There’s A Happy Medium Between Centralization & Decentralization

One of my main points of advice for higher ed websites is the idea that operationally, a decentralized management approach to the web does not work well. The opposite–centralization–does. But that doesn’t mean some aspects to a decentralized approach can’t or shouldn’t be employed. It just shouldn’t be the foundation for how to manage the global […]

Marketing ≠ Visitor Experience

I support the centralization of web operations in higher ed. Decentralized website management poses too many problems which centralization can alleviate. But gaining support for it poses problems within a system historically based on a decentralized system. One of those hurdles is the perception that a centralized approach kills the ability to market a school effectively. […]

Review: The eduStyle Guide to Usable Higher-Ed Homepage Design

Over Twitter, Cody Foss requested reviewers for a book about higher ed homepage design titled The eduStyle Guide to Usable Higher-Ed Homepage Design by Stewart Foss, Cody Foss and Andy Foss. I’m all over those kinds of requests and wrote back. Mere minutes later, I had downloaded the PDF and added the review to my long […]

4 Steps to Determine the Optimal Page Width for New Sites

A recent problem has prompted me to write about the best way to determine a new site’s width. It may seem like an easy decision to make (it certainly can be), but a few moments of thought may make you reconsider your first choice. There are four steps: Research Information architecture consideration Visual design consideration […]

CMS- Proprietary or Open Source?

HigherEdWebTech has a series of excellent suggestions in response to Karine Joly’s call for cost saving measures for higher ed websites. One suggestion was to go open source. I think that’s an excellent idea- one grounded on social media principles of harnessing the power of crowds. I imagine many who read that last phrase would nod in agreement. […]

What Higher Ed Sites Could Learn From Barack Obama

One of the main arguments I hear against my mantra of centrally maintained websites for higher ed is that a decentralized approach allows academic departments the flexibility to market their programs based on their students’ specific characteristics and needs. Academic department’s tell me that their particular students are special and different from all other departments’ […]

How To Turn Around A Problematic Site

There’s no shortage of criticism about the University of Denver website. As its web designer, I get grief about it from colleagues, students, parents and friends. Even I think its pretty bad, but the challenge to improve it is enticing. When I accepted my job a year ago, I didn’t fully appreciate how ingrained the […]