30 October 2008

Tech Note: Evaluating Higher Ed Web Sites

When is Humboldt State University ranked higher than Vassar College? When a talented geeek tours the institutions' web sites and critiques them in a several-minute off-the-cuff review. Actually, time on Humboldt was spent on their "Giving" page, and the review of Vassar was on Admissions. Fair comparison? Yes, when the criterion is effectiveness of communication based on web design.

The talented geek is Nick DeNardis, who produces the short Flash clips on his own, with emphasis on the coding behind the web sites. Don't let this mention of coding dissuade you from visiting EDU Checkup: Live Higher Ed Web Site Review.

(Even if you have no technical knowledge of web site design and creation, you will find the tour informative. When Nick explains that "bandwidth matters" you don't actually have to be able to define it in order to appreciate his message to higher ed administrators.)

EDU Checkup is only 7 episodes old. Discover it now, in its first days.

An older cousin to the site is eduStyle, a little more than a year old and a site billed for "inspiration for campus web designers." Users on the site have opportunity vote on a campus web page/site as being "My Style" or "Not My Style."

Just for comparison's sake... at eduStyle, Humboldt State U's site was voted 6 positive, 0 negative. One of its comments: "this is one of my favorite higher ed sites on the Web. I like the simplicity and creativity of the design." (Vassar was voted mostly positive, with numerous sites and pages from the College posted.)

© 2008 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

1 comment:

Nick DeNardis said...

Great post! This is something I have been thinking of doing for a while but did not have the push to get it up. I think it is necessary to get this information out to higher ed web design/developers/administration. When money is scarce to attend conferences why not bring some usability right to their computers.

I am open to improving it through community feedback. I am looking for any input/suggestions on the show.

Thanks again for watching.