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Home Page Renovation Under Way

As the World Wide Web continues to evolve, so does Dartmouth's Web site. And the next upgrade to the site is now under way.

A team from Public Affairs and Computing has begun work to analyze and revise the College's home page. It's the latest effort to keep up with changes in Web practice and technology and to respond to feedback from users since the current version of the page was launched in August, 2004.

The "home team" is comprised of Sarah Horton, instructional technology specialist in Academic Computing and the author of three books on Web design, most recently Access by Design: A Guide to Universal Usability for Web Designers; Martin Grant, public affairs Web manager; and Rick Adams, director of publications. Grant and Adams currently manage the home page.

"When we launched the current version of our home page in 2004, we agreed that we would consider changes to the site on an ongoing basis," says Vice President for Public Affairs William Walker '71A. "Since then, we've made some incremental changes based on some very good, constructive input from the Dartmouth community. We're now ready to begin the process of reviewing the site more fully in terms of its architecture, its design, and its functionality."

The development process will include three months of research into the Dartmouth and other sites, including focus groups and user testing. The goal is to have the new version of the home page launched by July.

"Our Web site is a shared concern at the College," notes Horton. "We need to hear from users on what works and what doesn't, and what they would like to see happen on the Web."

A project Web site, will chronicle the development of the new home page and offer visitors both a chance to follow the process as well as opportunities to offer feedback.

By RICK ADAMS

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Last Updated: 12/17/08