Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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

Do you have a question about the new web design, or a question about the transition for department and offices sites? Please send your question to webmaster@macalester.edu. Questions of general interest will be added to the list on this page.

Questions About the Transition Process

Questions About the Site Redesign


Questions About the Transition Process

I maintain a web site for a Macalester department or office. What do I need to do?

Communications and Public Relations staff will contact your department to begin the transition process. If you haven't yet been contacted, you can get started by analyzing your current web content to determine what items need to be retained and perhaps updated; what items are no longer needed and should be removed; and what items are not currently available but should be. If you have questions about the timeline for the transition, refer to the transition page. Remember, you are not expected to complete the transition to the new design on your own. Communications staff will guide you through the process.

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Questions About the Site Redesign

Where can I find a link to 1600grand?

In the upper right corner of the redesigned pages, there is a "more" drop down menu with login links for 1600grand, Google Apps and Moodle. These links appear on every page of the new site in this location. The previous design included a 1600grand link only on the home page. A link to 1600grand is also available from the "Toolbox" section on the Faculty/Staff page and the Current Students page.

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Where can I find a link to e-mail?

In the upper right corner of the redesigned pages, there is a "more" drop down menu with login links for Google Apps (e-mail, calendar, docs), 1600grand and Moodle. These links appear on every page of the new site in this location. Login links for 1600grand, Google Apps and Moodle are also available from the "Toolbox" section on the Faculty/Staff page and the Current Students page.

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How did you choose the color palette?

Overall, the design is intended to both meet the needs of key users while reflecting the college's unique points of distinction. The design integrates and leverages Macalester's print communications, particularly those used by Admissions. For example, the peeling orange icon used by Admissions is integrated throughout the site, as is the color scheme in the current Admissions materials. We tested a number of background colors, all of which are part of Macalester's color palette, and the feedback directed us to the warm, neutral taupe you see here. The intention is to draw the user to the content by keeping the background muted and neutral.

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How does the design support Macalester's overall communications?

The new design is intended to showcase stories and content that reflect Macalester's points of distinction: academic rigor, civic engagement, internationalism, and urban location (these links are but a few examples of stories and ways in which these aspects are featured on the site). Stories about students, faculty, staff, and alumni are featured throughout. Video, audio, and photo galleries are also much more prominent. 'Real world' graphics (paper clips, post-it notes, etc.) reflect Mac's down to earth personality, while giving users specific tools and resources. Dialogue is encouraged through social media links in the footer and other strategies we are continuing to develop.

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How was the new design developed?

We developed the site over the past two years, working initially with mStoner to assess our existing site and identify key redesign priorities, then bringing the design and information architecture work in-house. Extensive research into best practices, both within higher education and online generally, and focus groups with key constituencies including prospective and current students, alumni, and faculty and staff informed all aspects of the design. We view the Web as a real-time, ever changing reflection of the college and will continue to improve the site based on user needs and feedback.

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Why are so many pages still in the old design?

As is common with larger websites like Macalester's, the new design is being rolled out from the top-level pages down. Other sections of the site will be transitioned to the new design over the next 18 months.

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