The reason why university web sites mostly suck


Universities represent some of the highest concentrations of talented and intelligent individuals anywhere on the planet. These are institutions built around people literally engaging in lifelong education. They create amazing inventions, cure diseases, and move civilization forward in countless ways. So why can’t they bust out a decent web design?

I have a little bit of insight into how major universities go about creating websites, and in my experience the major problem is the same that leads to most poor corporate design: Design by Committee. Two heads may be better than one, but ten to twenty heads gets you an ugly website.

As aesthetic decisions become subject to bureaucracy, inner-office politics and groupthink, the quality of the finished product decreases exponentially. I guarantee you that if you let a single talented web design student take a stab at redesigning his university homepage, he/she could easily come up with something more attractive and more effective than the building full of people the university pays to oversee the site.

by Joshua Johnson on 20th January 2011, full article

As Mr. Johnson clearly and simply defines, the worst thing to do is to create design committees when creatign a corporate web site. Things get messy as people put their personal or smaller community concerns into the design process. It is even worser for universities, organizations of more intellectual people, where everybody has an innovative idea on how to design the web site.

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