Wright State University Library Libraries Wright.edu Web Content

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Wright State University Website Review and Critique

Website Critique

The website is an increasingly valuable medium to foster an institution of higher education's mission and, thereby, must be critiqued with rigorous standards to effectively serve the learning community. Benedict (1996) encourages student affairs professionals to embrace the personal responsibility to develop technology competencies, as he advocates technology will constitute a core competency in the 21st century (Benedict, 1996). In this regard, the following paragraphs will provide a critique of the current Wright State University Library website. To present a coherent layout, this critique will follow the current format of the website with a review of each page that warrants improvement.

Home Page

This page is a key opportunity to engage the user in the site information, as this will most likely be the first page seen. Whitney (2002) asserts that the goal of every website is to increase the probability of engagement with the user. As it is currently, this page invites students to become interactive with the website (Whitney, 2002). Although the links to the other pages are available, the page explicitly asks the student to explore further. In the libraries news section, the included news events do not affect the students at directly, and are thereby, irrelevant to this website page.

The schedule for upcoming events is confusing though current. First, the fact that the library's website highlights the meals and the activities taking place during the events is misplaced since they do not fall into the category of library event. Rather, it is a routine piece of schedule information that would be best served in another context. This page was retrieved on February 26, 2013 and from the website, the events are not organized in a systematic manner; this is evidence for the lack of website maintenance (Neilsen, 2003).
Frequently updated information is an inexpensive way to enhance the content of the website and if the user knows that new items will be included on the website regularly, this will increase the probability that they will return. Additionally, colors used need to be understandable when printed or viewed without the color (Cavanaugh & Cavanaugh, 2003). However, various elements of this website, when printed disappear or are difficult to discern and applies to the entire website.

Mission and Program

The link to this page is right and gives the user the required information. The information presented only includes the mission as well as the program information. The information presented following the first paragraph is supposed to guide the user on the libraries' closure, website content as well as available student resources.

Library Policies and Procedures

Nielson (2002) cautions against using a page element that constantly moves, as it affects the reader's peripheral vision and distracts from the content of the page. Similarly, Cavanaugh and Cavanaugh (2002) recommend that any moving objects must have the option of being paused. The library tackles this problem by making the pictures on the right side of the website's homepage move only when tapped. However, the link to this page is almost identical to the one for the mission and programs. This page further stresses on the Library' mission and what the university does. It is well know that the website supports teaching, learning, and research in an intellectually open environment while providing the user with new information resource. The information given here is redundant since it builds on the mission and as such, this information is of no use to….....

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