In light of NCECA I chose to start with Arizona State University: http://art.asu.edu/ceramics/. At a glance I feel the site is up-to-date, very tidy and visually appealing, reasonably easy to navigate, though not without its bumps, and provides all of the information a potential MFA student needs: request for info form; faculty and their work, as well as a quick bio; detailed info on graduate accommodations (studio space, number of kilns, etc.); gallery information; available resources such as libraries and collections; and a reasonable number of studio/workspace pictures.
All of the information is easy to access, presented on a static toolbar in the middle of the page. Clicking on one of the tabs, such as "Facilities", brings up a sidebar/sub-directory of information: CRC (Ceramics Research Center), Ceramics Studios, Galleries, Visual Resources, and All Art Resources. I like that each of these headings brings you to a brief, but explanatory, writing and usually provides hyperlinks to more information. Once you are ready to move on, there is no need to keep hitting the “back” button on your browser, you can just click the next area of interest on the toolbar.
Though they aren’t restrained to a single page, they do work within a standardized (within their Art Department) format. I think it is important to applaud their presentation, but now onto the few weaknesses I have found…
The most annoying thing I found was being redirected by the “Events” and “News” headings on the static bar. These tabs bring you to a “School of Art” page and to continue browsing the Ceramics Department you must click the back button on your browser. A small annoyance… Also, under the "Faculty" button I would like to see the faculty listed immediately in the main body instead of having to click on the sub-directory ambiguously labeled “Directory”. Lastly, but also surprisingly good considering how often this happens on the web, I found only one hyperlink that was broken, not directing you anywhere.
So that’s it. I think Arizona State University has a good, easy to navigate, and informative site. To wrap this up I would like to encourage any comments about my observations. If you find anything in addition to my writing or disagree, please comment!