UCC Mainstream Online

Website reinvented to better serve students

UCC’s new website features a more modern look and easier navigation.
Image provided by UCC
UCC’s new website features a more modern look and easier navigation.

The new Umpqua Community College website is now available on campus computers which hopes to go live by the middle of February. The site, which uses a Joomla content management system, features a cleaner, more modern look, easier navigation, a working search bar and updated information.

The update was orchestrated by the Website and Social Media Subcommittee, part of the Technology Oversight Committee, under the leadership of new web developer Art Lucero. Lucero, owner of Lightbarer Web Solutions, was hired in January 2012 with the task to update the college’s clunky, cluttered website. He has 16 years of experience in website development and has worked on website development for well-known companies such as Yamaha and Competition Werkes.

“I started working with the Website & Social Media Subcommittee soon after being hired and it has been a great forum of ideas that has made the new site a real improvement over the last one,” Lucero said.

Anthropology student Susie Day assisted Lucero in the update. Day, who also updated The Mainstream’s student newspaper’s website, had the responsibility for updating program pages and doing the Campus Life section. One of her goals was to keep the program pages looking consistent, and the photograph at the top of each program page was also her idea. “It helps people easily identify and remember each page,” Day said.

Day was concerned that the new site would repeat errors that caused frustrations with the old site. “The domain site, what we knew as Umpqua.edu, was confusing, oversaturated with information, had duplicated links, missing links, outdated data, an inefficient external search function and was ugly,” Day said.

The committee had four goals to make sure the new site better served the community. Committee co-chairs Katie Cunnion and Marjan Coester worked with Lucero under four guiding principles; 1) create a site that efficiently serves students, faculty, staff and the public with a clear path to information 2) promote course offerings and college services in a compelling way, 3) create a resource for students who run into challenges and 4) maintain a consistent look and style throughout the site.

The committee, which included staff from across the campus as well as students, collected feedback from the campus community through November and December 2012 then provided that information to Lucero.

“Art is an experienced professional, and he has a lot of drive to get work done,” said Day. “He gets an amazing amount of work done. He has high standards, and he is really willing to take criticism to make the website better, something that many people can’t do.”

Day also follows high standards. Her revision of the student newspaper website won her a first place award for website design in last year’s Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association competition.

Day previously co-owned The Community Computer Center on Harvard. A computer club made up mostly of UCC students met there as the Umpqua Valley Open Source Group while the business was open (it is now closed).

Day tells what students can expect to see with the new site: “The search works. Amazing!” Day also noted that the campus can expect “a web developer who cares about people’s opinions and constructive criticism. He listens to what everyone says, which is really nice.”

Cunnion agrees. “Art has been fantastic to work with. He has worked really hard to keep the lines of communication open. He has created the website with its templates by listening and interpreting the committee’s contributions. Personally, I’m excited about the opportunity to get changes done and updates made to make information easier to find for the students, staff and community.”