Bad Design

WPI’s website was built to accomplish many things, including a way to introduce prospective students to the school, a place to learn of news and events occurring on campus, and of course an advertisement of the great accomplishments of the institute. One of its highest priorities, I would argue, is to be a source of information for existing students. While much of the site is well-designed, I have difficulty saying the same about WPI’s Student Resources page.

Student Resources Page

After learning of the four basic principles of design, the decision making that happened in order to make this page is not clear to me. It is easiest to show my thoughts by contrasting this page with another, better designed page.

Parents Page

This is the parents page, where parents go to get information about WPI. The page is set up in two columns and has easily visible links to more information about specific topics.

As you cans see, this differs greatly with the student page (which is on the same website). The students page has three columns instead of two, which creates a cramped feeling in the layout. The links to other student information fail to jump out at the user (mainly due to the fact they are the same color as the headers aka lack of contrast). If you look at the parent page, the links to other information are either nicely outlined buttons or a different color than the any surrounding elements. Finally, the proximity of the links to the headers is not pleasing, and could be better spaced to form more obvious visual units.