By SARAH GALZERANO
As some of you may already know, a new Cumberland County College website design is underway by Digital Wave, an information architecture and website development company. According to Executive Director of Communications and Marketing, Keith Wasserman, the Digital Wave team began to work on the website in late November. Their first step was to conduct a complete inventory of the information on the curr ent website and reorganize it. The new site is expected to go live in June.
There have been two student focus groups to display the new school website. Digital Wave representatives Brian Furry (Project Manager), Bruce Cronlund (Technical Director), and Tony Rose (User Experience Lead) were present at the second group on January 28. The communications students from EN-241 and EN-242 who attended this focus group all seemed to be pleased with what was to come. Many said how the new layout and design expectations are a definite improvement to how the school website looks currently.
One of the major changes to the design is an easily accessible, separate homepage for the community. This way community members won’t get lost scrolling through student material when they try to find upcoming events at the Frank Guarancini Center. Everything that would be essential for current and incoming students would be found on the homepage.
Another major improvement to the new student homepage are large links to several of CCC’s partner schools. Many students are still unaware of the partnerships we hold with Wilmington University, Montclair State University, Rowan University, Fairleigh Dickenson University, and Drexel University. The purpose of this concept of the design is to encourage future students to enroll at CCC and to continue to a four-year or graduate degree.
Above these school links would paint a vivid picture that will incorporate four main themes/reasons, although there are many, on why to attend Cumberland (Close To Home, Affordability, University and Career Support, Exceptional Opportunities). This is another way to draw in future students who may not consider community college as an option. Also, included on the home page would be articles geared towards student interests – what is going on around campus and news about students, alumni, and professors.
Sophomore and Journalism major, Rebecca Kolimaga, focus group attendee, shared, “I really like the new website designs because it’s clear they designed it with students in mind. The new design is going to be professional, eye-catching, and easy to use for both students and community members.” Hopefully, the rest of our students and the rest of our community will agree.
With the easy part (design) finished, the Digital Wave team will build variations of pages that will complete our new website, consolidating them into the chosen content management system. The Public Relations department will then begin populating the pages with re-written text and photographs. Wasserman says, “There is an opportunity now for college departments to look at how they’re represented on the website now and to revise and tighten up that content. We will also begin an aggressive photo campaign to professionally capture the activity and beauty of the campus.”