Concordia’s new website fails to improve

Concordia University is changing the design of its homepage. Again. The new website, currently in beta testing, has some laudable goals: create a uniform look across the dozens of departmental websites, and introduce new features.

So far, the new website falls flat. Here’s why:

  1. The website pushes news, which was the big selling point of their current design, down the page and into a corner in favour of static content.
  2. The immensely-useful “quicklinks”, to things people actually want to reach like the student information portal, program calendar, class schedule etc. are moved to the bottom of the page or taken off the homepage entirely.
  3. The tour touts the page’s accessibility features, including the ability to increase text size (which is already available in most browsers, but they also change the stylesheet to fit too). Unfortunately, the style sheet breaks at larger font sizes and the page looks ugly.
  4. Giant header image pushes all content down.

It looks more “Web 2.0” in all the bad ways. And since it fails at the most basic test: whether it’s better than the site it’s replacing, I’ll give it a C- (assuming that their content-management system actually makes it easier for departments to make websites, which has not yet been proven).

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