|University of Virginia 4 years ago
whou! This page IS really heavy. Alltogether a nice principle, but...
In my opionion there is way too much information on this single page, despite the option to show/hide some areas.
"Anonymous" is right with pointing out the page load. You ought to try to load the basic stuff first and THEN the images after the layout has loaded completely to enhance the user experience, as this takes quite a while to load even on a super-fast connection. Looking at the discrete graphic files, it appears as if the designers have been pretty lazy: Graphics like this one http://www.virginia.edu/virginia/images/bg/audience-panel2.jpg (32 KB for a background that could have been 1KB !) indicate that. With some proper CSS and basic optimisation you could have easily avoided 2/3 of the current overall file size. Probably even more. Looking at the site with the Developer Toolbar in Firefox you see a LOT of duplicate graphis that should have been avoided. Please do not get me wrong. I do not mean to complain or denounce the website. I just want to make you aware of these facts as users with a 1000Mbit connection will probably not be happy with this site -all the more as this is the front page of the University, not just a sub page that you could leave out if you have a limited bandwidth.
It is a nice concept, but it definitely needs a lot of optimisation regarding the technical implementation AND the content. It appears as if this was the result of too many people having had their say in the creation of this site. Also -and this is REALLY important- : Only 5% of all the graphics (and nearly the whole content is just graphics) have alt texts! This page is very unaccessible for screenreaders! And for the front page of a university, I think this is not acceptable.
Furthermore, I think the animation of the drop-downs is far too quirky, even on my Quadcore Xeon workstation. All in all, this is a nice concept which is employed all over the web these days, but here it is executed poorly.