The College is going to stop printing the directory, beginning this Fall. We are doing so for obvious reasons: to save money, to save considerable staff time (a form of money), and to lower our carbon footprint. In conversations leading up to this decision, many people had many very fond things to say about the printed directory, and will mourn this loss. As we head into the design phase of the web makeover project, this seems like a great opportunity to try to understand exactly what is it about the printed directory that is superior to the on-line directory, since we will be modifying the on-line directory as part of the overall makeover.
Here’s what we’ve heard so far about what the print directory does better than the on-line directory
- It allows you to quickly scan through the staff of a department to figure out who is responsible for what, and provides general contact information for a department.
- It allows you to easily find someone’s home phone number, unlike the online directory where home phone numbers are only viewable if the person wants to show them and has taken the extra step to set their configuration on the Change Information form.
- It allows you to look up the hometown for a student.
- It allows you to look up the on-campus address for a student.
- It identifies the chair and academic coordinator for each academic department.
- It allows you to limit your search to just students, or just faculty/staff.
- It can be used when you aren’t near a computer.
This is just a preliminary list of issues that a new design would need to address; we are posting this as a means of encouraging those of you who worry about the loss of the printed directory to let us know what we can do to make the on-line directory as good, or even better!, than the printed directory. Please use the comments on this post to record your thoughts. (And include examples of other great directories if you happen to know of them.)
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