and universities. Past projects for the agency include designing the webpages of Yale University, Amherst College, and Bucknell University.
The core website redesign team is led by Vice President for Communications and Marketing Angela Paik Schaeffer, and Director of Digital Communications Caroline Deveau. This core team, alongside Fastspot, work with an advising team consisting of representatives from entities across campus, such as the faculty and the division of Enrollment and Student Success. Every milestone of the website update is made with the advice and decisions of the advisory group. Although still in its early stages, the redesign group is trying to encourage every group on campus to put their thoughts into the project.
The redesign team is constantly posting on a blog called the Trinity College Website Redesign—A Blog by the Office of Communications. On this blog, anyone can see the progress made during the website update process, all important team members of this redesign project, and the advisory group. More information and details relating to the website update will be shown continually on the blog during the project’s journey.
According to the project blog, the team outlined which content will launch when the site goes live. They also planned what content would be released in the second and third phases of the webite. Ms. Deveau sat down with the Tripod to articulate expectations for the website. Ms. Deveau is hoping to create an interface from which users can access information intuitively, thus increasing accessibility. Even though the design is still in its very early stages, Deveau stressed the crucial importance of a professional and intuitive website for colleges: “The website is the first place new students learn about Trinity,” Ms. Deveau said. “It’s the top priority for us to have the best possible web for the college. It’s our window to the world, so we want to be good storytellers, good information providers, and really meet the needs of people who are coming to the website.”
If you would like to follow the team’s progress, you can visit http://commons.trincoll.edu/communications/ for their blog.