The Davidson College Archives and Special Collections houses the college’s history as well as town history all in one website. The college’s archivists get help from volunteers and student projects to build the data compiled here, but the major downside (IMO) is the layout, which is mix-matched and cluttered.
The home page features a slideshow of pictures with some of the more interesting stories, however, some are without a caption so you are stuck just looking at an old picture. On the left side of the slideshow is a menu providing hours, emails, and social media links to get in touch with the archives. The menu to the right features upcoming events with hyperlinks to give you more information. Overall, it’s not a bad page, but it could use a little more to grab attention and look modern.
Click on most of the links within the main tabs of College History and Local History, and you are taken to a page with a completely different format, color scheme, and layout. These pages could be a domain on their own, with links to “home pages” that don’t take you back to the Archives website, but to a completely different website’s home page. Not only that, but these sites are often hosted by different publishers, providing absolutely no cohesion from link to link.
While the information on these websites is enriching and interesting, the messy layout and confusing links take away from the experience. The Archives should be a website with as much organization, class, and sophistication as any museum in a building. People dedicate their lives to compiling the information on this website but much of it is lost through hidden links. By making our own Davidson Domains in clean, organized formats, we can avoid this confusion and give our audience a peaceful experience on our sites.