The web site I would like to revise for this class project is the Writing Studies Web site at http://www.writingstudies.umn.edu. I have been thinking about this site for quite some time, and while there are several things I'd like to change, I'll begin by selecting three pages.
Page 1: Home Page. http://www.writingstudies.umn.edu. I have mentioned this page in previous posts, but this page could change in many ways. For example, I would like to see a different header with a stronger U of MN color scheme. I'd like to see a different image on the header and words that make sense (rather than random letters). I'd also like to see different text on the home page. The home page text consists of a letter from the Chair that is now two years old. It is a "welcome" announcement to the new department. We no longer need this letter. And, as both Redish and the Yale Style Guide suggest, web page text needs to quickly get to the point. The Yale Style Guide suggests that there is no need for "welcome" messages from a CEO or chair. As to what would replace the text, I need to think further about that. The links on the left nav bar are one clue, as well as the links below that describe different entities such as the Center for Writing and First Year Writing.
Page 2. Here I am planning to select the "path" page for the Undergraduate Program. You can arrive at this page by going here: http://www.writingstudies.umn.edu/ugrad/. On this page there is a description of the major, a description of careers in the major, and then news and events. A few things that could change here: it might be useful to incorporate a small right nav bar with key links for the major. This appears in other pages but not here. We might reduce the textual description of the major to one paragraph and then list key links for more information. And the "news and events" could be a separate link rather than a scrolling option on the bottom of the page. News and events are a blog feed; perhaps the blog feed could reside on another page/link.
Page 3. Here I am planning to select the "path" page for the Graduate Program. It is available on this page: http://www.writingstudies.umn.edu/grad/. I think this page is in a bit better shape than the UG page, but there are still ways to improve it. The underlined text links in the first paragraphs could be in a right nav box, similar to what I'm thinking about for the UG page. The text could be edited a bit to get right to the point. Graduate news could be a separate link.
These are my ideas for now. I found the Redish reading very helpful (but overwhelming) and that generally the Yale Web Style Guide reinforced Redish's suggestions. A key starting point is writing in "topics" rather than "books" (from Redish, ch 5); Yale Web Style Guide refers to this as "chunks". That is the starting point for me--deciding what "topics" are most important to readers. Redish offers helpful guidelines for organizing information such as organizing according to time, task, or users' questions. I will think about what might be best and then continue thinking through. Also, both readings for this week had a lot of information on style guides. The key points here I think are defining heading styles in terms of font, style, size, and spacing. It will be important to make a style guide and stick to it.
All for now.