The 10 harsh truths about Institutional Websites

This year I spoke for the first time at CASE. The subject was ‘The 10 harsh truths about Institututional Websites’

For those that don’t know CASE is “Europe’s biggest gathering of Alumni Relations, Communications, Fundraising and Marketing educational professionals.”

I am heavily involved in the Higher Education community with a significant number of Headscape’s clients being from HE. We even run our own Higher Education workshops. However although I have spoken at IWMW several times this was the first time I have spoken at CASE. Despite a rocky start it turned out to be a lot of fun.

Below is a description of my talk and a video I recorded. Hopefully you will find it useful.

Every organisation makes mistakes running their website; the nature of those mistakes varies, however, depending on the size and type of organisation. Institutional websites are often large unwieldy creatures plagued by bureaucracy. In this talk Paul will share some of the harsh truths surrounding these websites and suggests ways to tame the beast!

You can find more of my talks to the higher education sector and other resources here.

  • I’m going to quit blogging about Higher Ed web development. ..and just forward my url to this video.

  • Just yesterday, I was considering writing very much the same thing. Kudos.

  • Rob

    That was one of the best presentations I’ve seen for ages. Although I’m well aware of all the points you raised I’m tempted to show it to some of my customers who manage their own sites!

  • Excellent presentation. Even though I don’t work for an institution of higher education, I am a ‘webmaster’ for what’s called a “regional educational agency” and we’re in the early stages of a redesign. Plenty of these points will come in handy as we go through the planning stages. Thanks for posting this online.

  • Very good presentation. I’m starting university this year and most of the websites I’ve been on for Uni’s really suck. They have far too many sections and the content is sometimes duplicated. For example the University of Manchester website has 3 accommodation sub-sites which each provide different information. The undergraduate one, the postgraduate one and the overall one which has all the above information as well as all other stuff. It’s a crazy setup and so confusing when you get to the website for the first time.

  • Ali

    Excellent presentation. We are grappling with the same challenges that you raise everyday. Hopefully, we shall tame as learn how to grapple with this new medium to project our image and the work that we do.

  • Essential viewing if you’re pitching to or working in HE. Particularly liked the bit about generating discussion on education and channeling student feedback. You should have seen their faces when I mentioned Thanks Paul, compelling stuff.

  • Ryan

    Excellent presentation, Paul. This video easily covers every issue I have been experiencing at my institution. Thank you for the ideas and suggestions to get the gears turning.