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A website, or a labyrinth?

I’m not going to beat around the bush: UFV’s website is not very good. I don’t mean that it offends my eyes; the visual design is fairly nice. I also don’t mean that the website is functionally poor; everything works as it should. What I mean is that the website is a virtual labyrinth; just finding the page you need to be on is far more of a chore than it needs to be.

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By Drew Bergen (Contributor) – Email

Illustration: Brittany Cardinal

Illustration: Brittany Cardinal

I’m not going to beat around the bush: UFV’s website is not very good. I don’t mean that it offends my eyes; the visual design is fairly nice. I also don’t mean that the website is functionally poor; everything works as it should. What I mean is that the website is a virtual labyrinth; just finding the page you need to be on is far more of a chore than it needs to be.

Let’s start with the front page and assume I’m a new student interested in applying to UFV. So, where should I go first? “Future Students,” “Admissions,” “Registration Quick-Links,” or  “Continuing Education”? The front page is plagued with mini-titles like these that range from accurate to pretty vague. All four of the pages I listed above could feasibly be the place that a new student is supposed to go first, and there’s a solid chance they have to click around a bit before they can say, “Ah yes, this is where I should start.” It all needs to be made more efficient by re-organizing which link goes where and what that link is titled. ac

The ideal university website would get the links on their main page down to a few tabs: future students, current students, academics, athletics, etc. All of these should have the appropriate links underneath to help someone out. If I’m a future student looking for a particular page, all I need to do is look at the tabs and see the single option that says “Future Students,” and I’ll think, “Ah yes, I am a future student and I wish to apply.” The alternative of going on the site and seeing four links that are potentially for a future student is overwhelming. And believe me, I was overwhelmed when I was first applying to UFV.

A new student’s situation doesn’t get easier after clicking on these links and getting to the pages, either. Each page is filled to the brim with smaller links tucked away in every corner with equally vague titles. The clunky MyUFV is no better; having to find something like your schedule tucked away deep in the registration links isn’t good, especially when that information should be immediately available.

To make matters better, UFV needs to make their website navigation much more efficient; pages and links should be re-organized into a neat and much more efficient layout. I really hope that sometime soon it’s cleaned up and made a more intuitive and user-friendly experience.

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