Welcome to CLAGS.org!

Have these words appeared different to you lately? Visit CLAGS on the web, and you’ll notice a change occurred this past Fall 2010 semeser. CLAGS would like to introduce you to the new CLAGS.org website redesign!

New Clags.org homepage

Until this Fall 2010, CLAGS has used the template and information architecture of its first web design, created over a decade ago. This older, single-colored site, maintained in-house by a CLAGS staff member, held archival information of all past CLAGS events, fellowship winners, CLAGSNews publications, and links to helpful sources. It took the work of CLAGS staff who could comprehend and administer html code that allowed for the challenging process of maintenance and consistency for the CLAGS website.

A screenshot of the fellowships page, viewablefrom the back-end maintenance of the previous site was a step-up from the process of maintaining html-only upkeep. With the Graduate Center’s Citrix-remote plug-ins, CLAGS now has the opportunity to use softwares such as Adobe DreamWorks, and log-in to the GC Server, from any computer with an online connection. This process revolutionized the old method of File Transfer Protocol upkeep using softwares like FileZilla where updating the site meant code-only operations.

The new CLAGS template was not arbitrarily chosen. In the fall of 2009, New York graphic designer, Leonard Cadiente, was given the task to not only redesign CLAGS’s logo but to then implement it to future collateral, including the newly revamped CLAGSNews, letterhead and stationery. The design, a series of rectangular-shaped, “rainbow-colored books,” signifies our community at CUNY. Once established, the next and most exciting step was to take CLAG’s new look and to intergrate it to its planned new website.

The redesign led to discussions with the Graduate Center’s Information Technology Department whose plans for the entire Graduate Center’s website was to streamline the web presence of all departments and institutes. One of these projects has to do with a GC-wide calendar. According to the Information Technology Web Services Manager, Ko-Chin Ong, the Graduate Center is looking to centralize the web presence and the Graduate Center calendar “but with the ability to filter to a very detailed degree which would allow all departments to utilize the calendar in ways specific to them while also allowing the GC to present a single calendar to any user for whatever purpose they can get out of it. A similar project is in the works for video and audio streaming and many others.” As a result, the template offered by the Information Technology department was generously designed by Web extraordinaire, Jesse Merandy of Information Technology.

Jesse was generous enough to provide a tutorial to the CLAGS web administrator, and collaborate on an information architecture that would serve CLAGS’s current programs. His goal for the CLAGS-specific design of the new GC template was to make additions to current events, images, and text updates easy to manage for the staff person performing the web administration.

The process for creatingthe redesign was a dual year-long process. Included in the decision-making of final templates were CLAGS Board members and staff, all who weighed in on creating a site that was functional, and still, aesthetically pleasing. All in all, we are one step closer to a user-friendly site that serves the members of the CLAGS community.

The new site, like the old, still allows for the option to become a member through groundspring.org. Please stay tuned for added features such as a link to add us on facebook, an interactive CLAGSNews link, and images that cover past and upcoming events.

CLAGS would like to thank very much the efforts of the Graduate Center IT Department, specifically Jesse Merandy and Ko-Chin Ong who saw our vision and made it a reality.

Please direct any future questions or comments about the CLAGS website to the CLAGS Web Admin, Shawnta Smith, shawntasmith@gmail.com.