Saturday, March 18, 2006

Duke's home page visual metaphor: Final Four bracket

For years Duke University published one of the cliassier university home pages. In the last few days they launched a home page that just looks awful. I finally figured out that it's a visual metaphor, supposed to resemble the NCAA basketball tournament bracket.

A clever idea on the part of the university relations folks at Duke? A statement by the university itself? Or a prank by the webmaster?

It's clever as a visual metaphor, but poor as a university home page. Way too much white space, violates "Don't make me think" in so many ways. It looks so goofy, it seems like they are using fancy CSS layout that your browser can't handle.

Duke is one of the very few schools -- think Stanford or Michigan -- that excels in academics as well as Division I athletics. So I say let them have fun with this. But please, go back to your classy university home page when March Madness is over.