Things that keep me up at night: academics' websites

June 22, 2009 in Internet

Why are academics' websites so poorly designed? In fact, they go beyond bad design and border on unuseable.

Taleb's disasterous fooledbyrandomness.com epitomizes the phenomenon. One of the images is actually displayed upside down! Andrew has pointed out that my marquee example was not to be, but do not be distracted by the beautiful celebrities: Taleb's site belongs on Geocities circa 1998!

Do they really not know there are people (say, these fine folks) who can help fix this problem?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrew Bein June 23, 2009 at 10:15 am

In defense of Taleb (although not any other academic’s website), the “upside down” image is actually a right-side-up reproduction of the cover of a recent Sunday Times Magazine (London) with the headline (uniquely appropriate for upside down text): “Expect the Unexpected.”

Not that suggestions to him have not clearly been made previously, give the last line of text on his site: “…please please refrain from offering to “improve” my web site.”

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J June 23, 2009 at 6:02 pm

Thanks, Andrew — I’ve gone and put my foot in my mouth again. I’m glad, at least, that I’m not the first to feel this way about Taleb’s site, though to be honest I was so shocked I didn’t even make it to the bottom of the page.

Corrected above!

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