A tale of three universities

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

I wrote the other day about how hard it had proved to find out anything about Bristol's ESD activities from their website.  Bristol's Chris Willmore kindly responded, pointing out that it's better to use Google, and she posted this to SHED-SHARE.

Where to put things depends on the way your University site is structured.  In my experience of trying to find things on web sites of many Universities, because we all organise things so differently, external search engines are often better than internal ones.  Our evidence is that younger people tend to use high quality search engines such as google to find things - so prioritising getting sustainability sites at the top of search engine responses is the most significant thing.

There is undoubtedly something in this.  However, I went via the Bristol website in order to see how straightforward / complex it was to find out about its ESD activities, as I tend to think that, if an institution's leadership is really committed to something, then the more likely it is to ensure that it is flagged up on the website, close to the front page.  Plymouth is an example of where this happens in relation to sustainability, and where a hover and a click opens up the breadth of their sustainability-focused activity.  Gloucestershire is even clearer than that as their "sustainability" window is clearly opened from their front page.

Of course, I do recognise that my thinking about this may not be worth all that much, given the multi-purpose nature of front pages – and because it seems to be generalising from two extreme (in the best possible sense) examples.

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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