San Joaquin Delta College (SJDC) is a community college in Stockton, CA. With over 100 degree and certificate programs, they are steadfast in their commitment to serve the needs of the culturally diverse community of California’s Central Valley and beyond.
In the fall of 2016, Delta began work with another firm to redesign and develop their website. A year later, the Beta Site was delivered, but it used temporary “dummy” content. Faced with 20,000+ pages of existing content, out of date photos and a limited internal team, Delta College partnered with us to support them through content organization, development and implementation as well as step in as project manager to guide the project to launch.
Content Organization and Migration
Delta College’s plan was to migrate content from their current site to their new site. The problem with this was they had over 22,000 pages of content, much of which was out-of-date, duplicative and/or no longer needed. Additionally, their current site didn’t have a strong structure or organization. So, before migrating anything, we decided to conduct a content audit and then leverage the expertise of content owners to identify what content actually needed to be migrated.
- Content audit of all existing content. Each area of the school was then provided a list of their current content. They went through these lists, identifying each page as “keep” or “remove”.
- Conducted content workshops with key areas of the college, including Admissions and Records, Counseling, Academic Divisions, Career Technical Education, and Student Services programs.
- Used information from the content audit and content workshops to create an information architecture that would be intuitive for users.
- Developed a final migration list that identified which content should be moved to the new site, reducing the number of pages by 20,000.
Visual and Written Content Development
While there was a lot of existing content, there was still a need for new messaging, specifically on the high-level landing pages throughout the site. We worked with members across campus to understand the information and messages that needed to be conveyed to their users. From there we put the pen to the paper, developing engaging and compelling content that was written in the uniquely branded voice of Delta College. Additionally, we created new graphics to accompany the written content
Content Clean-Up and Implementation
Existing content was migrated from Delta’s current website, built on Contribute, to their new site, built on Drupal. The content arrived mostly as plain text, with little to no style. That’s where our clean-up began.
- Manually removed old styles and markup that were brought over during migration
- Applied new styles and formats to all text
- Used the new design templates an components to lay-out top-level pages throughout the site.
- Selected and edited new, current photos from the Delta collection and added them to the site.
- Set-up individual sidebar navigations for each area of the site (based on our previously designed IA)
UX Design of the College’s Sales Funnel
On Delta College’s previous website, there was a single apply page with general admissions steps. The difficulty was that these steps didn’t apply to all audiences, leaving them with many asterisks that noted exceptions to the step. This overwhelming (and many times not relevant) information left students confused about how to start at the college.
We spent time meeting with members of the counseling, admissions, and financial aid teams in order to better understand the Delta student onboarding process. We brainstormed how we could create a clearer path and help students self-identify into a group with distinct admissions steps. The final solution is a single call to action that takes the user to an Apply landing page. This page starts with having prospective students self-identify and then proceed to a simplified version of the steps applicable to them.
Testing, Launch and Post Launch
Leading up to the website launch, we spent extensive time reviewing the website, testing out functionality, and tracking and resolving bugs. We also collaborated with representatives from all areas on campus to review and approve their part of the site for launch. Eventually, we got the green light from all, and we prepped to launch.
Working with the Delta College IT department and the Marketing, Communication, and Outreach office, we helped create and implement a launch and post-launch plan:
- Supported the communication to stakeholders to inform them about the launch and its potential effects on their workflows.
- Supported Delta through the launch, ensuring measures were taken to avoid downtime and 404 error pages.
- Were on hand to support campus users with immediate website updates.
- Created documentation for editing within the new CMS.
- Provided ongoing development, design and content support to the Delta College internal team.