CSULB-website-accessibility

Does website capability signal the future of higher-ed tech?


“This is a game changer and elevates our university into a mindset of the future and helps unite its various entities into a clean, non-cluttered, user-friendly interface,” said Danny Martinez Menjivar, a CSULB student. “I am passionate about seeing the university enhance and evolve its image and this website will significantly do that on a national scale.”

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Built by Web developer KWALL Company, the website is hosted on a cloud server called Acquia—a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company that hosts more than 500 universities worldwide. Acquia provides what it says is an optimal, scalable and highly secure website backed by a high-level of expertise.

The content management system (CMS) will be Drupal, a well-known CMS in higher education.

“We were so pleased to work with the leadership at CSULB on the new website and proud of the end product we delivered,” said Kevin Wall, CEO of KWALL Company. “The fact that this university is innovating digitally and pushing the boundaries of technology in higher ed shows a great deal of foresight. This kind of step in a forward-thinking direction is very valuable to all current and future CSULB students.”

The site’s priorities

Since the last redesign of CSULB’s website was in 2007, a Web task force was created with various university representatives in 2013 with the goal of giving recommendations for an updated, innovative digital presence. Support for the redesign has been a campus wide effort, including the Web task force, Academic and Technology Services, Information Technology Services and Marketing and Communications, says the University. In addition, the backing of the various deans, vice presidents and the president’s office has been influential.

“I’m excited about the launch of our new website and proud of the teams and individuals across campus whose dedication and vision brought it to life,” said CSULB president Jane Close Conoley. “Dynamic, mobile-friendly and intuitive, it will immediately engage users—prospective and current students, faculty, staff, alumni and community partners—and raise awareness of our innovative programs, academic resources and services. As the first experience many people have of ‘The Beach,’ it reflects our excellence.”

The website redesign also incorporates the Accessible Technology Initiative, which is at the core of its execution. Redesigned pages will be filtered and scanned to ensure the website is accessible for those who are impaired.

Another key goal was to put content users first so individuals responsible for updating university Web pages on a regular basis can do it easily with a lot of creative flexibility. And, in keeping with the campus’ well-publicized diversity, the website will reflect such by offering the ability to browse it in 91 different languages.

“Many individuals’ first experience with our university is not when they physically step onto campus. It’s when they log onto our website. And like our university, the homepage is a unique experience,” said Andy Hoang, associate vice president, marketing and communications. “We pride ourselves on being one of the most diverse universities in the nation, and our website intuitively reflects that. It’s much deeper than a destination for information and resources.”

To see the website, visit http://www.csulb.edu/.

Material from a press release was used in this report.