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About the Web Site

The Launch Pad

Check out these recently redesigned sites:

Critical Theory (Nov 11, 2011)
Theatre and Dance (Oct 25, 2011)
Philosophy (Oct 19, 2011)
History (Oct 13, 2011)
Classics (Oct 7, 2011)
Linguistics (Oct 5, 2011)
Financial Aid Office (Sep 30, 2011)
Assessment Office (Sep 30, 2011)
Hispanic Studies (Sep 14, 2011)
Student Affairs (Sep 2, 2011)
Health and Wellness Center (Sep 1, 2011)
Human Rights and Humanitarianism (Aug 29, 2011)
Internship Program (Aug 15, 2011)

complete list

Welcome to our new look!

It's been a year of assessment, planning, research and design. The Macalester web team is pleased to introduce you to our new look. Here are some key features as well as a few hints to help with the transition.

Something for Everyone

new Macalester home pageThe new site was designed with all aspects of the Macalester experience in mind.

Prospective students will find engaging content throughout the site, including areas such as Life at Mac, Academics and About Macalester. Information about Admissions is available in Admissions and Financial Aid. Support Mac includes details about Macalester's Step Forward campaign and ways that alumni and friends of the college can become involved. For the duration of the campaign, this part of the site use the campaign branding within the new global navigation.

Current students, faculty and staff, alumni, and parents and families will find essential information and popular links they need on new landing pages designed just for them.

For more details about the elements on the new home page, view our annotated image.

It's Not All New...Yet

The new Macalester home page and new top level/section pages have links to many pages that are not yet redesigned. We have begun to work with departments to transition existing sites to the new designs. Due to the number of sites and pages, this process will take 18 months. We will periodically update the campus community on progress and feature notices and links to newly designed sites.

Global Navigation

The site header and footer appear on all of the redesigned pages.

site header

The header includes three types of navigation links:

  • Topic navigation includes About Macalester, Academics, Life at Mac, Admissions & Financial Aid, and Support Mac
  • Audience navigation includes landing pages for Current Students and Faculty/Staff and sites for Parents & Families and Alumni
  • Task navigation includes search, site index, events calendar and a link to give

site footer

The expanded footer includes frequently used links from major site sections and social media links. The latest update from Macalester's Facebook page is displayed along with links to the college's spaces in Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Delicious.

Hint: Double your search with one click

search directory and siteThe "search directory and site" box in the site header looks simple, but behind the scenes we've improved the search results--both relevancy and display. The most obvious change is that a single search will now return search results both for web pages (results displayed in the left column) and directory entries (results displayed in the right column). Give it a try -- type a person's name or a department name in the search box in the site header.

Hint: Click more to log in

more options drop downCurrent students, faculty and staff can quickly log in by clicking on the word "more" in the upper right corner of the page. This shortcut makes it easy to get to the log in pages for 1600grand, Google Apps, and Moodle.

Navigation Within a Section

section navigationWithin sections or within department and office web pages, site structure and navigation is on the upper left of the page, just below the site header. In this example, "Life at Mac" is the name of the section and items within that section include Clubs & Organizations, Living on Campus, etc. An arrow to the left of the navigation heading indicates a visitor's current position in the site.


Finding Your Way Back: Breadcrumbs

breadcrumbsTo aid navigation, the new site will have breadcrumbs on all pages below the home page. The breadcrumbs indicate the location of the current page in the hierarchy of the site and provide a link to get back to the parent page and home page.


The new web site prominently features multimedia-—audio, video and photography. The Communications and Public Relations Department, along with individual departments, are creating a variety of multimedia content. Prospective students and alumni, in particular, have told us that they love to see photographs and videos of campus. Sometimes a picture, or a sound, is worth a thousand words. The next time you have something to publicize, or a great story to tell, we encourage you to think about whether the story might be told most effectively with sound or pictures, rather than with text.

Multimedia Icons

icon indicating audio contenticon indicating video contenticon indicating photography
Icons (a camera, video camera, or speaker) indicate whether content is video, photography or audio. You'll find the icons next to story titles throughout the site.

Hint: Let's Interact

move cursor over this page turn to interactTo indicate there’s an interaction, such as linking to a full story, expanding the photo album on the homepage, or clicking on an "ad," the image or words will change color or move when you hover the cursor over them. Try it: move your cursor over and around the home page to see what you can click on.


It's Integrated!

The Web design and content strategy reinforce Macalester’s distinctive areas of strength. Specifically:

  • Stories, links and features are chosen and placed to illustrate Macalester's academic rigor and quality. For example, the “Academics” page includes stories about student scholarship and a link to student papers in Digital Commons. Similarly, department sites will have content feeds featuring student and faculty scholarship.
  • "About Macalester" and "Life and Mac" are new sections that highlight Macalester's urban location and the benefits it affords students, from internship and service opportunities, to career prospects, to arts and culture.
  • Macalester's commitment to civic engagement, internationalism and multiculturalism are illustrated in feature stories, facts, and photo albums throughout the site. Service and internship opportunities are highlighted in "Life at Mac," consistent with our approach to international and civic engagement, and experiential learning.
  • The overall design, incorporating "real world" elements, such as post-it notes and paperclips and stories told in multimedia formats by real students, conveys the immediacy and sense of excitement that drives the Macalester community.

The design integrates and leverages Macalester's print communications. For example, the peeling orange icon used by Admissions is integrated throughout the site, and is especially prominent on pages of particular interest to prospective students. Similarly, the "Support Mac" pages integrate with the Step Forward campaign materials.

By better integrating the Web with the college's core messages we are expanding and strengthening their reach and impact.

Redesign is an Ongoing Process

A web site like Macalester's is never "done." We're already thinking about our future directions. You can help by providing your feedback to the web team. Please contact us if you have questions or comments.