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Friday, August 23, 2019

Redesigned WCC Website Launches With Improved Navigation

WCC launched the first phase of a redesigned website today that features easier navigation and lays the groundwork for more improvements over the coming months.

The biggest change is new audience-based navigation. The site offers gateway pages for major audiences such as future students, current students, and faculty and staff. Each gateway provides links to the most useful pages for its audience.

Another highlight is a restructured Services page that has alphabetical links to major pages throughout WCC’s website.

The new navigation system is largely based on recommendations by Peter Morville, who teaches at the University of Michigan and consulted on the redesign. Morville “is widely recognized as the father of the information architecture field,” said Christopher Billick, director of Web Services. Morville is the co-author of “Information Architecture for the World Wide Web,” a classic book on the subject.

WCC’s website has more than 20,000 pages and gets over 1.5 million pageviews per month, according to Google statistics.

The redesigned website that rolled out today represents the first phase in a project that will eventually result in the revamping of WCC’s entire site. Because of the ongoing work, the website is going through an “ugly duckling” stage as new sections of the website gradually replace old ones, Billick said.

The next phase will focus on the site’s core content for students. It will primarily center on writing everything in a clear, concise, and consistent style.

Billick said the website will continually evolve. “The web is a living document,” he said. “As we get feedback and learn how people use the site, we’ll keep adapting.  We’ll deal with all changes in a proactive, strategic way, instead of a reactionary way.”

WCC’s website supports the highest standards of accessibility for users with various impairments or disabilities. It also complies with the latest coding standards established by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), an international group that develops web protocols and guidelines.

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