If I were to hold the key to the Campus’s official Website…
Well, when first visiting the page the first thought is its rather boring. So right off the bat i would work on improving the eye appeal because that is what draws in the attention of the visitor. The first impression is everything.
Second, going off of eye appeal. I would want to include a small picture or clip art with every story. This would give a visual aid as to what the article would be about. If enough pictures aren’t available, there could be certain pictures to use as an avatar for designated story types. For example, the entertainment stories could have a picture of a mega phone.
One minor detail I would change would be to get rid of the spell check lines that are seen on most of the last names.
As a general housekeeping rule, I would try to limit the stories on the main page to only a few key ones. By cramming all those stories on the main page, it doesn’t pull readers in to explore different pages of the website.
The advertisements are needed however the placement of them distracts from the stories themselves. The weather feature is also a nice touch, however, I would place it in a more convenient location.
Although this doesn’t have to do with the website layout, I still feel it should be addressed. The awareness the student body possesses about the website is extremely low. The website needs to be promoted if that is going to be our central form of news. We need to utilize the campus and all other media forms such as posters and social media.
Finally, the last subject I will touch on is the content of the stories themselves. Lets face it, most of the stories are pretty boring. We need to get the University more excited about news on campus in order to attract more attention. An idea that I had is to do sort of a “scavenger hunt” (no pun intended) that would require students to visit oucampus.org. Or hold some sort of carnival to get the name of the website out.
Since I’ve bounced around a lot, I’m going to bring everything to a close. I do not know much about website layout, but I can tell you what I think looks good. While you may chose to think otherwise, it is my opinion and you asked for it. I might be stepping on someone’s toes, but that’s what happens when your a journalist.