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Taking for example http://www.hci.iastate.edu/Academics/msonline.php website. I'm still trying to figure out what are the fees for that course. However, the information is not easily available for the visitor. Several clicks are needed to get you somewhere that don't necessary will give you the answer. And I believe this may happen with other universities' websites too. In this specific case, hidden the fees are a conscious action or just bad IA?

Ps: this is a rewriting of my previous infamous question.

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This seems quite subjective. Do most Uni sites have bad UX? What do you mean by bad UX? Not sure there is an answerable question here, it seems to be more of a rant disguised as a question. "___ sucks, am I right?" –  JonW Jul 25 '12 at 6:01
    
How do you define "bad UX" ? –  Mervin Johnsingh Jul 25 '12 at 6:09
    
An example. Can you easily find the fees here hci.iastate.edu/Academics/msonline.php? However, you are right, the question is quite subjective. –  Daniel Jul 25 '12 at 6:53
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Speculating on motives is always difficult! I think if you were to reword the question to tackle a specific issue with the iastate site, you'd get a better response. –  Peter Jul 25 '12 at 7:16
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Done, sorry for the inconvenience. –  Daniel Jul 25 '12 at 7:34
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1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I was involved in the project of building a new website for my university. The previous site ran in joomla while new one was to run in drupal. The sitemap was partly created from ground up, like the main page, but a lot of content was to be transferred from the old site. Some of this old content was modified while a lot of new content was added. I guess I could say that the front end was mostly handled by a creative agency while the back end was handled by the IT and the content was mostly handled by individual administrations.

In my opinion the process of content creation in an institution such ym university worked a bit ineffective in my opinion. The decisions of what content the site should host, how the sections and menus would be like was formed mainly by people who had no idea what a UX is and how a website should navigate. Of course there was professional opinion on the top level such as the main page, but much of the subdomains, like individual collages or schools, decided on what to have on their micro sites themselves. It would be pretty hard to get all of these sections' desires in a centralized system or have the professionals decide what to have on the website. So they had every Office of Dean decide what they wanted. This turned out to be "good" for some, "bad" for others.

But I think the main problem in a process like this was that there wasn't a single party doing all the work. As far as I've observed it was always back and forth as with most big projects. Though, there are successful examples such as the MIT website where my guess is everything is being handled by the IT, since the people in the administration would be aware of the fact that they know how things should be.

About the fees, I guess it could be both of those reasons depending on the motives of the university.

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