New VCCS Website’s Design Puts Student Needs in the Forefront

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If you were to do a side-by-side comparison, you would probably say the latest iteration of the VCCS website looks a lot “cleaner.” Some might say it even pops. In terms of performance, it’s been described as a whole letter grade improvement over its predecessor, maybe two.

Simplicity and usability drove its design. Those same two attributes are part and parcel of the website we see today.
“We put the student first in how our website and online communications evolve,” said Jeffrey Kraus, assistant vice chancellor for strategic communications for the VCCS. “We strive to make the opportunities our colleges offer clear and compelling, and offer simple ways for people to connect with them.”

Information architectureAs you might expect, some of our most successful programs like Fast Forward figure prominently on the home page. Some of our more recent projects and rollouts like CollegeAnywhereVA are strategically positioned so they, too, provide prospective students with the information they need quickly and efficiently. Gone are the days of multiple clicks to reach a single destination.

Students wishing to enroll at one of Virginia’s Community Colleges can now do so quickly and with relative ease. An “Apply Now” button appears at the top of every page. An informative drop-down menu that’s designed to facilitate a superior user experience is also available near the top of every page.

Some of the most popular elements of the original website have also found a home on the new website. The VA Wizard is easily accessible and ubiquitous and the College Locator continues to point would-be students in the right direction, using zip codes to match them with the college closest to them.

The Request Information feature found on the home page is designed to help would-be students connect with knowledgeable advisors who can answer questions, evaluate assessments and help identify potential career opportunities and the strategies needed to get them there.

The website has a decidedly new look, one we feel confident will achieve its primary objective: Connecting prospective students in a meaningful way with the litany of opportunities offered by our colleges. In the face of a viral pandemic where just about everything is finding a home online, that goal has never been more important.


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