As a college student, I am acutely, painfully aware of the failings of landing pages for schools. They are often designed by CS undergrads who can’t tell an image slider from an anus, and they have a nasty habit of making the former look like the latter, while also covering up the one fucking link you actually want to click on the homepage.
This is compounded by the fact that a school’s tech budget is devoted to keeping students from printing out their textbooks, or deleting system32. They can only employ one guy, whose job it is to run around like Lucy in the candy factory turning on projectors for professors that were tenured in when computers were made of vacuum tubes. That guy just doesn’t have time to fix broken links.
But the real problem is that no part in the design process considers why anyone would go to the site in the first place. They just assume that you will end up there and want to look at pictures of students hard at work, or smiling awkwardly around campus. People really only go to a school’s website for a handful of things, so, if you are a CS major working hard on a redesign of your school’s website, I have a new template that you should really consider.
You are allowed to change the color of the hyperlinks and the horizontal rules, but that’s it. Go nuts with stuff in the “More” section. Make it as convoluted as you want. Just don’t fuck with my trying to get to the Academic Calendar.
Consequently, this kicks off a category on the blog that I am calling “Inspired by XKCD“. I am a big fan, and occasionally get the urge to draw funny stuff on my Tablet PC or put together a quick graphic that illustrates a concept in an effective way