University Web Developers

University Web Developers

Please let me know what you think about the usability, design, etc. of the following sites.

http://www.cazenovia.edu

http://athletics.cazenovia.edu

Views: 32

Replies to This Discussion

Main Site

On the surface, it's very attractive. However, be careful to make sure your pages degrade properly. With javascript disabled, I see a lot of "This text will be replaced by a Flash movie", rather than any sort of content. Also, your Quicklinks menu is useless without Javascript.

It's difficult to say how much to worry about Javascript degradation, because the majority of stat trackers use javascript to log visits (in other words, if a visitor has javascript disabled, the stat tracker won't even know they were there). However, for usability sake, it's a bad idea to rely so heavily on it without any sort of back-up plan.

In your case, the scariest thing is the fact that the main navigation menu seems to require javascript, as it doesn't appear without it enabled. I would definitely work on fixing that, especially since I simply can't understand why the menu would require javascript.

There's a good discussion about this subject over on the CollegeWebGuy blog.

Regarding the design itself, the logo is extremely difficult to see. In addition, the white border at the far left of the navigation menu looks out of place.

Athletics Site

Check the site in the standards-compliant browsers (Opera, Safari, Chrome, etc.). The links at the bottom of the page are showing up in the wrong place and getting cut off. It looks fine in Firefox and IE7, but doesn't in the browsers mentioned above.

Why are your main navigation links built inside of a table, and why are they not actually links? Be careful, as "onclick" events generally don't fire correctly on mobile browsers (since there is no mouse with which to click).

Also, there is a lot of seemingly unnecessary nested code on that site. There is no reason that the main content items should be 12 (possibly more, but that's all that would fit on my screen at one time) levels deep in the DOM. That will weigh down your page and makes it more difficult on you when you want to try to change something.

Most importantly, why in the world does the front page completely fall apart when javascript is disabled?

The design looks good, and seems to fit with the intended audience. I would just work on improving the code to make it more usable and accessible.

I hope that helps.

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