Wow, this has been a week.
For the last couple of days, a small team of us have been furiously working on getting the new web design for New Mexico State University done. We've been tweaking XHTML templates, shimmying with CSS, and scribbling out documentation, because the deadline for the release of the templates to our College webmasters was today.
I think we did a good job. Considering the diverse requirements that we had to accommodate, I think we have a very workable plan, a usable interface, and a crisp visual design. At first, we really struggled with incorporating the university's new branding look into the web site, but Phillip, one of our teammates, had a brainstorm and came up with something that works pretty well (even though we had to spend a few weeks tweaking on it after that).
Of course, the proof will be in the pudding. Next week, the campus webmasters will get their hands on the templates, and we'll see what they say. It may be a while before we see any web sites based on the templates, because now they have to figure out how to implement what we gave them. It's a good sign that they're clamoring for the templates rather than dreading them, but you never know how people will react until the thing is out there.
I just hope all the careful consideration and tossed-away designs end up being worth it. This is a great university, and it deserves a great web presence. None of us are Zeldman's or Cossette's (wink, Edward!), but maybe we've learned enough from the masters to at least have our university's web presence do the institution justice.