Questions & Answers

Because You Asked…some Questions and Answers about the Website Redesign Project:

When did the ACC website homepage change?

The ACC homepage and top level was cut over on the morning of November 11, 2013.

Why did we do this project? Did the ACC web site really need to be redesigned?

The Austin Community College website is the college’s most important public facing asset on the World Wide Web. The purpose of the website is to provide all users, including current and prospective students as well as faculty, staff and other audiences with information and serve as a gateway to college services and resources. The information and content that the website provides must be relevant, timely, and useful while at the same time reinforcing ACC’s brand and core mission.

The creation and maintenance of this information in conjunction with the appropriate delivery method and executions are vital to student recruitment and success.

Please see more in the WRP Creative Brief.

When is the Web Redesign Project expected to be complete?

The first “phase” of the project has been completed. The WRP will be complete when all web content resides in either a content management system or an appropriate location where it is then monitored and maintained.

Prospective outlooks puts this within the next 2 years.

How broad was the scope of this part of the project?

The scope of Phase 1 focused exclusively on content for FTIC (First time in college) and FTACC (First time at ACC) students that related to enrolling and registering for classes.

Learn more about the different phases of the project.

What testing was done to validate decisions that were made about our website?

Several different forms of testing was done as well as great deal of background research which provided key insights and direction on how to proceed. These tests included:

  • User experience testing on the previous site
  • Card sorting
  • Tree Testing
  • Surveys and questionnaires
  • Utilizing analytics on the previous and updated sites to identify issues and opportunities
  • Third-party reviews and recommendations

Who was involved in developing the new design?

Public Information and College Marketing worked with many different groups including Student Services and the Web Advisory Committee to submit a design that reflected the college’s brand while providing an improved user experience.

Who was involved in developing where content was placed in the new website?

User groups including current students and staff members aided and assisted with testing and provided recommendations on usage that help guild how ACC’s website information architecture was constructed.

What is the next step for the Web Redesign Project?

Phase II and Phase III of the WRP focus on several different content types and websites:

  • Academic Department
  • Administrative Offices
  • Internal administrative information
  • Special Purpose content

Teams are currently working on updating and transitioning these websites and web content into the appropriate content management system or location.

Do we have a mobile website or a mobile app?

ACC had a separate website that was intended to be viewed on mobile devices. Currenly the new design employes a design technique called “Responsive Web Design” That allows the website to conform to any device no matter how big or small.

What is a content management system (CMS) and why does the ACC website need one?

“A content management system is a computer program that allows publishing, editing and modifying content as well as maintenance from a central interface.” -via Wikipedia

ACC’s website consisted of many different individual websites. Bringing content from all of these separate websites under one umbrella allows this content to be edited and maintained quicker and easier to ensure accuracy and consistency.

Will I have to learn a new way to update and maintain my department’s web site?

If and when your department or office’s website is migrated into ACC’s CMS, training will be provided to ensure that staff can properly maintain that website’s content, and that users can access it easily.

How do I request a new website?

Requesting websites depends on the content that will appear on the website. The following is a list of contacts based on content types.

Can I use a CMS for my website?

Yes. Again, based on the content that appears on the website will help guide what CMS is best to use. Here is a suggested list based on content types:

  • Academic Department – WordPress
  • Administrative Office – Drupal
  • Instructional Content / Faculty Websites – WordPress / Google Sites
  • All other specialty content – FTP server (no CMS)

Training for CMS use will be available throughout the year.

Can I design my own template?

Yes. As long as the design follows the Web Style guide. Please contact Edward Terry for more details.

Can I still use my old faculty or department website?

Yes (for now). Faculty and Staff are strongly encouraged to begin considering a transition to one of ACC’s supported CMS solutions. Contact  the appropriate person for more details:

Can I use the new templates to update my current site?

To ensure the consistency and integrity of the new designs, the Web Advisory Committee has decided not to provide the new templates outside of the CMS at this time. The reason for this decision is to prevent the incremental variations that inevitably occur when adapting designs from one platform to the next.

What will my websites URL be?

This depends on what CMS you want to use to manage your website. But don’t worry there are several solutions in place to make sure that your old URL will point to your new website. One of these solutions uses “Vanity URLs” Learn more about Vanity URL’s here.

Where can I get help with my website?

Contact  the appropriate person for assistance:

What can I do now to prepare my site for the changes to come?

The best answer to this question is: work on your content. Here is a great article that encompasses some of the major points of a redesign.

Preparing and Planning for a Redesign – Web Designer Depot.com

How do I promote my events and important dates now?

Submit them to the Campus Event calendar for display on the ACC homepage and calendar pages. Submit current student announcements to Public Information and College Marketing for distribution via the “Student Announcement” feed located throughout the ACC website.

How can I make a suggestion or give comments?

Leave a comment or question below or email the ACC Web Team at webteam@austincc.edu

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