Thinking and Linking by Joanne Jacobs
College web designers admit this cartoon by Randall Munroe of xkcd is right on target.
Actually, thats a stupid cartoon. The college website front page is NOT designed for people like Randall Monroe (or rather it is not designed for the people that Randall likes to pretend to be). It is an advert for the school. Why on earth would you put the campus police number on an advert? “Come to our school, you will certainly need to call the police, so here is the number?”
The great thing about websites is that you can have links to various pages. For instance, you could have a link to a student portal, for the sort of things that Randall wants.
The college website front page is NOT designed for people like Randall Monroe (or rather it is not designed for the people that Randall likes to pretend to be).
I have looked at a number of college and university web sites explicitly looking for data like course catalogs and campus maps. They are sometimes very difficult to find.
Why on earth would you put the campus
police number on an advert?
Because when people need it, they often need it NOW? It’s a little matter of public safety. A university which hides such things says that they would rather polish their image than work on actual health and welfare.
If ONLY there was some way that people could get hold of police in an emergency.. some sort of easy to remember number…
Or, alternatively, what if each student had the address of some sort of student portal that they could have in their favourites..
Or, speaking of maps, maybe some sort of link.. like there is on the website of the Randall’s favourite university..
Part of the issue, at least regarding course catalogs and such, is that prospective students would likely want to browse such offerings. I don’t mind the main page being fluff with links to the real info, but I have seen my fair share of college websites where there is NO LINK WHATSOEVER to specific course info.
That being said, I’m aware that two of the schools I described above have a website with the information… just that in both cases it is a completely different address that is only given out to enrolled students.
[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by kriley19, Joanne Jacobs. Joanne Jacobs said: New blog post: How not to design a college web site http://bit.ly/devqXv […]
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