In honor of the greatest university in the entire world (INDIANA UNIVERSITY!) and the number one basketball team in all the land, I wanted to take a quick look back on IU websites of the past. I also want to offer a few brief comments about each one, but in general I just think it’s fun.
I used the Way Back Machine to find these:
This 1996 version is surprisingly simple and useful. There is enough explanation to know where to navigate, and although there is an absence of images, there is still a common graphic language. I think this version (updated obviously) would make a great mobile version even today. I wonder what other websites of yesteryear could double as mobile versions today?
This is how the website looked when I started going to IU. In the five years between the original version and this version, the navigation changed dramatically. Not only are there lots of categories, but there is right, left, and top navigation (and bottom too below the fold). This is a move in the wrong direction in my opinion, although I remember this website being very attractive as a student. It loaded quickly on our ethernet connections as I recall.
This is a much more visually appealing update of the 2001 version. The top and left navigation remained, but much of the text was replaced with images. It also included a news section that was an addition due to Web 2.0’s real-time updates possibilities.
It seems that the text-based, muddy navigation is a thing of the past. Taking a bit of a cue from the 1996 version, we’re down to a very small navigation bar as well as navigation by persona! This is the best version yet. Rich in images and short, well-placed text, it is the best version ever. #1 University, #1 NCAA Hoops, and the #1 website in school history! Bravo!