Pass/Fail: NIU cleans, redesigns Web homepage; Post-game traffic rush could improve

By Carl Nadig

Pass: NIU cleans, redesigns Web homepage

NIU’s Web redesign is a progressive step for adapting to technology-savvy students.

I’m sure everyone has his or her own opinions on how he or she is adjusting to the redesign of NIU’s website, Regardless of whether you like the website’s look, NIU thought it was time to adjust to how students were using the home page.

The redesign was based on website use as tracked by Google Analytics and heatmap analysis, which show how frequently links on the website are clicked, according to a Thursday Northern Star article.

Among the page’s new features are its sleeker design and larger slideshow. The old version had unnecessary links that, I’m assuming, many students rarely used. Since my freshman year, the information I needed was located in the Current Students link. Now, the page is less cluttered and has a simpler, larger navigation bar — a tool that eliminates a lot of confusion when designed well.

The new version of the site is also more mobile-friendly. With the old site’s design, I had to zoom into the Current Students link whenever I was accessing the page using my Android. Now, essential links like Blackboard and MyNIU are located in Quick Links. The simple redesign and moving of these links from the left-hand side of the screen to the upper-right section of the screen makes so much difference.

Fail: Post-game traffic rush could improve

Although I didn’t attend this year’s Homecoming football game I still experienced Saturday night’s festive atmosphere from the viewpoint of my car.

The football game must have ended as I was approaching DeKalb on Lincoln Highway from the west because cars were jam-packed from the Convocation Center all the way to Annie Glidden Road.

The traffic appeared as though most people were rushing around the same time, trying to exit the town by using Interstate 88 and heading back to their homes.

What made driving on Lincoln Highway more of a hassle than it should’ve been was how every vehicle created a bottleneck.

The university’s traffic layout doesn’t offer visitors a way to exit the town other than taking Lincoln Highway to Annie Glidden Road. After most football games or events at the Convocation Center, traffic is always backed up. In order to alleviate bottle-necked traffic congestions on Lincoln Highway, Lucinda Avenue needs to connect to the Convocation Center.

Once the eastern and western ends of Lucinda Avenue connect the parking lots at the Convocation Center to Annie Glidden Road, the intersection at Lincoln Highway and Annie Glidden Road won’t be as large a mess as it gets after every football game. It will make crossing Annie Glidden easier.