‘Out with the old, in with the new’ would be an accurate way to describe the revamp of Lorain County Community College’s website.
Students who have visited the previous website on their smartphone will notice how outdated it was when compared to the new website. Navigating the new website is much simpler and the web content is clearly displayed on the screen. The old website was created nearly 10 years ago; a time when websites were not tech-driven through smartphones as they are today. “We were painfully late in coming to that party,” said Lori Martin, the Web Content Coordinator at LCCC.
Other than the web design and content having been given a much-needed upgrade, the technical foundation has been completely modernized. “We are now hosted in the Cloud and we use Amazon web services so we are hosted in a way that if something were to happen here, the website doesn’t live on physical servers,” said Martin.
The new website was designed to focus on the core areas that would be the most important to the students, site visitors, and future students. Areas such as how to apply, how to register for classes, payment for classes, different programs that are offered, transferring to another school, and employment opportunities were heavily focused on during the website’s development.
The need for a new website was known for about five years, according to Martin. However, due to competing priorities and a small web team, the plans for a website update were put on hold. Then two years ago, the web team began to hold meetings with software vendors to figure out what the right platform should be and how to host it. It took a full year of research and working with different outside help such as a designer before any solid plans got put into motion. “When we finally started to get our fingers on keys, our technical group started to build the foundation,” said Martin.
Two LCCC students, who worked as interns, were a part of the web team that helped develop the new site. In addition, student organizations, such as Student Life and Student Senate, were brought in to perform different exercises to measure the site’s usability.
“We wanted to make sure we’re providing the right kind of website for our users and we can’t do that if don’t actually engage our users to make sure we’re answering their questions,” said Martin.
The site has gotten positive feedback since its launch on Dec. 13.
“I could not be happier with the feedback we have gotten,” said Martin, adding that each page features a feedback link in the bottom lefthand corner of the site. Students are encouraged to report any problems they find or any criticism they have with the website. “You’re not going to hurt our feelings, we’re here to make sure to get it right and make the website work for you,” said Martin.