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A frustrating search last night of a law school website in an attempt to locate the school's street address prompted me to repost this xkcd gem from 2010:
Posted by Kim Krawiec at 10:59 AM in Academia, Funny Stuff, Web/Tech | Permalink
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I confronted the same challenge in a recent search for a mailing address of a law school. Perhaps this is a more widespread problem than we would expect.
Tim Zinnecker |
January 22, 2012 at 12:56 PM
It is a widespread problem, I think -- and didn't Green Bag have a project at one point to evaluate law school websites? I thought they were making some progress in getting law schools to post things like class schedules, so that prospective students could easily locate them. Wasn't one of their factors whether the law school's mailing address was on their home page? Email addresses for faculty would be nice, too.
But let me use this to mention that another problem: law review websites. I've been surfing around the net of late looking at law review websites, because I want to get a sense of what's being published and there are a surprising number of law journals that still don't have links to the full text of their content.
Alfred Brophy |
January 22, 2012 at 01:22 PM
I think this is largely accurate. But for mailing and/or street addresses, _usually_ they are located, in tiny type, at the bottom of the main page, or there is sometimes a 'contact us' link there, also in tiny type, that will take you to a page where the mailing address is one of many things, though not clearly displayed. (This last part was the case for Duke, when I just checked as an example.) It's true that it's clearly not designed for easy of finding, and some schools are much worse. The "search" functions are often quite bad, too. (As for maps, I find that google is usually much more helpful than the official Penn page for finding stuff at Penn, for example.)
January 22, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Under the "things people go to the site looking for" is often Human Resources or benefits information -- and it is very difficult to find. I usually end up using the approach Matt advises and get to it eventually.
Jeff Yates |
January 22, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Kim, this is incredibly accurate. I realize that space limitations prevented putting more items up on the diagram. On the right side one might also add exam schedule and class schedule and on the left side one would also include pictures of faculty at front of class and group of students either in library or engaged in casual conversation outside school on sunny day. These pictures must be important to assure applicants that there are students in attendance and that faculty still come into the building.
Bill Turnier |
January 22, 2012 at 10:01 PM
As someone who has been 'on and off' involved in law school website design (or at least in discussions about it), I'm always amazed at the lack of consensus about who the 'audience' is for the website. Many websites seem to be designed without any certainty about WHO they are being designed for. There are a number of possible constituencies - alums, prospective students, current students, media outlets, faculty at other schools etc etc. Probably the most effective websites are the ones that divide the home page into prospective audiences and then have a main page for each audience with relevant information. But obviously this takes a lot more time and effort than just having one main webpage and trying to squeeze in links for anything that anyone might potentially be interested in.
Jacqui Lipton |
January 23, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Perfect - I can't think of the last time I went to any school website looking for anything on the left. It's always been the stuff on the right.
David S. Cohen |
January 25, 2012 at 09:20 PM
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