NOVA’s New Web Site Ready to Launch
March 25, 2008
NOVA is getting a fresh face. The new NOVA Web site is scheduled to go live the evening of March 25. The NOVA Web Advisory Committee, Web Implementation Committee, Technology Applications Center (TAC) and Ripple Effects Interactive (REI), our experienced, strategic and creative partner, have been working hard to implement the new Web site with its newly written content, eye-catching design templates, new photos and applications. All of the photos in the site are of NOVA students, faculty and staff.
We have a few new bells and whistles, too – a NOVA virtual tour, a GPA calculator, an admissions blog, to name a few.
REI has done its homework. They completed an extensive Web Site Redesign Strategy Report based on what they learned from student, faculty and staff discovery sessions; target audience research; review of competitive landscape of other higher education Web sites in our region and best practices, trends and tools in interactive Web site design. Through the discovery sessions, students informed the team that NOVA’s current site was “hard to navigate, cluttered and lacked personality and impact.” Based on the student feedback, REI developed the new design with its fresh face that focuses on our students and faculty and their stories while providing new, clean and simple navigation.
Along the way to implementation, student focus groups reviewed the original design choices and provided feedback. Once the new design was reviewed and approved by the two committees, then REI conducted student focus groups again on the Campuses with a diverse student sample of all ages and ethnic backgrounds to test the new design and navigation. Next, REI worked with the new NOVA Web Content Manager Kimberly Evering to rewrite thousands of pages of content to have a common student-focused voice.
The March 25 deadline was chosen because it is after the second eight-week registration ends and before summer 2008 registration begins. We have almost a week for everyone to feel comfortable with the new site and its simple navigation before registration begins.
As planned, the implementation will be in three phases. To view the details of the NOVA Web Site Implementation Plan go to: http://www.nvcc.edu/resources/webplan2008.htm. It will be during phase two (over the next several weeks) that we completely move all pages and eliminate those that are no longer needed. We will also have access to the old site during this three-phased implementation so nothing will be lost. We are working to have minimal broken link problems as well from other Web pages that link to specific NOVA Web site pages.
Given the size of this project, some problems may occur, but TAC staff and the committees are prepared to deal with them as they arise. We think you will really like the clean look and easy-to-use navigation. It is a user friendly site that will truly benefit students, faculty and staff.
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Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America’s largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 60,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College’s Web site, www.nvcc.edu.