Web Site Makeover Debuts With Positive Review

Agnes Constante

It’s red, yellow and new, but it won’t take long to get used to.

The new GCC Web site was launched on Nov. 3, and anyone who has logged on since then has probably noticed its completely different appearance and slightly awkward color scheme.

Though the new glendale.edu may look a bit unusual at first, users will find that it has been organized in a much better manner than previously, and that navigating through it has become a breeze.

Those familiar with the old site have probably noted the new red and yellow colors. While the scheme, reflecting GCC’s colors, seems somewhat odd at a first glance, an appreciation can be acquired if one visits the site frequently enough.

The re-done layout is also another obvious change, to which several factors contribute: a photo display in the center, drop-down menus to links on the top bar, a “Quick Links” drop menu, rounded-corner buttons, seemingly arbitrarily placed icons at the center and a more pleasant-to-read font.

The mid-sized photo at the center of the homepage is a great addition, especially for first-time visitors. Each time the site is visited a different photo is displayed.

Photos are obviously carefully selected, as each photo displayed vividly depicts student life, campus activities and campus appearance at GCC.

Drop-down menus to links on the top bar are a new convenience. Visitors can now simply hover their mouse over the top bar links, such as “Programs & Degrees,” and instantly view a list of related links, making it quicker to reach a desired page on the site.

The old glendale.edu lacked this feature.
A handy “Quick Links” drop menu has also been added, allowing web users to click on what are probably the most frequently visited pages.

The left panel of the homepage displays rounded-corner buttons that link to other college pages. These buttons do not complement the site very well and take away from the college-like appearance it should have.

Immediately underneath the photo at the center of the page is the headline “What’s Happening on Campus.” Right below the headline are seemingly arbitrarily placed icons linking to GCC’s Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages, as well as icons linking to MyGCC and Black Board. Visitors don’t have much of a choice except to click on either the Twitter or Facebook page icon to learn about current and upcoming events – that’s the easiest way to find out.

The MyGCC icon is redundant and unnecessary as it already appears on the left panel.
Instead of redirecting viewers to the college’s online social networking sites, it would be less of a hassle if events were posted right under the “What’s Happening on Campus Headline” so that visitors would be able to read about current and upcoming events on campus right on the homepage.

One omission that would have been nice to have kept was the “GCC A-Z” links as they were formatted on the old site. Previously, each letter of the alphabet was found at the top on the homepage and linked to their respective letter categories. This enabled users who knew what departments they wanted to visit online to quickly find their way to respective pages.

As with most homepages, the most important aspects are highlighted in the top bar and left panel. The new Web site does well in addressing a wide range of visitors, including current students, new students, international students, alumni and others.

It also highlights financial aid and the Garfield Campus location by providing exclusive links on its left panel.

Overall, the new glendale.edu is much better organized. The layout isn’t very appealing and its appearance certainly won’t “wow” visitors, but chances are that users will eventually learn to like it. Once viewers become familiar with where things are, and it doesn’t take too long to figure out the ropes, browsing the site will become an unquestionably pleasant experience.