New University of Sydney website

When the uni­ver­sity launched its rebrand­ing last year, I was quite pleased: a glossy bro­chure explain­ing the kind of image the uni­ver­sity wants to pro­ject to the pub­lic, a new logo, new momentum for change on super­fi­cial and deep­er levels.

Now it’s all ruined. Take a look for your­self (click to enlarge):

Yes, this is the new Uni­ver­sity of Sydney web­site tem­plate. I kid you not. A gen­er­ous per­son might call it “func­tion­al”. A less gen­er­ous per­son might… well, let’s leave this blog G-rated. It’s grot­esque. It has all the charm of a late 90s web­site. It car­ries none of the per­son­al­ity that the uni­ver­sity aims to pro­ject, and all of the air of design-by-com­mit­tee and oh-look-I-learnt-css-in-24-hours. There’s no warmth; the design ali­en­ates.

For bonus marks, it even dis­plays in Arial on a Mac.

(For com­par­is­on, here’s a screen­shot of the web­site as at 5 Janu­ary.)

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  1. Dan’s avatar

    It is god­damned atro­cious. It’s increas­ingly appar­ent we went to a third-rate insti­tu­tion, and it shows up in everything they do: the qual­ity of edu­ca­tion, the qual­ity of facil­it­ies, the rela­tion­ship between the gov­ern­ing bod­ies of the uni and the stu­dents, and now the barely-tep­id effort they put into their web­site.

    Who the hell thought it was a good idea to have the logo jut­ting out to the left? what is this meant to rep­res­ent? That if you want to achieve some­thing, Sydney Uni will jump out of left field to block you?

    Why is there is logic­al grid or spa­cing to effect­ively man­age the masses of inform­a­tion? Why is it so boxy? Why is the typo­graphy so bad? All-in-all it looks like some “design­er” spent a couple of hours trawl­ing the 1990s inter­net for some “cool scripts” and hacked togeth­er a Frankstein’s mon­ster.

    And this is after a very prom­ising brand­ing pitch­book that actu­ally looked like it was going to uni­fy the hitherto haphaz­ard brand­ing strategies. I’m really dis­gus­ted. I fully expect Sydney Uni to have slipped down the rank­ings in the next dec­ade, all the while fun­nel­ling massive amounts of cor­por­ate money into its cof­fers.

  2. M2’s avatar

    I want to get this tem­plate!
    Could you send me the one?



  3. APaul’s avatar

    I loved the old web­site!

    It really gave off that sand­stone pres­ence on par with Mel­bourne.

    To be hon­est, before the change It was actu­ally quite emo­tion­ally com­pel­ling before; as a nice clean qual­ity web­site that had the hall­marks of a site with excel­lent and help­ful con­tent.

    As an insti­tu­tion it was one of the best web­sites of any insti­tu­tion in Aus­tralia (i have seen them all) and of those I have seen — it also met the stand­ard of many lar­ger insti­tu­tions inter­na­tion­ally.

    While it wasn’t even near a factor against me choos­ing not to study there, It did give me a clue about prob­lems in their intern­al pro­cesses for some­thing so bad to be brought to life.

    Why update? unless it’s actu­ally bet­ter? There’s only losses going to be made, If you can’t beat your old efforts. Note: we are in an age where great A class web devel­op­ment is around and fant­ast­ic tech­no­lo­gies are so cheap to employ, there are simply no excuses.

    If any­thing, it makes the uni look less pres­ti­gi­ous, and there­fore more access­ible to more people think­ing of Uni­ver­sity. This could drive enroll­ments, but really, the down sides out­weigh render this view null.

    I will con­grat­u­late the head of school via email the day it is reinstated/​actually improved.

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