I’ll be the guest on Higher Ed Live this Sunday at 4PM PST / 7PM EST. The topic is web accessibility and higher education websites. I’m really excited to be on the show!
Ensuring our websites are usable by people of all abilities and disabilities is a legal and moral obligation many higher ed institutions have failed to live up to. Eric Stoller, an Oregon-based student affairs technology expert, national speaker, and blogger for Inside HigherEd, joins Higher Ed Live to talk about accessibility on the high ed web, including legal requirements, who’s doing it right and all the tools a school needs to get it up to speed.
I attended Indian Hills Community College (IHCC) in Ottumwa, Iowa from 1995 to 1997. During my time at IHCC I joined the jazz band, played my trombone for the pep band and signed up for my first email account with Hotmail. It was a phenomenally developmental period in my life. My IHCC academic advisor, Tom Stewart, is still a close mentor and friend. My love of higher education began at IHCC.
As a member of eduStyle, I frequently submit higher education websites for community review. When Indian Hills recently re-designed their website, I immediately submitted the new site design to eduStyle. I was unaware that my IHCC story was one of the featured stories on the homepage. I had submitted answers, over a year ago, to a questionnaire about my IHCC experiences. When the new site design was entered in on eduStyle, the site thumbnail showed a different homepage image. Brad J. Ward notified me via Twitter of my “celebrity” status.
The new design is definitely an improvement compared to the previous iteration:
I was perusing the recently added sites on eduStyle when I came upon the submission for Hartnell College!!*. As the self-appointed keeper of all things that have to do with Brown University’s homepage design, I couldn’t help but think that the folks at Hartnell actually did Brown a favor by not copying Brown’s “accordion” drop-down navigation verbatim. Instead, Hartnell College opted for a 100 percent width accordion drop down that induces dizziness, nausea and Dramamine purchases.
I’ve decided that Hartnell College’s homepage design is useful for two reasons:
I finally got around to reading The eduStyle Guide to Usable Higher-Ed Homepage Design this weekend. I had skimmed the electronic version when it arrived in my inbox in March. The book is full of insights into the ways in which higher education institutions design their websites. I think that it’s the first book that really focuses on web design from a higher education perspective.