Present: Tom Harmon, Charlie Kerlee, Jill Lenz, Erin Napier, Linda Tarnoff, and Merry Wright.
Merry Wright, Chair, started the meeting at 9:09 am
Jill related some information from Thom Hadley and Ken Blehm from the Dean's Office. Ken Blehm is spearheading the plans and has solicited a proposal from Don Zimmerman to review the College's Web site in preparation for re-accreditation in 2008. The preliminary proposal Thom shared from Don outlines three tasks:
Don Zimmerman is a CSU professor of Journalism and Technical Communication. The committee is pleased the "outside source" is someone familiar with the University and well-respected in the area of usability testing.The committee looks forward to working with Don in the later phases of this project.
This presentation review is continued from last month's meeting. Jill reviewed slides 18-25 of the presentation which encouraged more discussion about scan-friendly content, webmasters' roles, suggestions for existing pages and image sources.
Merry suggested the idea that webmasters review each other's pages for "brief" and "clear" content. It's helpful to have a fresh pair of eyes review the content, especially the department home pages. Is the content "brief" and "clear" enough for our audiences to find the information they need? Is it "compelling and persuasive" enough for them to read and click further?
Linda asked about the pages she posts that are written and presented to her in a certain format from members of the Dean's Office, the "content experts". How involved should she be to make the content "scan-friendly"? The committee suggested to consider what level the page is at, for pages towards the top level where we try to catch our users attention, consider recommending some of the best practices we have learned from the "Writing Right for the Web" seminar. Some lower level pages may be text or list heavy, as users drill down to lots of material, but still might benefit from the use of short introductory sentences and sub-headers. Let the "content expert" make the final decision.
The committee came up with suggestions incorporating some of the best practices from the "Writing Right for the Web" seminar review such as splitting the welcome paragraph into two separate paragraphs at least, incorporating bulleted lists where there are lists such as the list of programs, etc, and linking text to departments and other units even though they may be redundant. It's easy to give initial suggestions, but incorporating them is a different thing, it takes some playing around and judgment.
We visited online sources for images from CSU's photo database by Bill Cotton and other CSU photographers (requires a CSU eID login), and the image galleries by Charlie Kerlee, looking for laboratory and student shots and found many that looked promising. All these links are referenced in the CVMBS Webmaster Committee Web Style Guide under the heading "Image Sources". This also includes a link to the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine Image Data Base, where images were used for the photo collage Jill designed for the IVAPM home page.
Merry chose to delay contacting Carol Borchert last month pending the committee's discussion on the development of the outside web consultant (see New Business). Now we are waiting to hear on funding to know if Carol's talents can be pursued now or wait until next fiscal year (July 1).
We will continue the review of the presentation at the next meeting.
The meeting concluded at 10:10 am.
The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 12th, 9:00-10:00 am, Environmental Health Building Conference Room 120.
Minutes submitted by Jill Lenz.
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