What makes the Law School site special
We started the Law School redesign project over two years ago and the new site launched last year. The goal of the project was to overhaul the entire site architecture and focus on the strengths of the school that resonate with prospective students. The old site was completely static with Dreamweaver templates. Even content updates were a pain and could only be done by technical staff. We aimed to change this by moving it into the central content management system that we created and give access to the content experts in the school. It was a huge success, updates are now being made on a consistent and timely basis. Items can be scheduled and the number of dynamic features continue to grow.
Some of the things that make the site successful and ultimately led to it’s high ranking in this survey were:
- Location and address to the school right on the homepage
- Search box prominence
- Use of cascading stylesheets
- News headlines
- Favicon to matched the university’s
- Smiling faces in all the photos
- Social network links to connect with the community
- RSS feeds easily accessible
- Microformats (the only site that had them)
- Hierarchal organization
Overall Score: 78
A new site coming
After all that I have to mention we have actually begun the process of realigning the Law School Web site yet again. Over the past year they have outgrown their navigation. They are now going above and beyond the tool set we originally planned and now it’s time to make those elements permanent features on the site. Over the past year we have learned a lot about how students interact with the site, through user studies and analytics. We are planning to refine the navigation even further to reduce redundancy and potential confusion.
It gives me great pleasure to congratulate the Web Communications and Law School staff for sticking to the overall goals of the site and putting in all of their time and talent to make something truly noteworthy. Great job!