History Department Web Sites
I am in the process of doing a major revision of my website. I have also been thinking of creating a web site for the history department. Therefore, I spent some time researching web sites for other history departments. A Google search for “history department home page” resulted in 29.200 hits.
I was surprised to see some of the short cuts that departments took in providing information to students; specifically in not using the Internet for its full capacity. I was particularly interested in both the faculty pages as well as the description of courses. For course descriptions, many of the websites used .pdf files instead of putting their courses on an HTML web page which would be easier to read. The last home page I looked at had a link for course descriptions. The link took me to a page that said I should consult the college catalog.
Given how easy it would be to include course descriptions on an HTML web page–and the fact that descriptions are not often updated–it seems that it would be a good use of time to make it easy for students to easily get the information.
My general approach to web design is to be simple and have things easy to find. As part of my redesign, I will be implementing some changes that I think will improve the accessibility of the site. Making a web site easy for people to use seems to be the ultimate priority.
Sweeney, Isaac. “Throwing the Citation Handbook Away.” The Chronicle of Higher Education. 24 July 2012.
“Typography of Religion.” USA Today. nd.
Sword, Helen. “Zombie Nouns.” The New York Times. 23 July 2012.