Penn State’s Website Letdown
Last night, Penn State’s Twitter feed posted a tweet that read “See #PennState in a whole new way – Tuesday / 7 a.m. / http:// www.psu.edu“. Many on Twitter viewed this as an announcement of a new website design for dear Old State.
As it turns out, the announcement was for a new commercial that the University has decided to place over top of their home page. Major letdown.
While we’re on the topic of Penn State’s website, let’s take a deeper look at it. The current website design was rolled out in November 2001 and has remained essentially the same since, with the inclusion of the Penn State Live feed in June 2005 being the only notable change. Nine years of the same website design. Can you think of a website that has kept its design the same for 9 years? I certainly can’t. Heck, the copyright date at the bottom of the site hasn’t been updated since 2008.
I went on a search to find a university website to which Penn State should look up, and I came up with one at a university that we love to hate, Notre Dame. Their site is well laid out, dynamic, and integrates both news and events in the home page. In addition, it avoids the “drop-down” menus that make Penn State’s site such a bear to use. The most notable difference is when you compare the “About” pages of the two.