Digging Deep in Canyon Country…

 

The reasons students choose to attend College of the Canyons are as varied as the students themselves. Some are first generation students looking to improve their career opportunities. Others already have advanced degrees but are looking to improve their ability to advance in their field through continuing education.

 

No matter their background, the Canyons boasts a student population that is driven and focused. The Winston Churchill quote that begins the Chancellor’s welcome message puts it like this: “Some people dream of success while others wake up and work hard at it.”

It’s no surprise that when it came time to redesign its website, College of the Canyons wanted a site that enabled their diverse student population to not only work hard, but to succeed.

 

Right now, you’re thinking that all website redesigns are the same. But are all community colleges the same? We didn’t think so.

So how do you make informed design choices that not only speak to the specific needs of your users, but actually drive enrollment conversions?

 

Two words: “Re” and “Search”.

Research

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Building a Foundation on Detailed Data

 

With a reputation for blending cutting-edge research methodologies with exceptional and engaging designs, Interact utilized an innovative research process to turn user data into actionable, audience-defined navigation and design elements.

 

The resulting data revealed not only considerable dissatisfaction with current design elements but, more importantly, provided key, user-defined insights as to how and why the website should be redesigned.

Results

A Groundbreaking Undertaking

 

Interact’s research process revealed significant concerns among users with regard to the site’s current functionality. One response summarized it like this: “It's less an issue of if the content is truly missing, and more that I (and my students) can never find it.”

Backed by the power of the data we collected and the insights provided by actual users of the current site, Interact was able to offer specific, design solutions that are now being considered prior to a full redesign of the website. Some recommendations included minimizing the use of academic language, making the site more user-friendly and engaging by integrating more iconographic navigational elements, and developing micro-sites specific to user-group needs.

Interact is excited to continue working with College of the Canyons on a new website that will support its commitment to helping students dig deep as they turn their dreams into degrees.

 

Big Gains for College of the Canyons…

 

  • Focus Groups: Parents, students, staff, faculty, administration, and community stakeholders came together to give their opinions about the current functionality of the website, its strengths and weaknesses.
  • Satisfaction Survey: Members of the College of the Canyons community were invited to take an online survey, comprised of both closed and open-ended questions, to further establish a baseline for the needs and expectations of users.
  • Proprietary Research: A one-of-a-kind, audience-based research process was employed to prioritize the needs of various “user groups” in determining what direction a website redesign should take.
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