Pomona to Refurbish Web Site

For the past nine months, Pomona’s communications office has been working furiously to redesign the official Pomona College Web site.The project, set to roll out in mid-January, will mark the first major overhaul of Pomona’s web presence in ten years.The “web team,” composed of Administrative Web Manager Whitney Hengesbach, Rory Riffe and Laura Tiffany, focused on making the new Web site sleeker, faster and more user-friendly.“[The look and feel] is totally out of the box,” Hengesbach said. “It will be a completely new design.”The new design is modeled largely on the admissions section of the current Web site, which was redesigned prior to the start of the new project.Among the major changes are the integration of “Web 2.0” sharing features (the built-in ability to post to Facebook, Twitter, Digg and other social networking sites), infinite text sizing, printer-friendly pages, streamlined link navigation, and tightly managed meta-data, which will greatly improve the site’s search function.The major navigational categories and gateway entries will remain the same, but “the homepage will have a pretty interactive feel,” Hengesbach said.Additionally, the entire behind-the-scenes framework of the site has been completely re-engineered, implementing a server software called “Cascade Server” that Hengesbach calls “light years” ahead of the previous system.While the engineering aspect of the site is 90 to 95 percent complete, the upcoming months present a challenge for the web team, as they begin the arduous process of manually copying content into the new site.Ultimately, the team expects an extremely polished final version.“This will win awards,” Hengesbach said. “There’s so much stuff beyond just [the visuals] that makes this site just rock solid.”

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