Website project aims to rebrand ‘virtual front door’

District hires marketing agency, director to modernize online interface

By Lorenzo Morotti, Associate Editor

For three years Contra Costa College’s “virtual front door” has not received a major renovation to simplify its user interface, update its image or change its management system until now.

“We are in the process of a redesign to our college website ( The goal is to look at how we are branding ourselves,” Interim College President Mojdeh Mehdizadeh said. “Are we speaking to the right audience, who are we missing and what is on the website that is not relevant to students?

“We have to look at the website as our virtual front door to the campus.”

Mehdizadeh said the process has begun and she will be sending out a campuswide survey via an email blast on Friday asking people how is the website helpful and where it can be improved.

The survey will be open for two weeks and the feedback will be used to determine what people want to be changed or remain the same.

Chemistry major Isaac Diaz said sister college Diablo Valley did a similar survey when it was redesigning its website.

“(DVC) gave us incentives to fill out the survey by entering us in a raffle to win a tablet,” Diaz said. “I didn’t win, but I filled out the survey.”

He said the college should offer the same prize or maybe some sort of gift card to get people to provide feedback.

She said that to ensure that the redesign is a significant one, the district has contracted New Creation Studio, a marketing agency, at $24,500 to produce 1,000 usable photos and three videos for the redesigned website.

Medizadeh also said it is also in the final stages of hiring a marketing director for the college that will be responsible for ensuring that each department takes “ownership” of their content so it has continuous improvements and flow of information.

“It will be different than the one rolled out three years ago,” CCC Technology Systems Manager James Eyestone said. “The website is a living animal that has had some tweaks here and there, but nothing on this scale.”

Business major Preet Sandhu said the only reason he visits the website is for the link to the library database or for late start classes.

“It’s all right, but it could be more organized. It takes too long to find useful information. So it’s good that administrators are trying to make it more relevant,” Sandhu said. “I go usually go to Insite Portal or Desire2Learn to get the information I need.”

Diaz said he agrees with Sandhu in regards to the website needing a major update.

“It’s kind of plain,” Diaz said. “I use Desire2Learn a lot more than Insite Portal, which I use to register — I don’t visit the main college website.”

Eyestone said the key difference from a management standpoint is that each department will no longer have the ability to modify its own section.

“The new website will be different in that regard,” he said. “All edits will be centralized to a main person who will upload information sent from different departments — this will make sure the site is written in one voice.”

Mehdizadeh said herself and Vice President Tammeil Gilkerson have taken leadership roles in the process but will hand over most of the remaining work to the marketing director once he or she is hired in late February, early March .