The ACC Web Redesign Project adheres to a common process that will take the institution from project initialization to beta testing and launch. It will continue through maintenance and updates after launch. The process is as follows:
- Research and Discovery
- Information Architecture
- Content Audit and Development
- Technical Development
- Design Development
- Beta Launch
- Feedback and Testing
- Live Launch
- Incorporation and Training (ongoing)
Research and Discovery (2016)
The focus of the Discovery phase of the project is to asses where the ACC website succeeds, and where it fails. The Discovery phase also gives team members insight as to the nature of the types of users that access the ACC website and for what purpose. This phase establishes a baseline of information that team members then use to move forward with different tasks within each phase of the project.
Barring ongoing edits and adjustments the Discovery phase of the project has been completed. This simply states that a comprehensive snapshot in time of ACC website usage has been analyzed and information that was gathered was recorded. and stated within the Website Assessment Report. This report serves as a guidepost for upcoming phases within the project.
Information Architecture (Dec. 2016-feb. 2017)
Based on the research findings and project goals, the web redesign team developed a preliminary information architecture with suggested headings, menus, and links. The team grouped content based on user tasks and information needs rather than the college’s organizational structure. Specialty content not intended for prospective students will no longer reside on the homepage but will be accessed by clicking to audience webpages for current students, faculty and staff, business and community.
Content Audit and Development (Dec. 2016-June 2017)
The web redesign team developed a plan to audit existing content as well as create new content where needed. This plan entails reviewing existing content first before moving it into a test environment. The team’s writers and editors will then analyze and write/edit content within the test site. The team also created a plan to migrate existing content from other areas of the existing website to the appropriate user-identified landing pages.
Technical Development (Jan. 2017-June 2017)
The Technical team is compromised of people that work in the Marketing, Information Technology, and Instructional Resources Technology areas of the college. This group developed a technical plan to provide suitable environments for all of the content types that were to be accessed by users. The environments include a main Drupal CMS installation, a WordPress Multisite network, as well as utilizing college’s access to Google Sites through Google Apps for Education.
Development of, and the process of accessing the environments is ongoing.
Design Development (Jan. -June 2017)
Beta Launch (April 2017)
During the beta launch, the college will get a sneak peek at the basic design elements to test and provide feedback. The focus at this stage is on navigation and messaging. Updates and tweaks to the beta site will be ongoing up until live launch in July.
Feedback and testing (JAN.-JUNE 2017)
User feedback testing analysis is an ongoing process that began at the information architecture phase and will accelerate following the beta launch. Techniques include screen recording of task completion, tree testing, and user surveys.
Live Launch (July 2017)
ACC’s new website is scheduled to launch in July 2017.
Incorporation and Training (ongoing)
The web redesign process will result in a set of updated web design guidelines and standards, templates, and tools to assist content managers who maintain department sites. Training will be available at General Assembly and scheduled as needed.