I’ve always liked the design of the MU School of Journalism site. The homepage is very clean and easy to navigate. So, I decided to dig into the CSS a bit. I was a bit surprised that I actually understood some of it. (Keep in mind this is after I checked out SI.com and its mess of CSS). It seems very straight forward, which I usually think is the way to go when it comes to design.
First thing I did was remove the CSS with the Mozilla web developer toolbar. The site is essentially just five lists. It’s a lot of links, but through the CSS it condenses it to a simple package. I like the subtle use of color. When you scroll over the links or many of the boxes, they’re altered in some sense. Boxes go from light gray to dark gray, navigation goes from black to white. It’s all based around the Mizzou colors of black, gold and white. The background color is also nicely done. Banners on the sides fade from gray to black. The fade is a technique that you really don’t notice at first but really makes for a nice touch. That’s something I’d like to do. I think it’s those small touches are part of what takes a site from amateur to professional looking.
If I had a complaint about the design, it’s that the photos at the bottom are a bit too small. I wonder if banners on the site could be narrowed to allow for more room for the rest of the content.