By Cardling Del Real, Jesus Figueroa and Stephanie Garibay
East Los Angeles College launched a new website design on the first day of the spring 2015 semester. This new layout is the first upgrade since 2010.
ELAC’s Public Information Officer Alejandro Guzmán said that the choice to launch the site on the first day of classes was made so it would not interrupt registration for the majority of the students.
About 97 percent of students had already registered for classes and those wishing to add would have to do so in person.
Guzmán contributed to pushing the launch date to start up along with a new school semester.
Launching the site weeks before the new semester would only interrupt the enrollment process.
Guzmán said the new layout was designed to be more responsive and accessible for users who visit the website on their mobile devices or desktop computer, adapting the website for a better experience.
The new mobile website is easier to navigate and is better than having a desktop version of the website on a mobile device.
About 30 percent access the site through a cell phone, 64 percent are on a desktop and 6 percent are using a tablet.
Although the re-design is done, Guzmán said the website will be constantly worked on so it can be more convenient for the user’s experience. He said the change in the website is a step in the right direction. The website will be adapted as new technology is released.
The next step will be to improve user interface and make it easier for the user to find what they are looking for in one or two steps.
Guzmán said ELAC’s web designers want to make use of the technology available to better manage the content on the website.
Guzmán decided to push the launch date for two other reasons as well. The new website now has an “Events” and “News” section on the homepage.
The website was also designed to give students the most up-to-date information.
“We don’t want it to be a place where there’s content that has been on there for more than 10 years. That’s the old way of doing things, that’s not good enough for ELAC,” Guzmán said.
The website user will now have live content and interactive information when clicking a news link, whereas the old link directed the user to a PDF styled news document.
Since students won’t be looking at a PDF, they’ll also be able to get more information on what they are looking for. It will be possible to add interactive elements, such as links or videos, to provide more information and make things clearer.
Now that the re-design is done, the focus will be on training the departments and programs to give them the right tools to learn to access these new features and update their information, such as upcoming events, and possible achievements whenever they would like.
These new features allow those who visit the website to be informed about the things happening on campus.
Guzmán said the goal is to improve the user’s overall experience, whether they are on a smartphone, a tablet or a desktop computer.
The most important part of award-winning websites, like The University of Notre Dame, is that their faculty is able to easily login, update the website and keep students up to date on the news and events on the campus.
ELAC’s web designers aim to do this for their website as well.
“We don’t even look at other community colleges’ websites and say ‘Oh we want to be like them.’ We want to take advantage of the best technology out there,” Guzmán said.
Those who visit the website will also have social media share ability for both news stories and events taking place at ELAC, whether it be through Facebook, Twitter, email or any other major social media platform.