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Friday, September 19, 2014

WCC’s Website Adds More Audience Gateways

Two new gateway pages for specific audiences are the latest addition to WCC’s website, which is undergoing a complete redesign.

The first page is aimed at parents and families, and the second at neighbors and visitors. Each gateway page provides links to the most useful information for its audience and features a unique design that’s tailored to those users.

The new gateway pages join four others that previously launched. They provide links for future students, current students, faculty and staff, and businesses and partners.

While the new pages were being developed, Web Services asked some members of the target audiences to preview them. Ypsilanti resident Mark Dickson praised the “warm, inviting feel” of the neighbors and visitors page. “Lots of information is presented without forcing it on me,” Dickson said.

Web Services reviewed the comments made by Dickson and others, and is in the process of implementing three changes they suggested:

  1. Changing the color of links in the page’s opening text to make them more prominent.
  2. Adding information about Ann Arbor Transportation Authority bus lines that’s already included on several other pages.
  3. Adding information about biking to campus, including a link to a map of the Huron River Greenway Border-to-Border Trail.

The new audience-based gateway pages complement other ways to find information on the website. They include improved top-level navigation, a directory of services, a new Quick Links menu that provides fast access to some of the site’s most popular pages, and a search engine.

All of the navigation elements reflect how users actually look for information. They replace a previous system that was based on the College’s institutional organization.

Web Services continues to review comments received since launching the redesigned website in February, said Christopher Billick, director of the department. “We’ve received a lot of feedback already,” he said, “and we’ve made adjustments based on it.”

The department is always seeking users to test new website features before they launch. “We’d really like to do more user testing as we develop the site,” Billick said. “But we’ve had problems finding volunteers. We encourage anyone who’s interested in helping us improve the website to volunteer.”

Volunteering gives you a sneak peak at what’s being developed, and provides a chance for you to offer input. If you’d like to volunteer, send an email to .

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