New Website & Initial Feedback

As many of you have seen, and hopefully read about by now, we have launched the new It has been a long and challenging process of researching, talking to students, committees and system upgrades. I am VERY proud of the team (and will post more on that later), and maybe a bit tired from a rather long week of launching. I did however want to take a quick opportunity to address some of the most common feedback / questions we have been receiving. I will post again answering questions and providing more information. So here goes:

Why did you launch this week and not after the summer term?

This is a great question.  It would initially seem counter-intuitive to launch a new website the last week of summer classes.  Unfortunately, this would be an incorrect assumption.  This is actually our lowest traffic time of the summer.  Following this week our traffic typically nearly doubles.  This is mainly for two reasons:

  1. Registration for the fall semester starts to increase as we get VERY close to the start of the semester (partially because of summer classes ending and partially due to students trying to get into that elusive final course).
  2. People start the process of coming back from vacations and getting ready for the fall, the summer starts winding down and general load increases.

The truth is, there is no really good time to launch.  We have to do our best to determine the slowest period of time to launch, unfortunately this can have a adverse effect on some, which we try our best to minimize.

Did you talk to students when deciding how to organize the site?

Yes, in fact, they were our primary concern.  With the old website, it tried to meet the needs of everyone.  The problem is that it is impossible with the size of our college, size of our site, and variety of people who attend here to meet the needs of everyone.  As a result we have decided to focus the new website on a single group…. Students.  As we were doing our research (card sorting, usability, traffic analysis, focus groups  and more) we focused completely on trying our best to meet the needs of the students.  We realize that this is a major change (especially for faculty and staff) but we feel confident it will help our students more easily find information using the terms they are confortable with.

Just as a side note, we will be re-designing the intranet to make it easier for our faculty and staff, so stay tuned.

I am not where I used to be, my department is named different, where am I?

Recently I was visiting my parents house, for years my mother had kept the cups in the same place, I went to get a cup and was totally baffled that I couldn’t find them.  She told me where she had moved them (now right next to the refrigerator).  This new location really made a lot of sense, but it was not where I was used to seeing the cups.

This is kind of the same as what happens when we move things on the website.  We have been used to where to find items, and now they have moved.  With the new focus on students, there will be some discomfort as people find the new spot for items.  We do however feel confident for our research that it will be much easier for our students and our new students.

Will you make changes based on feedback after launch?

Most definitely!  Although we have been working on the project for quite some time and have done a great deal of research, we know it is not perfect.  The internet is a living thing.  It is constantly evolving and changing, and there will be things we need to tweak and adjust.  We have already made some minor adjustments and will continue to review and tweak as necessary.  Please send us your feedback, we will be meeting with our advisory group often and always working to make the site easier and more enjoyable to navigate for our students.

As I mentioned before, we will continue to respond to questions and hope to hear your feedback.  Thank you for the support!

I also want to give a special note of thanks to Stephen, Keisha, Chris, Chris Satterfield, Ernie, Melissa, Ryan, Mallory, the advisory team and all of the others that worked so hard to make this happen.  They have put in countless hours and shown how great a team we have here at CPCC.

Thank You!

Ken Ingle
Executive Director of Emerging Technology, CPCC

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