A College Calendar face-lift Posted on November 16th, 2006 by

The College Calendar is an important hub of information. It is the centralized source of all events at Gustavus. The calendar received a small but substantial face-lift yesterday to help improve its usability.

Here is a rundown of the most important changes.

Shorter, smarter URLs

Similar to the effort to shorten many of our URLs about a year ago, we have shortened the URLs for most of the College Calendar pages, including events and announcements. And, if you already have links to events in the calendar, don’t worry—the old URL format will still work.

Consistent site navigation

Among the changes comes a more consistent site navigation. On the college calendar, this consists of the gold bar on the right side.

Announcements have their own home

Events and announcements are two different concepts—calendar events are scheduled happenings whereas announcements are pointers to events, intended to draw one’s attention. We moved toward a design that reflected this fundamental difference and separated announcements and events on the calendar.

All the livelong day

Previously, events that lasted for an entire day simply did not display a time. While this made some sense because the events do not actually have a start time or an end time, it makes more sense to simply display “All day.”

Crossing out the past

Crossing out the past
A list of times lives at the top of each event’s detail page. Some of these times are in the future and some are in the past.

We began crossing out past times to help distinguish events and times of events that have passed. This will help users to instantly identify what has happened and what will happen.

A little more structure and a splash of color

Event details
Event details have a more structured layout than before, helping visitors find the information they want faster and give a stronger sense of organization and flow to the page.

Additionally, we added a little blue to the page to distinguish between detail headings that are fairly static and the actual information that changes from event to event. This will help to guide the eye to the important information on each page.

Encouraging submissions

When talking with people about the calendar we most often hear that people don’t know that they can submit their own events. As a result, many events on campus never get added to the calendar.

To address this issue, we added a little information at the bottom of each event encouraging people to submit events to the College Calendar. We hope that this will increase submissions, making the calendar even more useful.

If you have an event that is itching for more exposure, make sure you head on over to the calendar and submit it. Calendar events may show up in many places automatically, including the Gustavus-L e-mail list, the On-Campus Community pages, lab and kiosk desktops, the Yellow Sheet, and departments’ and organizations’ websites.

What do you think?

Are you a fan of the face-lift? Does it make the calendar more usable or more enjoyable? Are there any further improvements we could make? Let us know in the comments.

College Calendar

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