Usability Feedback And Keeping With The Times:

1777 words - 7 pages

Eventually, Chadron State College will confront the question of marketing to expand its catchment area beyond the city and neighboring towns. The demand to be competitive will come from reduced state subsidies, as is happening in California now, and from the natural inclination of families to obtain the best possible education for their college-age children.In the medium term, CSC may also scrutinize the opportunities available in adult education and we do not mean just the residents of the city either. The market is massive. As of 2002, the U.S. Department of Education estimated the adult education market at some $260 billion (Wagner, 2003). And participation rates are high. Among workers 25 to 44 years who already possess a college degree or at least some college, from 66 percent to 72 percent could attest to have participated in some kind of formal adult education (index period: past 12 months). College graduates were in the market chiefly for work-related training (54%). Work-related skills also counted first for those with some college (38%) but a great many also pursued avocations or wanted to finally earn a college degree (IES, 2008).The U.S. Office of Vocational and Adult Education estimates that for the rest of the decade, no less than 21 percent of job openings will demand a bachelor's degree or better (Occupational Employment Projections to 2010). The drive to earn a college degree or gain new skills is heightened by the fact that job stability can no longer be counted on in the new, more "productive" America.The world also looks to America and Europe for high-quality education. The University of Phoenix, for instance, already has students from more than 70 countries enrolled in online courses.More aggressive positioning in the online education marketplace for both college-age youth and adults will highlight the importance of the web portal through which "window shoppers" first come to learn more about CSC. Accordingly, I intend to take the first step in positioning the CSC portal on the Worldwide Web by conducting a benchmark research on how usable and attractive it is to one vital segment of the market.My objectives for this benchmark study shall be to investigate the extent to which the existing site:Delights first-time browsers.Is as attractive as other college sites they are aware of because they have already browsed these.Communicates the strengths of CSC to visitors.Makes it easy for them to navigate the site for points of personal interest.Makes a connection and sustains the relationship if so desired.MethodologyTarget UsersSetting aside future opportunities for the meantime, I hold that the web site must satisfy its core market: high school seniors and their parents who are actively searching for a college to attend. At the start, we may realistically define CSC's prime prospects as all high school seniors in Nebraska looking to attend college within the state.Sampling MethodWhen the time comes to run the full-blown survey, I...

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