Friday, January 22, 2010

In which I critique web sites

The writing goals of the last post are only inching along, but I did finish up the research for the departmental service project and sent a short report around to my colleagues. 

There are some bad college & department websites out there, y'all. My goodness. I am no web design guru, but I'd like to suggest some principles:

  • The dominant color on the website for your women's college should not be pink.
  • I should be able to find a list of major requirements right on a department's page, not have to locate the college catalog (not linked anywhere on the college home page) to read them.
  • The college catalog should be easily accessible from the home page.
  • Lists of faculty should say something about their interests right on the list; you shouldn't have to click through to each individual profile to find out what they do.

Bonus points to sites that make syllabi easily accessible and that lay out requirements for majors (and the reasons for them) clearly and with detail.


Notorious Ph.D. said...

Yes, yes, yes to all of these.

Also: your home page should not provide links to every conceivable page. Otherwise, it gets so text-heavy that you can't find anything at all. Urban University's home page suffers from this malady.

Anonymous said...

Excellent observations, all!

I was on a website committee for our college five years ago. We spent months scouring the nation to see what other schools were doing. Some of what we found was horrifying!

Funny thing about that committee: we made lots of recommendations to the Powers That Be. And then they decided to build one departmental template schoolwide and plop everything into it. Which meant that most of our AWESOME and MOST EXCELLENT recommendations went by the wayside.

Frustration station.

Anonymous said...

Yes to almost everything. I have to say that my alma mater (which is now co-ed but was a women's college) has as its colors pink and gray. So there might be heraldic justification for a nice dusky rose.

Bubblegum, however, is Right Out.