Executive Summary

Although the Penn Engineering website has been improved significantly in recent years, a majority of students still find it to be confusing and difficult to use, which unnecessarily burdens the Penn Engineering advising system and adds to student angst. Thus EDAB strongly recommends a redesign of the Penn Engineering website in the near future with accessibility of information, and website architecture in mind.

Motivation

The Penn Engineering website now causes trouble for many Penn Engineering students. More specifically, many Penn Engineering students complain about their difficulties using the Penn Engineering website due to its lack of organization and outdated user interface and appearance.

Key Findings

Our surveys indicate that nearly half of all Engineering students are overwhelmed by the Penn Engineering website. Penn Engineering students report wanting to use the Penn Engineering website to access important information quickly and conveniently yet failing to be able to as a result of its byzantine layout. Approximately 40% of Penn Engineering students meet with an advisor to answer a basic question they wish would be answered on the Penn Engineering website. Moreover, 57.1% of Penn Engineering students are unable to find the information they are looking for on the Penn Engineering website even though that information often is on the website.

 These statistics indicate that the effectiveness of the Penn Engineering website has implications that reach into many other sections of student life and into other sections of this white paper such as Penn Engineering Branding.

These statistics indicate that the effectiveness of the Penn Engineering website has implications that reach into many other sections of student life and into other sections of this white paper such as Penn Engineering Branding.

Recommendations

Redesigning the Penn Engineering website would ease the strain on an overtaxed undergraduate advising system, would save valuable time for Penn Engineering students and faculty, and could help Penn Engineering students by decreasing stress. In addition, many of Penn Engineering’s peer schools such as Duke, Columbia, Stanford, and MIT feature modern website designs. Accordingly, EDAB strongly recommends that Penn Engineering redesign the Penn Engineering website in the near future in order to modernize the user interface and rethink the website’s organization of information.