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 […]
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’ […]
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 […]
“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 […]
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.
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 […]
In this screencast, I explore a quick and easy way to find degree program information instead of the common approach today which favors forcing people to navigate their way through a university’s org chart of colleges, divisions, schools, and departments before getting to degree information. This approach takes advantage of a centralized visual and navigational […]
In this screencast, I explore the do’s and dont’s of why audience segmentation matters. The example I use is the University of Denver’s website.