Home Featured News GRCC website revamped for 2017 winter semester

GRCC website revamped for 2017 winter semester


By Rachael Yadlowsky – Collegiate Staff

Grand Rapids Community College administration is making a series of improvements to the campus website in a multi-year program.

“The changes to the college’s website is a multi-year project centered on making the website easier to navigate,” said Leah Nixon, Director of Communications.

One of the first updates was completed during July. This update focused on making grcc.edu mobile-friendly so the display of the website adapts to the device in use.

The next phase of the project was to change the navigation of the website’s homepage and was presented on Jan. 2.

Future phases of work will include continuing to improve website navigation and upgrading the website’s content management system from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8. Other updates include introducing new tools such as Siteimprove, an accessibility checker, and expanding resources as well as training web editors. Other minor updates to improve user experiences on the GRCC website are also anticipated.

A feature that has not been brought to the website yet is a chat feature.

“This will allow the Enrollment Center to engage in real-time with students who are visiting their webpages,” Nixon said.

A lot of research was put into this project. The Communications and Information Technology departments spent over a year collecting data from other colleges and universities that use the Drupal management system. This research included reviewing things such as accessibility and navigation, as well as technical functionality. A website survey was also conducted along with several focus groups to compare GRCC user experience data with national best practice standards.

“Our research told us that prospective and current students want to know about our programs of study, how to pay for college and how to apply,” Nixon said.

The research also showed that students expect to find information in three clicks, interact with a mobile-friendly website and wait three seconds or less for a page to load.

As for cost, there is no additional cost other than costs that are already present by the college’s IT department.

“We will continue to conduct surveys and focus groups moving forward as data-driven, decision-making leads to each phase of the website updates.” Nixon said.

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