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Archive for the ‘Web Design’ Category

Higher Ed Live + Web Accessibility

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Higher-Ed-Live

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.

The Stoller Coaster

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Eric Stoller

My last day at Oregon State University is going to be September 30th. I’ve been an academic advisor and web coordinator for the College of Health and Human Sciences (HHS) since 2007. It’s been a transformative experience. The advising team, college and university leadership, peer advisors, and my advisees have taught me so much. It has been a terrific adventure!

Speaking of adventures, you may be wondering what I’m going to be doing or where I am going…

When the “Blogger hits the big time” profile came out, I had already been thinking about my career, my future, and what I wanted to do:

During the day, Eric Stoller is busy advising students in the College of Health and Human Sciences and working on web projects for the college. In the evenings and on weekends, he’s juggling everything from consulting projects to blogging to chatting with his 1,900+ Twitter followers.

“Downtime? What’s that?” he laughs.

And these days, he’s added another job to that list of tasks, as a paid blogger for the highly popular academic website, Inside Higher Ed. As one of 13 regular bloggers for the site, Stoller has begun writing at least two blog posts per week, focused on student affairs and technology.

Working as an academic advisor / web coordinator during the day and engaging in numerous consulting / speaking engagements in the evenings and/or during my vacations has made my life feel like a roller coaster — twists, turns, dips, spins, etc…hence, the “Stoller Coaster.”

I have decided that I am going to focus my energies on my consulting/writing/speaking projects.

My consulting efforts are going to be focused on student affairs/higher education and technology:

  • Social Media and Marketing
  • Web Site Statistics
  • Communication Plans
  • Branding
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Web Site Usability/Accessibility
  • Higher Education Association Technology Development and Strategy

I am thrilled to start this new adventure. It’s going to be epic!

Credit for the “Stoller Coaster” – Conzen, 2010.

Indian Hills Community College

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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:

Indian Hills new design

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Written by Eric Stoller

August 22nd, 2009 at 4:04 pm

Hartnell College – higher ed web rickroll

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Hartnell College

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:

*Hartnell College’s homepage title is “Hartnell College!!” – unfortunately, the edition of the double exclamation point does little to enhance the value of the site…

Written by Eric Stoller

May 14th, 2009 at 8:47 pm

The eduStyle book

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eduStyle Guide to Usable Higher-Ed Homepage Design

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.

Here’s a small sample from the book:

Written by Eric Stoller

April 19th, 2009 at 6:05 pm