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 […]

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 […]

Higher Ed Sites Have A Huge Advantage: A Captive Audience

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 […]

The Case for Centralization

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 […]

A New Take on How to Find a Higher Ed Degree

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 […]