Case Western Reserve University

Case Western Reserve University
Noteworthy September 2008
This site may have been redesigned. We're investigating.
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37 votes
Submitted by: perkinsj11
School: Case Western Reserve University
Location: OH, USA


What a different and unique idea here, very creative. Clicking around I found the content extremely well presented and properly written; short, and filled with links.

From what I've seen, excellent and very creative job here all around.

This is simply beautiful. Clean, polished, sophisticated, yet very approachable and usable. Bravo!

The navigation on the top of the home page is unique and attractive.

The flyout navigation opens to the side, which is very difficult for many users to use. Inside pages don't highlight/indicate the current location for the user. Search is in a strange bottom left location - hard to locate.

Right now this is my favorite university website. It's clean, balanced, easy to use. I really like the rollouts at the top of the screen. They make accessing that info (like applying or requests or contacts) really easy to access without having to visit another page. Plus, the writing, especially for a college site, is really a different class altogether. So filled with info and links! That calendar is pretty cool. I joined Google calendar just to play! Wow factor: 10!

I echo sarahjjones06 in the WOW. This is really an impressive site design, architecture and presentation. Those blow-outs from the green buttons are really innovative. Who would have thought a university would be capable of that?

Unlike rommil, I like the lower search b/c it kind of forces people to use the page (which I've found people don't do anymore). And what a page to use!

I think this new approach to a U site design and upped tech standard makes Case look like a tech-savvy school with a high cool factor.

Oh, and also echoing TAdams, the writing is a higher caliber than most college sites. It's very breezy but intelligent and leads users down certain information routes. It's very persuasive and invites users to click on those in-text links. This site has it all goinG!

Syncable calendar on a college site? That's a unique way to engage, isn't it? I haven't seen that. I agree with above on high quality writing. And I too like the search at the bottom. I wish I would have thought of that. Make people use the site. Clean, clean design that's fun to explore and nice to look at.

The redesigned site is an abomination! Oh, it's pretty, worldly, and literate --- but to find something that is USEFUL is now very difficult. Looks like something an ad agency might assemble as an ad for Case --- not something to be used by working students and faculty. Ranks right up there with the recent "Fat Guy with Surfboard" logo some mis-perceptive communications group thought represented Case.

What the site design lacks seems to be pre-implementation study of HOW the campus users actually utilize the Case portal. The new site MAY be a charming exercise in design, in vitro.

To me this site is elegant AND usable. Daring for a school like this too. We can see from the above comment too that Case's team, like all other university design teams, has to deal with people reluctant to change and opposed to beauty. That guy's why I went freelance. I hope they don't let it change their vision.

I love this site. It stretches the boundaries of what is commonly accepted in website design while at the same time revolutionizing functionality.

@schnack33 you really hit the nail on the head. It sets new standards for functionality. I really like what they're doing here.

@jillsanders you hit it too. That guy's why I WANT TO GO freelance! I wonder how often people insult his work with malice. There's legitimate reaction, constructive criticism, mudslinging and then there's plain bitterness.

@bitterguy: wouldn't you think the team did use studies in order to create the site's functionality? It doesn't look like a haphazard design to me. Please remember: you're not the only audience.

Well I'd be honored if someone used a fat guy with a surfboard to represent me :)

I'm also changing my vote to a thumbs down as I just found a bug with what I thought was a perfectly designed site.. In Firefox, the first time you hover over the main navigation, it shifts down about 2 pixels.

I'm simply appalled someone let that bug slide..

*sarcasm off

Also, @rommil:

"The flyout navigation opens to the side, which is very difficult for many users to use."

Says who? Do you have data to back this up? I'm just asking out of curiosity, not to start an argument. While I would say multi-tier and poorly implemented drop-downs and fly-outs can be annoying and frustrating for end users, I don't see that as the case here. One, you can lick on the button itself without even using the fly-out, and two, the fly-out is so large, it is quite hard to get it to disappear unintentionally.

I DO agree that some sort of bread-crumbs or trail should be established on the interior pages to let people know where they are.

And I am personally on the fence about the search at the bottom. While I like it in some senses, my other senses don't think you should force someone to scroll down the page unncessarily...

Great site, very innovative

This may be an example of too much of a good thing. It is dizzying. I don't know where to look. The overall effect is one that makes me want to go elsewhere--not deeper.

I like this site. A nice clean and professional looking site. I like the soft color palette. The site does have a number of validation errors though.
I found the site easy to navigate.

Great selection for a noteworthy site! I like the current graphic on the home page. It's a lot hipper, friendlier than the first graphic, and with some cool facts about a school I hadn't previously known.

My only thought is that those very cool functional elements at the top may be missed by people if they look right at the photo and then down. My eye tended to pass right over them at first, but I'm sure they tested that with users. Overall, this is a really great example of function AS design. Nice!

There are a lot of things to like about this site, but there are some things I don't like, too. I think it is really creative an innovative -- I especially like the navigation at the top. I also really like the "Surf top 5 links" for the self-identifying categories. However, I am not a fan of how different some of the pages look once you're inside the site. It just doesn't feel cohesive. But perhaps they are still in the process of migrating information to the new look. I'm also not a big fan of the flyout menus, but that's a matter of personal preference.

Great website, for a Great school. Can't get any better than that.

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