Boy if I knew the answer to that question I wouldn’t be writing on this blog huh. I feel like it’s the million dollar question of higher ed websites. Academics is one of the largest and most critical components of a college website. The department websites are at the center of that but it’s one of the sections that is hardest to manage at least at my institution.
At Gettysburg we are actually in the process of a major redesign of our academic department pages. With the help of our consultant Todd Bennett from decimal 152 we have been working to give departments
- more flexibility for content depending on the department
- Design that gives departments more of a homepage feel as opposed to the bodypage of the Gettysburg site
- Tie the content about academic programs, requirements, and polices more closely to the catalog.
During the project we have looked at a number of different institutions varying in size and scope as examples for department sites. Until this week I had not come across a college that did academic department sites well. I happened to run across the ES department at UVA – http://www.evsc.virginia.edu
Of course this design and template does not carry throughout every department at UVA but I thought it was a good model for dept sites. Clean design. Easy navigation across the top that gets their key messages across. Interesting photos and 2 “drivers” for you to meet the faculty. The news even had an RSS feed with it – which was great.
What do you think makes a good academic department website? Any others out there you would suggest looking at?