After more than a year of careful planning, design, and development, the new BVSD website launched March 30, 2008. This project, which began in early 2007, has been a major collaborative effort between the district's Information Technology Division, the Board of Education, many BVSD staff members, and perhaps most importantly, BVSD community members.
A survey posted on the BVSD website in September 2007 was designed to gather information on how the site was used. The results showed that over 50 percent of the use of the site came from parents, with employees being the next largest constituent. After reviewing the results of the survey, the web team began researching award-winning educational sites, ranging from K-12 institutions to higher education websites. Focus groups began meeting around this time as well, during which participants were asked what they would like to see on the site, what they have trouble finding, and how they would like the content to be organized.
Taking all this information into account, the web team formulated several new design and navigation possibilities for the future website, and with the help of the focus groups, created an "audience-centric" layout that will best serve the site's visitors. Four main audiences were identified: students, parents, community, and employees. Each of these audiences will have specific areas of the site devoted to their interests. From these "landing pages," a visitor to the site will be able to find what he or she is looking for quickly and easily. Along with a sleek look and an improved navigation system, the new site will also feature vastly improved searching.
Web usability testing began in late February 2008. The web team invited any interested individuals to come test the new site for ease of use, and to offer any final suggestions.