WEBMASTERS COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES
September 13, 2005
Present: Jamie Bethel, Tom Harmon, Charlie Kerlee, Jill Lenz, Erin Napier,
Jamie Bethel, Chair, began the meeting at 9:00 am.
- Linda Tarnoff reminded webmasters to review their section of the College
Brochure at http://www.cvmbs.colostate.edu/cvmbs/brochure/index.htm every
three months or so and update as needed. You should have access to these
files to make the updates.
- Charlie Kerlee mentioned the south campus is being named the "Veterinary
Medical Center" (VMC) and a new sign has been made and will be installed
soon at the entrance to the VTH. The James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching
Hospital building will keep its name. The new name puts the
emphasis on a medical center to draw in clients vs. just teaching.
With this new name that umbrellas several stand-alone entities such
as the VTH, Equine Hospital and ILM, etc., Charlie wondered where the
new VMC web pages would fit into the online brochure and the whole College
web site. When the time comes, he will discuss with Drs. Lee and Fettman
about what to add, rename and where to post.
- Tom Harmon brought up URL aliases. ILM was the most recent group to
request an alias URL. They wanted to change their URL from http://www.cvmbs.colostate.edu/ilm/
to http://www.ilm.colostate.edu/ because it's shorter. At first, CRG
said no, then re-evaluated the request and agreed it was a valid reason.
So their web pages will still reside on the the cvmbs web server, and
ACNS takes care of the alias part since they manage the domain names
for the campus. Other examples include the Front Range Neuroscience Group
the Macromolecular Resource Facility at http://www.macromolecular.colostate.edu/,
the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital at http://www.csuvets.colostate.edu/ and
the Websurveyor Info Page at http://survey.cvmbs.colostate.edu/info/.
Tom gave some history on the WebSurveyor survey software and said Larry
Cobb will eventually be looking to replace this program with something
more secure. There is no timeline for the new software. Also, a new
web server should be in place by year end with new software, a Win2003
server. The transfer should be transparent to webmasters.
- Erin Napier gave us a review of the current MIP home page and the proposed new look for her home page and lower level pages.
- Problems with the current MIP home page at http://www.cvmbs.colostate.edu/mip/
(Archived copy at
- All white background - want more color
- Centered left on page - prefer center alignment
- Navigation on home page doesn't repeat on any other pages
- feel it's not user-friendly
- No info that really tells about MIP, not selling the department
flyouts for the left-hand navigation is difficult to work
with and not accessibility-friendly since it's images vs.
- HTML coding is out of date throughout the site (HTML vs.
- Features of the proposed new look at
- Added background gradient color
- Center aligned the page in the monitor for a more pleasing
and balanced look
- Added areas of interest with short blurbs to better advertise
MIP and capture users' attention to explore the site further
- Kept the top navigation banner with the CSU logo, College name,
caduceus and list of links but added a background color to match
the new background gradient.
- Added another list of links to four general areas:
Department Info, Education, Research and Service. This stays
consistent under the top navigation area and repeats throughout
the whole site. With
MIP adding more and more content, hopefully this will be an easier
way to manage tons of content.
They noticed lots of newer sites are going this way with multiple
- As you hover over the four general area links, another horizontal
sub menu displays leading you to the lower level pages which
will have their own left navigation flyout menu unique to their
- The presentation style such as the colored gradient background,
most positioning of layout, and dynamic navigation menus use
external Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). Multiple external style
sheets are used to deliver a look for the screen and another
for printing where the top and left navigation is left off, just
leaving the content to print. You can view under File > Print
Preview in most browsers without having to actually print on
paper to see how it will print vs. how it looks on a screen.
- Validated XHTML and CSS with code and accessibility
validators. The CSS was created from a Dreamweaver-provided
CSS, then edited as needed. Erin purchased the book "Cascading
Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide" by Eric Meyer.
She said it's hard to read for beginners, but as you learn more,
it's great for reference.
Jill mentioned she read "Integrated
Web Design: Building the New Breed of Designer and Developer" by Molly
Holzschlag. It's an easy read and reviews the challenge of integrating the creative types with the code types to design the best website, use of color, typography and CSS. Published in 2003, it is still relevant and available for checkout from the CSU Library.
- Reviewed with Vischeck at http://www.vischeck.com/vischeck/vischeckURL.php to
verify there was sufficient contrast between text and background
for users who are color-blind.
- Tested on different platforms (PC WinXP and Mac OSX) and different
browsers (Internet Explorer, Opera, Firefox, Netscape 7 and
AOL) with different text sizes and different window sizes. There
are some layout problems with the AOL browser and other minor
mouse-over issues Jill and Erin will try to resolve. Most likely
figure it out, Jill will tackle it at a CSS workshop in mid-October.
- Tried using Dreamweaver templates (.dwt files). It did quirky
things during editing. Decided against using after much frustration.
After removing the templates, everything worked OK. Charlie asked
her if she thought it was a Dreamweaver problem. She said yes.
- Erin received favorable comments such as "excellent", "very
and "I love it"!
Tom suggested an intro
paragraph or mission statement on the home page. Erin explained
that the department head wants continuously updated news items
that change on a regular basis on the home page to sell the department,
and that he and others say people don't read web pages anymore,
they just skim them, plus the mission statement is quite long
and under the link to Department Info. Jill suggested maybe the top
left news item area could be titled "Welcome" with
just one or two sentences about the department that could be
permanently placed right above the mailing address then use
the right column for the news items. Erin mentioned that the
mailing address will be there permanently and how she finds it
hard to find mailing addresses on other web sites. Others agreed.
Charlie suggested the proposed wording on the home page should
mention the undergrad, graduate, residency, and PhD offerings
unique to the department and because the top navigation takes
up real estate and forces information further down the page, to not
make the user scroll down to get this important info. Erin will take
the suggestions back to her department head.
The question came up again as to whether the departments can deviate
from a consistent look or not. The other three department home
pages were reviewed and are not consistent except for the top
navigation banner and white background. If there is no consistency
amongst department heads to enforce a specific look, then it was agreed
it was OK to have a different look as long as the original top
navigation banner with the CSU logo, college name, dept/unit
name, caduceus and centered list of links is used. Erin received a round
of applause for her work.
The meeting concluded at 9:55 am.
The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 11 th, 9:00-10:00 am, W1 A/Z.
Minutes submitted by Jill Lenz.
Return to Webmaster Committee Minutes page