College website upgrade / redesign

As many of you know, a redesign of the CPCC website has been in the works for some time now. What many of you may not know however, is the behind the scenes work that has gone into this project. As web professionals, it’s easy to design websites that make sense to web professionals. However, with a website like www.cpcc.edu, the challenge is making a website that makes sense to a very broad audience – you! From high school students to career professionals, teachers and educators to college administrators, from those changing careers to those just getting ready to enter the workforce for the first time, our audience is incredibly diverse.

To help us understand how we could possibly meet so many different needs, we talked to many different people. We performed user studies, we asked for website visitors to help categorize web content in a card-sort study, and we asked for your honest opinion over the last few weeks via a feedback form available on the website preview.  Each step of the way has informed the design process and ensured that we remained ‘user focused’; i.e. understanding how you see us, rather than how we see ourselves.

The challenge, of course, is that everyone sees things a little differently. In fact, I’m not entirely convinced it is possible to design a website that is instantly intuitive to anyone that might come across it. And so, part of this process involved the art of compromise. In that, we are fortunate to not be in this alone. We are grateful to have a committed and enthusiastic advisory committee, made up of membership from many College departments, to help us with difficult decisions when user studies provided no clear direction. I’d also like to recognize the dedication of the many excellent College faculty, staff, and administrators who manage parts of the website, generally in addition to their primary role at the College – this site is too big to do it without them. And if you are one of the many people who took the time to submit feedback on the new design, thank you. We are in the process of reviewing these, and whether you provided a friendly ‘good job’ or more constructive criticism, you can be sure we appreciate all feedback and your interest in having the best College website possible. After all, that’s a goal we share with you.

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