Examples of other sites

We’ve tried to assemble a range of examples from college websites that exemplify some options that Middlebury might emulate. Please provide additional examples in the comments if you see any that speak to you, or have comments on these sites that we used to present to staff on Dec. 16:

Oberlin has recently redesigned its site into a highly dynamic & multimedia system. Particularly noteworthy is their group blogging site, encouraging students, staff and faculty to participate in a multifaceted conversation.

Gettysburg has a good example of how a personalized bookmarking system might work – you can create a profile (if you don’t have a Gettysburg email, you can register as a prospective student), and then bookmark any page you might find to save in your profile. Also check out their strong use of embedded video.

– Bates has an embedded audio site that is simple and effective.

Amherst‘s site (which is built on Drupal, an open source system we’re actively considering) effectively integrates information from its registration system (comparable to Banner) into a range of sites. For instance, a faculty page automatically feeds what courses they are teaching from their schedule, and links to individual courses (which, if registered in the course, includes access to course rosters, eReserves, announcements, etc.). Such an integrated system of sharing data from various platforms is a definite goal of Middlebury’s makeover.

– Colby has an extensive list of wikis, which range from administrative functions to student initiatives to course projects. While Middlebury does have a wiki platform, it could be much more active and integrated into the core web functions.

Please share your thoughts on these sites as well as links to others in the comments.

9 Responses to “Examples of other sites”

  1. Here are some other sites:

    1. http://www.vassar.edu/ (There are great images and flash on this website.)
    2. http://www.harvard.edu/ (Beautiful images, flash, easy to navigate)
    3. http://www.yale.edu/ (I like the use of campus scenery on the main page)
    4. http://www.ox.ac.uk/ (My favorite website, elegant and professional)
    5. http://www.bu.edu/ (easy to navigate tab bars)
    6. http://www.nd.edu
    7. http://www.cornell.edu (I like how the school seal is on the front page of the website
    8. http://www.groton.org/home/home.asp (Great images, layout and school seal)
    9. http://www.andover.edu/Pages/default.aspx

    (Lets get rid of the quiditch scenes and show the world that we are an academic institution, first and foremost. Also lets ditch the trashcan (60 percent recycling), snowflakes and dancers on the front page.)

  2. I visited a number of Liberal Arts college website and Swarthmore’s website is, by far, my favorite. It is clean and professional, interactive, but not distracting, and without a doubt the navigation is very intuitive.

  3. In response to Carrie Roy,

    I would agree 100% that Swarthmore’s site is a good one, as far as easy navigation is concerned. However, I feel it still looks a bit flat and two-dimensional. Would you agree that we could we could still have a website with Swarthmore’s ease of navigation but with a more appealing and interactive design? Look at groton’s site, it has great flash.

    If you haven’t done so already, check out some of the interactive sites I listed above. I would be interested to see what everyone thinks….

    Happy Holidays.

  4. I like Oxford’s website because its clean, professional and beautiful.

  5. Sorry if this is redundant.

    I would agree with Carrie Roy that Swarthmore’s website is easy to navigate, but I feel it still looks too 2Dimensional. Maybe I’m wrong….

    I like groton’s website and Cornell’s.

  6. I particularly like the Oberlin site. The homepage has a lot going on, but it somehow does not feel overly busy. Vibrant but not garish use of color. A wealth of content above the fold with which to interact. They are not afraid to make the visitor scroll down for more content, and there is plenty of it. They put upcoming events right in the middle of the screen, recent news is there too, and they offer various links of interest on the right including their museum (I’ve always hoped that our museum would have a direct link on the college’s homepage, whether highlighted as they have or in a java menu).

    Haverford’s site is another site that’s not afraid to let you scroll, and they make an attempt to structure the info in a discernible hierarchy. They offer a number of content areas to provide a wide spectrum of info, and they even offer a column with current and upcoming gallery exhibits. They employ a rotating homepage banner image that offers visual flavor combined with pertinent information which could be an effective way to spotlight anything from the Wooding ES Colloquium Series to faculty lectures to Convocation Series speakers to theatre performances and to mix and mingle those with student spotlights and other stories of interest as well as large images of our gorgeous campus.

    I agree with the Gettysburg site, and I like how they incorporate user-submitted photos into a photo-of-the-day offering.

    Other sites of note: Boston University does the sliding tabbed banner image thing; University of Louisville has a fairly clear IA with organized links, and then events and news below; Biola University’s undergraduate program takes a slightly edgier route, but seems to have a clear architecture and offers interesting ways of accessing the experience.

    Douglas Perkins ’94
    Administrative Operations Manager
    Middlebury College Museum of Art

  7. Dartmouth’s “Sights & Sounds” page makes good use of audio, video, and images from lectures, classes, athletic events, and the arts.

  8. Bryn Mawr’s website has an interesting feature – you choose whether you’re a student, staff, fac, visitor, prospective, alum, etc., and it creates a targeted menu bar at the top of the page as you surf the site. Seems like a good midway point toward full profile bookmarking without needing to create a profile. Could we do both?

  9. MoMA launched a new site recently. It seems to offer both user profile creation and the opportunity to choose among various perspectives for navigating the site. Interesting design. Large images. http://moma.org/

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