School Websites

I just visited a school website (I won’t link it) looking for an old colleague of mine, and I have to say there is just no excuse in 2006 for a school to have an awkward, poorly designed, clunky website.  There are a plethora of resources available to schools.  In fact, in many cases, I’d be willing to bet their students’ Xanga blogs and MySpace sites are better looking (well, maybe not MySpace, but you get the idea).  Why not tap into their talent?  There might be business owners in the area who would be glad to sponsor a website redesign.  In many cases, the first impression a prospective student or teacher has of the school is the website.  I know that’s the first thing I have checked out in the past when I’ve been up for an interview.  And a poorly-designed site has always put me off because it tells me that the school does not take its presentation to the public seriously.

2 thoughts on “School Websites”

  1. I've always said that everything you need to know about a college or university, you can tell by its web site. If it's cheap and poorly-designed, so will be the college. Same if the web site is massive, uncoordinated, and hard to fnd your way around. Same if the web site is attractive and facile.

    On the college level, sometimes the problem is precisely that the students are doing the web design. Some students are really good at this, but somehow it seems like the ones that aren't always get put in charge of the web site. And the end result looks like the sophomore class project of a B- information systems major. (I've even seen one that was done in Frontpage, for goodness sakes.)

  2. Thanks, Robert. I floated this idea to co-workers, and they didn't exactly agree with me. Our own website isn't up to date, but it looks pretty good and it's easy to navigate. I think part of the problem is there are quite a few people who don't use the technology.

    I floated the idea, also, of doing some kind of web design class for interested students, but I don't think my school is ready for that — it's off the radar in terms of importance.

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