This past Thursday I sat down with Jake Paul and Ethan Klapper of the American University Eagle, Jessica Luthi of City College of San Francisco’s The Guardsman, David Estes of The Daily UW, and Emily Babay of The Daily Pennsylvanian for the first session of the 2009 College Web Design Camp.
The call was largely audio, which is posted at the bottom of the post, and covered introductions to everyone’s sites and summer projects. Below are some highlights:
- While The Guardsman recently got a makeover with a slick WordPress theme, they will be working this summer to streamline the site and refine the design. Also in the works there will be a greater emphasis on incorporating multimedia into the site and articles.
- Jake and Ethan will be switching The Eagle from College Publisher 4 to Expression Engine and will be launching with a new design in the fall.
- David will be writing an iPhone app for the Daily UW, which also received a recent redesign. The app will provide a way for readers to contribute content, whether that’s photos, links, or writing and will also provide some location-based services like a restaurant guide.
- Emily, along with Dan Getelman who wasn’t able to make the session, will be moving The Daily Pennsylvanian from College Publisher to WordPress Drupal and will be soft launching the site this summer with a fresh face. They will also be working on revamping the campus events section, which will be heavily promoted this fall.
Also covered was a quick introduction to the role that the Society for News Design will be playing this summer. SND has graciously agreed to have a representative present at as many sessions as possible to give a professional perspective on the weekly subject. They’ll be able to put some of the ideas and techniques presented in the context of what they have seen attempted, and more importantly what has succeeded or failed. SND President Matt Mansfield will be joining us in Thursday’s session and will provide some further information on the role of SND.
Overall, the session was really interesting and it’ll be a lot of fun seeing how all of these projects develop over the summer. The camp also looks like it will be featuring people from a variety of platforms and newsroom sizes so there will be a little of everything. If you’re interested in seeing how some of these ideas may be applied to your newsroom and summer design project(s), come join us!
This week’s session on Thursday at 5 pm PT will be covering navigation techniques. I’ll be showing how to do drop-down menus in WordPress and will also cover some examples and best practices for site-wide navigation. We’ve started a discussion thread on the forum to get the conversation going. A preliminary agenda is posted over on the CoPress Wiki. If you’re interested in participating, you can RSVP on Facebook Event or contact us. Happy designing!