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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Gotta Make the Donuts

Early in the morning tomorrow, a troop of groggy web-heads are going to show up on the campus. Normally, the members of the team I'm heading up call this sort of function "making the donuts," referring to the old Dunkin' Donuts ads.

Except this time it's no ordinary batch. We're showing up early to perform the cutover of the College's brand new web site. (If it's April 26th, you can visit www.swarthmore.edu to see it.)

The launch day is the culmination of two years of work. Two years of committee meetings, sketches on whiteboards, wireframe drawings, contract negotiations, software demonstrations, load tests, usability tests, story drafts, war rooms, and massive quantities of pixel-pushing. We designed. We redesigned. We refined the redesign. We redesigned the refined redesign.

Five consulting firms. Thousands of emails. On the eve of the launch, I can say that the project has been exhausting/heady/crazy/thrilling/cool. Possibly insane. Fun.

The resulting site is a labor of abiding love. And for those who don't quite love the project, it is a labor of great pride. Although I have had the honor and responsibility of leading the project across the finish line, I've never worked on a project that coordinated the good efforts of so many good people. It's astonishing what it takes to make a modern college web site.

It takes a village.

I could try to name everyone who helped. It would be pages long, and still manage to miss an important contribution. Sometimes, you just have to credit the village.

Tomorrow is just the first step in a comprehensive plan to make the site better from top to bottom. We call that Phase II. Phase II awaits. But first, the donuts.

That reminds me: I'd better pick up donuts for everybody on my way into work tomorrow.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Janet said...

The site looks great Eric. Congratulations!

1:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric:

The new website is fantastic. You and your entire "village" should be proud.

It is easy to see the thought that went into the site from many different corners of the village. I am most impressed by much of the new content. For example, Al Bloom's President's Welcome is fabulous. His first two paragraphs really cut to the core of what Swarthmore is all about. It's nice to see a website communicate the soul of an institution so effectively.

A Swattie Parent

5:44 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Looks really good! Finally had a chance to look at it yesterday.

7:07 AM  

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