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About This Site
The current design of VolState.edu is part of a larger effort to make our site user centered and data driven.
Plenty of books and research papers have been written on user centered design, but in a nutshell it means paying attention to the needs of real people and designing systems to meet those needs. That sounds simple to the point of being obvious. But when was the last time the software you were using seemed to get in the way of completing the task at hand?
By data driven, we mean that we won’t just make assumptions about the needs of the real people we serve. We will test those assumptions against data and likely make some unexpected discoveries along the way. The simplest way to get such data is to be open to feedback from you. If you’ve got anything to share about your experience with this site, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also use the “Contact the webmaster” and “Report a problem with this page” links at the bottom of (almost) every page.
We constantly seek out innovation and research current best practices in college and university web sites. We look at other community colleges as well as universities. We look close to home and abroad for ideas and inspiration. One site that has been and continues to be instrumental in this process is EduStyle.net, a gallery of redesigns of college and university websites.
We aim to comply with modern web accessibility guidelines. Access to information, including information on the web, is a basic human right. The technologies we use to communicate should not present barriers to participation to those with disabilities.
The social media links in the site footer use icons created by Rogie King at Komodo Media. The icons used to mark things such as links to external sites and email addresses come from the Silk icon set created by Mark James.
Between open source projects, the creative commons, the public domain, and the general culture of openness and sharing at work in the web development community, listing the names of all the people who have contributed to this website is impossible. Suffice it to say that a project of this magnitude does not happen in a vacuum. All contributions, no matter how small, are greatly appreciated.
Last but not least, the development and continued maintenance of this site takes thousands of hours of work from hundreds of Vol State employees. The value of their contributions cannot be understated.
Web Standards & Browser Testing
VolState.edu supports web standards. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) provides “specifications” that define various languages for use on the web, such as XHTML and CSS. These documents work like dictionaries. Any software on any device that follows these dictionaries should understand the code that runs this site in the same way and render the content of this site in a usable and legible format.
But no software is 100% bug free. Therefore, websites must be tested in the browsers and platforms popular among its target audience. The testing suite for this site includes the most recent versions of the following browsers on both Windows and Macintosh operating systems (where available).
In addition, Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 is tested due to a large market share among our site visitors.Support for Internet Explorer 6 was discontinued in 2011. If you are using IE6 we encourage you to follow any of the links in the list above to download the latest version of one of the browsers in our official test suite in order to receive the best possible user experience.
Currently platforms such as Linux and the iPhone are not tested. But usage of such platforms is on the rise among our site visitors and may be added to the official testing suite if usage continues to grow.