College’s mobile website gets needed upgrade

August 23, 2013 Latest Print Print
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OCCC’s mobile site has taken on a new face. As of Aug. 2, users who log on to the college’s website via a smart device will be presented with a mobile-friendly layout.

Web Development and Social Media Supervisor John Richardson, who was in charge of overseeing the project, said the goal was to create a version of the website that worked on devices other than just computers.

“We can see from statistics that more and more people are accessing the website through smart phones or tablets,” Richardson said.

“We started with this project a few years ago where we completely redeveloped the website itself, keeping in mind that we needed to design it in a way so the second phase of the project would be to have a presence that would work on mobile devices.”

Photography major Shanee Newville said the new site is much easier to use.

“The old site was very frustrating,” she said.

“I was constantly having to resize and open new pages so I could get to what I needed. The new site is much easier to navigate.”

Art major Sera Mills also is happy with the changes.

“Almost everyone has a smartphone these days so I’m glad the school designed the new mobile site to cater to that,” Mills said. “It saves a lot of time and hassle.”

Richardson said the project took approximately a year to complete and took an approach that most companies wouldn’t.

“Some companies have an entirely separate mobile website,” he said. “We don’t have that.

“We have a single website but we use responsive design to take the content from a page and restructure, rearrange, resize, and reconfigure it so it works on the device you’re looking at the page through,” Richardson said.

“(In that way), a page that looks one way on a computer, even though it’s the same page, as you resize it, looks different and things rearrange themselves.”

Richardson said he hopes users will find the layout to their liking.

“Because so many people use their smart phones for access … we want it to be a good experience, not a frustrating one,” he said. “When we implemented the new website, we realized it still wasn’t ready for mobile devices, so that’s why we went to phase two of the project to make it work and make it a positive experience for the students.”

Richardson said while the site still has a few glitches to work out, the majority is up and running. He said student feedback is greatly welcomed and appreciated.

“We feel it is our responsibility to provide to the students,” Richardson said. “Of course, as is with the case of almost every project we work on like this, we’re going to have a mechanism for students to provide us with some feedback because we want to know.

“[Students) are our customers so we want to know if the product we’re providing is a great product or one that falls short.”

Overall, Richardson believes the mobile website is a success.

“We’re pretty happy with how it turned out.” The college’s website is located at wwww.occc.edu.

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