Ch-ch-ch-changes (turn and face the strain)

The new skin for CUinfo went live this morning!

Two known bugs so far:

1. There is an issue with the “submit” button not appearing on the Student Ride Board. Unfortunately, the person who brought this to our attention did not leave an email address, so we have no way of finding out specifics like browser and platform. If you’re having this problem as well, please drop a line with the specifics?

2. The link to Employee Holidays is broken. We’re fixing it. :)

Thank you, everyone, for your comments and thoughts that were shared here. Obviously, we can’t incorporate everyone’s wishes into the final product, but rest assured that the feedback was read and digested before any decisions were made.

Please continue to share your thoughts. This is not a final product.



  1. Will says:

    * Still feels busy and confusing — really hard to quickly scan the categories and links. I think part of that is because each category is broken into two columns. You have to read down a list, hit the bottom, then find the top of the next column. No need for that. Put all the links in a category in a single list.
    * The page could be a lot more vertically compact.
    * Link font size is too small for us older folks. The category header size could be smaller and the link size could be larger.
    * “Most Used Links” is not different enough from the regular categories — should stand out more.
    * It would be good to display some organizing principle for the “Most Used” as well. Why are they ordered that way? Hits? Perceived usefullness? If they are not in alpha order then what drives it?
    * The header is pretty sloppy. The navbar font size is smaller than The search box label says “Search Cornell”. The search box label says “Search”. Search box size is different. These things seem small, but all of them together undermine your quality. If you are going to duplicate, duplicate exactly.
    * Footer is likewise inconsistently laid out.

    Overall, though it’s a great improvement. Congrats!

  2. Sarah says:

    I hate the new site. The old one was fine. I knew where everything was. I don’t know why you have to change what works- other than to simply make work for yourselves & give reason to funding requests. Cornell is notorious for spending money on useless junk!

  3. sara says:

    CUinfo now looks like the rest of — congrats!

    Because CUinfo is probably one of the most usability-sensitive pages on the CU site, a couple of constructive criticisms for the next revision, if I may:

    – Would it be possible to place most-used links on the left and weather on the right? (Traditionally, the top left gets the raison d’etre material, no?)

    – Just an observation, but links don’t have to be restricted to a single category: why not list items that reasonably fall into multiple categories under multiple categories?

    – There are many time-, audience-, usability- and revenue-generation-tested ways of listing large numbers of links. I would hope that CUinfo could eventually employ one of them. (If I were restricted to one of the standard CU templates, I’d suggest a variation on the departments page, but with the header text as the left-hand navigation and then a single-column of what’s there now on the right.) I think it’s close, but it’s not there yet.


  4. grad7 says:

    Can the “library” link be made more prominent, like on the left side, or higher in the list?

  5. Matt says:

    I’m using Firefox 1.0.7 on my PC and I just noticed the homepage doesn’t draw correctly. In IE it looks fine. Is this happening to anyone else?

  6. Greg says:

    The new site feels awkward and rather uncanny. I just might have to drop it as my homepage.

  7. sara says:

    A few more observations while I procrastinate on my own work:

    – Kudos on adding a “visited link” style to the repertoire. Did the user testing support the “greyed out” look, though? (Generally “greyed out” means “not available”, which is why I ask.)

    – Another infelicity of the two-column lists as they currently appear is that individual bullet items are so squished that they have to wrap. Wrapped bullet items impede scanning by vitiating the alphabetization.

    – (per Will) the heading-to-link text size ratio is off, but I’d point out that the ratio in the most-used links section is much better.

    – Finally, I thought it was great to hear from Martha on the blog. Perhaps we could all gain some insight into the new CUinfo design by hearing from IWS’s lead interface/usability person.

  8. A.J. says:

    I feel this new skin looks a lot cleaner, but a few suggestions:
    I believe that in the process, almost everyone suggested getting rid of the banner at the top. Not the Cornell search or navigation bar, but that silly picture of mcgraw tower. Or in the least, could you put it at the bottom? I go to CUinfo for speed, and picture makes it less efficient.
    Also I agree with the above comment that the weather and most used links should be switched.
    Other than that, lovely job! It looks great. :)

  9. annalisa says:

    Thanks for taking out the pictures! It’s pretty easy to navigate now. And yes, it does look a little better than the old one. Congrats.

    The only part I found very confusing is this: when I clicked to give feedback on the site, I just got a general contact info page–nothing obviousily about the redesign–I only arrived here at a place to leave comments by going through my browser’s history function to find a previous visit.

  10. THC says:

    lovely job! It looks great.

  11. Jenn says:

    Because users will choose the same links from the site on a regular basis, it doesn’t really make sense to reduce the color intensity on the visited links.

  12. kata gomba says:

    Can you put the library in a more intuitive location, like with academics?

  13. i Work says:

    Never noticed it before, but the Lab of O is not listed anywhere on CUinfo, and while I realize that EVERYONE wants to be listed on cuinfo (which would eliminate its usefulness!) the Lab gets more visitors each year than either Plantations or the Museum, both of which ARE listed and deserve to be, IMHO.

    Otherwise, the design doesn’t offend me, and though I hate to scroll, I suppose I’ll get used to it.

  14. Cube Dweller says:

    Just wanted to say that I like the design. Granted I didnt see the old design when it was live, but I did get a chance to look it over at the Alexa Way Back Machine.. (( It keeps web pages, at least the front page, of sites in an archive set up for amusement ))

    Heres the address for anyone who wants to check it out.*/

    I think the new design looks much more professional, and fitting for an establishment as prestigious as Cornell University.