“Redesign the (fill in the blank)’s website,” upper management directs you. “No problem,” you obligingly respond, “I’ll get right on it.” But then what? How do you undertake something seemingly innocuous, but in reality big, complex and fraught with politics?
A fundamental tenet of information architecture is the belief that if your site isn’t easy to navigate, doesn’t have great content or simply falls flat compared to a competitor, people will abandon it. While I subscribe to this belief, it does have exceptions and higher ed sites are one of those exceptions. Why? Because higher […]
When you talk about a site oriented for prospective students (which is likely your main www.yourSchool.edu address), who are your clients? The academic department that has made a request for added functionality? Or the student life group’s request for an online survey? How about the chancellor’s request to create an updated look for his office’s […]
I began my higher ed career in early 2008. From the outset, colleagues talked about the “core” site and how we would re-design it that year. I had no idea what core site meant so I asked (in my interviews, the term core was not used, just the generic “site”). They told me it was the […]
Two of the main ideas I promote for higher ed websites is that a decentralized management approach does not work well, but a centralized one does. But what does this mean in practical terms? That entails a discussion about audiences.
Will your organization install a new content management system soon? Are you a part of the vetting process? I know the developers out there are, but I hope you content/marketing/design/etc. types are too. Let’s face it, a CMS isn’t much good if its more painful than beneficial. The promises sound great, but the reality may […]
The New York Times launched their “extra” version of their website’s homepage yesterday (click on the extra link underneath the NYT name in the header). While I find the execution makes the page even more dense than it, the idea marks one step toward the future of online news. For some time now, the people […]
An article by mStoner says that teen abandonment of email may be a bit of a myth. Citing research (reg. required) from Ball State Center for Media Design and ExactTarget, the article says teens would rather have promotions sent to them via email rather than text message. The lesson to be learned is that higher […]
In a discussion today, the issue of students not reading a certain group’s email newsletter came up. The group wanted a more effective way to communicate news since the emails weren’t being read and important information was going unnoticed. Intuition tells me that students today still use email, but more frequently opt for other methods […]
I recently wrote about the perils of decentralizing web operations. In this post, I’ll discuss the advantages of doing just the opposite — centralizing. But before I get into it, let me provide context to the discussion. I have no issue whatsoever with decentralization in terms of content. What I do have an issue with is […]