Help make Middlebury’s website tell your story

I write with an update on Middlebury’s website makeover project, and a request for how you can participate to make our site more vibrant and effective.

In late April, our design firm White Whale visited campus and met with many of us to understand the culture of Middlebury. Through this process, we all feel confident that the new website will address the core concerns that many have voiced throughout the process: effective search, easier navigation, more design flexibility, easier to edit and update, and more multimedia possibilities.

However, White Whale discovered a problem that we had not previously diagnosed: they saw Middlebury as an incredibly vibrant place full of exciting research, activities, projects, and people – but the current site does not effectively share those stories. We realized that as a community, we are much better at doing interesting things in the classroom, labs, publishing world, and community, than sharing knowledge about what we do – and often, peers outside of Middlebury know more about what faculty, staff, and students are working on than here on campus.

The solution to this problem requires simple but widespread participation from faculty, staff, students, and alumni to help share Middlebury stories. White Whale is working on a web design that highlights the vibrancy of the Middlebury community, but we need to discover more specific stories to highlight. To help “seed” this process, we have created a simple web form designed to allow you to let the web makeover committee know what stories you have to share or type go/webstories in your browser.

White Whale has challenged us to gather 400 compelling Middlebury stories by the beginning of June – we can easily top that threshhold if each member of our community shared only 1-2 stories of your accomplishments. It will take only a few minutes to share what you already know, and it will help make our site much more reflective of who we are and what we do. All you’ll need to do is type 2-3 sentences about a project have been working on or know about – if the story seems like something that the Communications Office would like to feature in other media, they might contact you to help develop the story.

Thanks in advance for helping our website tell our stories!

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