Lewis & Clark Community College approached C2 with the need to provide quick access to the entire faculty and staff members’ contact information on their website. It seemed like a call for a simple solution – a virtual “phone book”. But unlike a printed phone book, displaying all their contacts in a list wasn’t a good solution for a couple of reasons.
First, one of the primary requirements of this template was for it to be viewable on multiple devices – A responsive designed web page. Simply displaying all the data in a list format with several columns is not mobile-friendly.
Secondly, that would pretty much be an open invitation to spammers and other mild internet villains. The solution was to hide contact information until a user performs a search, thus eliminating the spam threat. We also included a separate tab which holds all of the most popular contact information. The additional tab assists with delivering relevant contact information to users without the need for even the initial search.
The user was also given the ability to search across all fields, or by specific fields:
Once a search is performed, the information is displayed alphabetically and includes a few extra features making contacting that person even easier. It includes a clickable email address, which opens a new email in the user’s default email application, and automatically populates the necessary information. We also included a clickable phone number, which initiates the device’s default phone dialer application that is especially helpful on mobile devices - Just touch the phone number, and the phone will automatically dial the selected contact.
One of the biggest hurdles we often encounter with our higher-ed clients is the location and integrity of the data. Normally, this data is contained in separate (often disparate) systems and technologies. This client was no exception. The solution incorporates a custom table, easily populated initially with a spreadsheet. And, while the data may have taken some effort to assimilate, the import of this data was simple and straightforward and is easily manageable by the client for future maintenance. This is a need nearly all of our higher-ed clients have and it’s a quick and rewarding way to get users the information they need quickly while encouraging use of the site.