New DCC website fails to impress, yet

Emma Stoltzfus — Staff Writer

The other day I was sitting in the Fruited Plain Café and looking at my financial statement at Dordt. Sipping my $1.50 latte (props of bringing my own mug on $2 latte Tuesday) I scrolled through and clicked on the “accept or reject awards” button in the financial aid home page. It directed me to the Commons breakfast menu for October 31st, 2017.

Houston, we have a problem.

As users of the new Dordt College Central (DCC) website, you’ve probably already encountered this on some level or another. If you haven’t noticed, evidently Dordt also has new school colors: a lovely neon yellow and minty blue. We have a new website, and it’s not behaving very well.

I went over to computer services to see what was up.

Brian Van Donselaar is the director of Dordt’s computer services and answered some of my very much not-tech-savvy-questions. I learned that in building the new DCC over the past six months, computer services had two goals: make it mobile-friendly and improve navigation. Van Donselaar believes they’ve succeeded on both counts.

He told me that about 75% of Dordt students now access the DCC website from mobile devices. While I personally don’t use the DCC website on my phone, apparently around a thousand of my fellow Dordt students do.

Van Donselaar also informed me that the top four types of feedback they’ve received on the new DCC are about the yellowish-not-quite-Dordt-gold color, the learning curve of a new site, how it works way better on mobile, and that it seems faster.

After the departure of one of the main designers behind the website and since the start of the fall semester, Mark Dadisman is the new kid on the block in computer services. A Dordt graduate himself, Dadisman’s current projects include setting up the Dordt forums and fixing various broken and missing links. According to him, many of the pages were scrambled in transitioning information between the old and new DCC websites.

The department is currently working on the problems, Van Donselaar assured me, and is even looking at eventually putting together a customizable color scheme option. This would allow users to personalize the colors on DCC themselves. How soon that will come to fruition is a whole other thing, as Dadisman said other tasks—like missing or broken links—take priority at the moment.

When I first came across my breakfast-menu financial aid I had a bit of a laugh, showed it to my roommate, and moved on.

That was the wrong move.

When I spoke to Van Donselaar he asked for my feedback and—when I mentioned what I found—if I had done anything with that information.

At that point I realized that I was not helping matters at all by not reporting issues to computer services.

While DCC definitely has issues, take a lesson from my case of breakfast-menu financials and report any problems you find.

While it might bug you to see that not-Dordt-yellow, it’ll help in the long run. Who knows, maybe it’ll help speed things along and we’ll get our precious Dordt gold back. Until then, it’s harder for computer services to fix what they don’t know about.

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