Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Content control

Have just been looking at the new Open University Student Home Page. It's had a 'fresh, clean' redesign and kindly they've "placed the information most important to you in prominent places".

Here's an idea though...

How do 'they' know what's most important to me??

Why can't I move any of the items around? PageFlakes, iGoogle, Facebook and the like... they're all big enough to let me choose my own content on my portal page... why can't the university do that? Here's an example... their messages are placed in the central column of the page. They take up far more width than any other section. My course websites, e-mail and links to useful documents etc... they're all squashed to the side. Apparently, the boring admin / advertorial style messages which I normally happily ignore (and having been an OU student for 9 or so years I haven't fallen into any kind of educational abyss by doing so)... are now in my face. Every... time... I... go... to... the... page. The stuff, as a student, I use all the time - my e-mail, my course conferences and websites. They're not as important according to whoever designed the site. And more importantly... I can't make them more important. The age of Web 2.0 and users having a voice in what they want to see is STILL a long way off.

Is that the sound of someone taking one step forwards and two steps back?

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