I’ve spent the past three days sorting through the feedback we’ve been getting on the launch of the CUInfo redesign and it occurs to me that I owe you all an apology. I failed to communicate the true nature of the project. My bad, entirely, and for that I am sorry.
Most of the negative reactions can be boiled down to the following: It looks too much like cornell.edu
This manifests in a few of ways:
- The style, color, and font-size of the links
- The presence of the white header graphic which includes the picture of Uris Library
- The layout of the page itself, including–but not limited to–color choices, margins, header styles, and the placement of the search box.
So, we can argue all day about whether or not CUinfo is an “internal” resource or an “external” one, right? And, believe me, I am a big fan of heated debate (just come to my house on Thanksgiving Day and spend an hour or two at the table with my family–compared to those Holy Wars, this one is a cakewalk). But there is a simple truth here that I somehow managed to avoid sharing. Call it Freudian if you like.
CUinfo is now part of cornell.edu.
The OWC has taken over ownership of its content and intends to merge it with cornell.edu (aka “the Cornell Home Page”). This was done–and I kid you not–with the consent and blessing of CIT [the former owners]. I can talk about the rationale behind this move, if you like. But, for now, I’m pulling the old “Because I’m the Blogger And I Say So” trick. Because, really, it’s not open for debate.
I’ll give you a moment to let that sink in.
(Do you need another moment?)
So. CUinfo is now part of cornell.edu. As such, it is only right to hold it to the same design standards as the rest of the site. See bullet items 1 through 3, above. Do they make more sense now?
Right, then. Just because it’s part of cornell.edu, does that mean it has to look exactly how it looks right now? No. Many of the suggestions we’ve gotten about the site are good ones and will certainly be considered as we move forward on the project. As I’ve been telling people in the responses to their comments and emails, this is an ongoing thing and what you see is only phase one.
In some ways, this was the easy part. All we did was change the way it looked. Next, we get to examine functionality — and, yes, audience — and figure out how to best present the site in a way that is useful to everyone.
I’m hoping that you all will be able to help with that once you’re over the shock of the change.
Take as many moments as you like. I just messed with your world view.