Mark Gritter (markgritter) wrote,
Mark Gritter

Truth vs. Fiction

XKCD describes the typical college web site. How about Gustavus?

Items on Front Page
Campus photo slideshow: yes
Alumni in the news: yes
Promotions for campus events: sort of, calendar with golf camp, etc., dates on it
Press releases: yes (well, blog posts anyway such as sports results.)
Statement of the school's philosophy: no
Letter from the president: no (but link to hard-to-understand "Gustavus 150" page is close)
Virtual tour: not immediately obvious (but present)

Score: 5.5/8

Items People are Looking For
List of faculty phone numbers and emails: no. Confusingly, "Faculty" leads to resources for faculty, rather than information *about* faculty. Faculty are listed under their department.
Campus address: yes
Application forms: yes, "Apply" link and separate link to admission office
Academic calendar: linked, but hidden at the bottom of the page. Most likely somebody would click through event calendar before finding the link there to the registrar's site.
Campus Police Phone Number: no, buried several links deep
Department/Course Lists: yes
Parking Information: not explicitly; buried a couple links deep under "Directions"
Usable campus map: no, clunky flash abomination doesn't show building names.

Score: 3.5/6

While the cartoon has some truth, there does appear to be some overlap with what visitors to the web page actually want to find. ;) Gustavus at least shows some awareness that students might want to visit the front page. (The same, alas, cannot be said for Stanford, who does not appear to want anybody to visit their eye-watering front page, and hides all the useful links unless you press a button to show them.)
Tags: comics, design, humor, usability, web
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