Columbia.edu is Columbia's domain name and home page. It's often a target of criticism for poor design.
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In December 2003, Columbia launched a new version of its homepage. After soliciting feedback from various sources, the website designers produced a design that was largely unexpected by students who'd had input earlier in the process. University Senator Jennifer Schnidman CC '06 is quoted at the time as saying "We gave the designers a lot of feedback and ultimately the direction they chose to go in was something completely different than what we suggested," noting that student council members had approved a much more traditional design in terms of color, layout, graphics, and fonts. Frank Wolf, chair of the web advisory committee responded that "You can't design by committee. There are always going to be some people who want something tweaked."
One particular criticism voiced by observers was that they had been shown designs with a blue backgrounds, and the website broke a cardinal rule of web design by using a stark white background instead. Designers at DKV noted that a strong consideration in choosing the background color of the page was how it would look when projected onto a screen at presentations to alumni. You know, as opposed to how aesthetically pleasing it would be to web surfers.
Banner logo re-design
The banner logo at the top of the new design drew some raised eye-brows - the crown incorporated into the design was the 'secularized' crown with spades that had been designed by the Medical Center during its rebranding, rather than one with the traditional crosses (such as the one used as a design element of the 1996-2000 version of the site). In 2006, the banner logo was changed to include a more 'traditional' design. That logo as since been adopted as the official "logo" of the university.
2010 Design Beta
In October 2010 the University announced that it was launching a beta version of an updated website, inviting users to offer feedback before the official launch. Efforts to redesign had begun 1.5 years early, roughly 5 years after the previous version launched. The 2010 design is product of CUIT and the Office of Public Affairs.
- CU Homepage Receives New Design, Sleek Style, Columbia Spectator, 30 October 2003
- New CU Homepage to Be Unveiled Dec. 12, Columbia Spectator, 8 December 2003
- Redesigned Web Page Garners Mixed Reviews, Columbia Spectator, 23 January 2004
- Columbia Launches Beta of Updated Website, Columbia News, 4 October 2010
- No More Triple-Clicks: Beta Version of New Columbia Website Set to Launch, Bwog, 4 October 2004, See comments for feedback
- Columbia unveils overhauled University website, Columbia Spectator, 5 Ootober 2010