ECEP website redesign: focus on access, content, and design

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

3 concepts behind website redesign: access, content, designThe Expanding Computing Education Pathways (ECEP) Alliance, part of the University of Massachusetts Amherst's College of Information and Computer Sciences, recently gave their website a facelift. The website, ecepalliance.org, extends ECEP’s mission of broadening participation in computing education by offering services and resources to its member states that further the states’ efforts in making state-level systemic change that will result in more, and more diverse, students in the pathway to computing and computing-intensive degrees.

The refreshed website’s new look, which puts accessibility at the forefront, includes a responsive theme, updated content, and new features like site search, embedded media, and mobile-friendly design.

“One thing we did to help alleviate click-heavy visits to the site is place the most relevant information right on the homepage,” said Sarah Dunton, ECEP Alliance Manager. “Current news and social media feeds, along with simplified navigation, will connect folks with the content they need right away.”

Ongoing work includes updating content to be more inclusive of ECEP’s broadening participation in computing (BPC) focus and alignment with the National Science Foundation BPC work and other alliances.

SUMMARY OF WEBSITE CHANGES

Access

  • Mobile-friendly, with smart stacking blocks and easy menu/navigation
  • Collab site link
  • Accessibility - links and media include alt text/descriptions, proper font color contrast, heading tags are thoughtfully used
  • Search function

Content

  • News on homepage
  • Social media feed on homepage
  • Special feature on homepage
  • Updated content – current, outdated removed
  • Embedded video

Design

  • Revised logo – not too different
  • Retained color scheme for recognition
  • Responsive design for any size screen
  • Photo headers/slideshow to help tell the ECEP story – with captions and links
  • Left navigation where expected on lower-level pages
  • Content structure features: accordion, color striping
  • Webforms for mailing lists, polls, registration, and more
  • Maintenance – more robust CMS, less need to request changes from IT