Inspiration

Notes on the visual redesign process

Inspiration

Postby rcrisler1 » Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:16 pm

Suggest your favorite higher education and other websites here.

We'll start with a couple of sites that aggregate links to the best site designs; edustyle and designmeltdown. edustyle, as the name implies, focuses on higher education sites exclusively. designmeltdown is more general in scope, focusing more on specific design problems.

http://www.edustyle.net/

http://www.designmeltdown.com/
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Targeted Inspiration

Postby smeranda » Thu Aug 14, 2008 9:43 am

In case it helps, I have added tags to some of the sites at eduStyle:

For Big 12 Schools:
http://www.edustyle.net/tags.php?tag=big12

Other Nebraska Schools:
http://www.edustyle.net/tags.php?tag=nebraska

Have some more with design elements you like? Share by adding the tag "wdn":
http://www.edustyle.net/tags.php?tag=wdn

-Seth
Last edited by smeranda on Fri Aug 15, 2008 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby s-jnoble6 » Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:18 am

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Postby augshow » Thu Aug 21, 2008 3:38 pm

Some very nice pointers and ideas in the articles on this site dealing with design and branding, etc.

http://webdesignfromscratch.com/
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Postby bbieber2 » Tue Aug 26, 2008 4:03 pm

the "higher ed look and feel"

interesting comments at http://www.edustyle.net/blog/?p=115#comment-452
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Postby JNothwehr » Thu Sep 04, 2008 11:31 am

I've got a couple of questions.

First of all, I've looked at the Ball St. website, because it was highly rated on Edustyle. I liked their design. Does anyone else have any thoughts on that?

Secondly, I've got some template ideas for the next meeting. How should we bring those to the meeting? Right now I've got them in a Power Point presentation.
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On the higher-ed look and some of the edustyle sites

Postby mjoconnor » Tue Sep 09, 2008 8:59 am

On "the higher ed look and feel": I would agree that many of these university sites tend to look uniform. I don't necessarily think that they're uniform because of the information/content so much as the crowd/environment they're being built in. You could also argue that a lot of sites online are very uniform. Start innovative and scale back to academic/conservative; consider the entire web landscape, not just higher-ed sites.

I'd say, given the varied backgrounds of the people doing web development on campus, is make the main content areas flexible. The shell can be uniform yet cool; the "maincontent" area should offer more options for any department to work in.

On Ball State and Case Western: pretty good sites with good ideas, but I'm not wowed by them (Case Western feels a little off balance, Ball State is clean but almost too simple).
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Postby rcrisler1 » Tue Sep 09, 2008 10:18 am

(Edited at 11:50am after Coleman pointed out that the BU site does indeed have more coherence than I'd seen at first ...)

One thing we have to always keep in mind is that we're dealing with a different design problem than a lot of universities.

For example, in the eduStyle blog comments referenced above, a poster mentions the Boston University site as "B-U-tiful." And the home page is pretty nice; just swell, in fact. And there are a number of underlying pages that are reflective of that design. But a pretty huge number of subsites on the BU site have no relation relation to the home page design or the 'official' standard page design (which is clean and nice itself).

A homepage redesign is a one-off. The challenge at UNL is that we're trying to develop a well-engineered design that works for our audiences at all levels, giving them quick, understandable access to the information that they're seeking. That's why we start with the most ubiquitous page design, and not the home page.
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Robert J Crisler
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University Communications
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University of Nebraska-Lincoln
402-472-9878
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