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Caltech Industrial Relations Center Taps Guidance's eCommerce Expertise to Enhance Website

Caltech Industrial Relations Center Taps Guidance's eCommerce Expertise to Enhance Website

October 27, 2008

Web 2.0 Features, Including Recommendations and a Dynamic Calendar, Enhance Usability of Online Catalog to Increase Sales of Executive Courses

MARINA DEL REY, Calif. – October 27th, 2008 – When you’re a renowned center for executive education in technological management, and you’re packaging your expertise and selling it to leaders of tech-based companies, you better have a great website.

That was the thinking behind a recent overhaul of Caltech’s website for its Industrial Relations Center (IRC) for Executive Education. And that’s why the organization partnered with Guidance, which is known for helping prestigious organizations achieve market domination by creating captivating and engaging online experiences. Applying proven eCommerce strategies, Guidance enhanced the usability of Caltech IRC’s online course catalog to help increase sales of professional development courses.

The new site - http://www.irc.caltech.edu - incorporates features familiar to online customers – like product recommendations and “peek inside” capabilities – along with Web 2.0-inspired applications like a dynamic calendar. The redesign will help Caltech IRC more actively cross-promote its courses to its audience of executives and managers of technology-driven organizations.

Caltech IRC’s goal is to make it easy and convenient for executives to plan, book and manage their ongoing professional training through the site. “We’re reaching out to technology executives, so we need our website to convey the weight of the Caltech IRC brand and to demonstrate the technology management education we’re known for,” said Gaylord E. Nichols, Director of Caltech IRC. “Our site also must efficiently convey a lot of complex information, without bogging down the user. The easier and more intuitive we can make it, the higher our chances that site visitors will find exactly what they’re looking for. Thanks to the expertise of Guidance, this new website is a quantum leap in capability from where we started.”

“Sometimes the value of what an organization offers is buried behind a website that’s not easy to navigate,” said Jason Meugniot, Guidance owner and CEO. “We combined leading-edge information architecture with Web 2.0 technologies to create a user experience that is crisp, clear and efficient. The site now more accurately reflects Caltech IRC’s standing as a world leader in technology management education, and its reputation of offering its customers white-glove treatment."

Visitors to the new site can quickly find information about course details, certificate programs, instructors, schedules and other resources. Each individual course has its own page, offering details like the benefits and contents of the course, an explanation of who should attend (i.e., Engineering Vice Presidents, Business Development Executives, etc.) and information about the instructor, hours and credits.

New features on the site were designed specifically to help potential participants identify the curriculum most likely to meet their needs. Within each course description are recommendations of courses that cover related topics. In some cases, Caltech IRC is also offering people the option to preview the course via a webinar with the instructor.

The entire calendar section was rebuilt using dynamic HTML/Ajax technologies, allowing users to quickly navigate and interact with it to schedule their sessions. Site visitors can now clearly see what courses are available and when, and plan their schedules accordingly.

Guidance rebuilt the backend of the website using AspDotNetStorefront, customizing it extensively to fit project requirements. Guidance also worked with the client to optimize the site for SEO purposes.

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About Guidance
Since 1993, Guidance (www.guidance.com) has helped companies seize opportunities and solve problems through the innovative and practical use of technology. Guidance designs, builds and maintains eCommerce websites for retailers that are pure-play online or multi-channel – creating captivating experiences so consumers will buy more, come back often and value greater engagement with the retailer. Guidance's systems facilitate $500 million in online sales every year. Members of the Guidance team are seasoned professionals, passionately committed to providing technical leadership and powering ingenuity. Key clients include Foot Locker, GEARYS Beverly Hills, Relax the Back, Salvation Army, and many others. Partners include: Microsoft, AspDotNetStorefront, Mediachase and Telligent. Guidance is based in Marina del Rey, Calif.

About Caltech Industrial Relations Center (IRC)
Founded in 1940, the Caltech Industrial Relations Center (IRC) for Executive Education offers high impact learning opportunities focused on business issues critical to today’s executives in technology-based companies. Certificate programs are offered in Technology Management, Technology Marketing, Project Management and Engineering Management. Caltech IRC offers courses at company sites upon request and is located in Pasadena, Calif.

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Media Contact for Guidance
Alejandra Espinosa
Director, PR & Marketing
Phone: (310) 754-3895
Email: press@guidance.com

Press Release PDF

20081027.pdf