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CSULB launches new university website

The website for California State University, Long Beach has not been revamped since 2007 and according to many students, it’s about time.

“The website seems a little complicated,” Karly Goins, a senior journalism major, said. “Click on this to go to this and you get a new tab but you want to go back to the other page, but the page is gone.”

Working on launching it since focus groups formed in 2008, Andy Hoang, the associate vice president of the CSULB marketing & communications department, said that the new CSULB website will launch next Wednesday.

“A website has to be more than just pretty images,” Hoang said. “It’s really about striking the right balance to telling a powerful story at the same time [as] being intuitive and easy to navigate…”

The website design project has been an active collaborative effort between the marketing and communications department, Academic Technology Services, Information Technology Services and a web taskforce since Spring 2013.

“We wanted the website to be something to reflect the modern aspect of the university. Students bring a new trend… they’re just a new culture,” Jorge Hurtado, the director of digital communication said.

The website intends to be clean, visually striking and easy to use. Hoang said in designing the new website it was crucial to consider “empowering the content creators.” He said one issue with the current website is that a lot of content is outdated.

“We have to select a content management system that is easy to use that you don’t have to have a deep IT or web background to control your pages and update your pages,” Hoang said. “Because if it’s difficult and complicated to use, the content users will be intimidated by the technology and wont take control of their pages and keep it current and fresh.”

Hoang said that the website will be hosted in the Acquia “cloud system,” a software service company designed to host large websites.

The CSULB website currently contains about 30,000 different pages, Hoang indicated in an informational packet. The new website will not only redesign the home page, but the webpage for the 49er shops, University Art Museum and the shark lab.

The taskforce working on the website was also concerned with creating a responsive design, to make sure the website is easily hosted on mobile devices.

“Users will have difficult time navigating if not designed for mobile devices,” Hoang said.

The website will offer 91 different languages and intends to be accessible for the visually and hearing impaired.

The marketing & communications department released a brief promotional video notifying the public of the new website-to-be, stating that it’s “kind of a big deal,” “a brand new era,” and will bring a “whole new look.”

“The intent of the video was to build excitement, peak interest,” Hoang said.

The taskforce is currently putting the final touches on the website functionality and design, Hoang said.

“It sounds like something big is happening,” David Henderson, a junior graphic design major said. “So whatever is, it better be super awesome.”

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