Week 4 Practicum Reflection

Bubbles, Panics, and Crashes: A Century of Financial Crises: 1830-1930

This site had some redeeming qualities but there were many things that could have been improved.   This was a project of the Harvard Business School professor.  It does have the author information at the bottom in small letter.  However there are many links to the HBS or even the Harvard Employment office that seem unrelated to the content of the website.  This shows how websites can be disorienting depending on how you reach them. I went directly to this site from the teachinghistory.org link.  If you started off at the HBS site, went to the historical collections, and then to this site these links might have made more sense.   This site does have a pretty good organization.  It has big links for the major themes of the website.  However, within these links there are not many other sub links except the section called “research links.”  The site could have been improved by including some of these links within the body of the website text.  The site had pictures included but they were not very well placed and not very well captioned.  The pictures were always in a line and not close to the text that they relate to as Cohen and Rosenzweig talk about.  The only way that you can see the caption of the picture is if you put your cursor over them.  The pictures also seem to be zoomed in a lot so you cannot tell what they are by just glancing on them.   In addition, the site has small text that is very hard to read on my 13-inch laptop.  Finally, the search box searches the entire HBS website not just the financial crisis website so there are some extraneous results that appear. 

Centennial Exhibition Digital Collection 

The information architecture on this site was better organized and a lot more complex than the previous site.  Overall, the best part of this sites information architecture was its site index. It put the site in context of its funders, the IMLS and Philadelphia Free Library, and it put the content of the worlds fair in its historical context.  It also had a great site map that had a good over view of the website.   It was interesting because this was a very helpful part of the website but I probably would not have even looked at it if it was not for this assignment.  As opposed to the Financial crisis website this website had pictures that were near the text they corresponded to.   Another interesting part of the website was an interactive map of the Worlds Fair where you could click on the buildings to learn more about them.  This helped me see how each building fit into the whole when I was reading through the different parts of the site.   It was also good that they always had the major category links on the left hand column and links to the subheadings at the bottom of the page.  However, the sublinks could have been bigger since they almost looked like footnotes.


Overall this excersied showed me just how much information is one a single home screen.  It was pretty daunting to think of all the information crammed into one screen.  It was also interesting that all this information fit together without, in most cases, there being any text to explain why the links where located in the place that they were.  This exemplifies the fact that the design of the website effects your message.

Information Architecture

Bubbles, Panics, and Crashes: A Century of Financial Crises: 1830-1930

  • Search
  • HBS Quick Links
    • MBA
    • Executive Education
    • Doctoral Program
    • Facult and Research
    • Alumni
    • HBS Publishing
    • HBS Home
    • Contact Us
    • Maps/Directiions
    • HBS Historical Collections
    • Baker Library Home
    • Historical Collections Home
    • Harvard University Homepage
    • Harvard Employment
    • Site index
      • Site index of HBS
      • Search
        • Searches all of HBS
        • Intro
        • 1837 The Hard Times
          • has citations but not links
          • 1837 Off the Rails
          • 1907 The Bankers Panic
          • 1929 The Great Crash
          • Crisis Leadership
          • The forgotten Railroad Boom of the 1920s
          • Research Links
          • Site credits

Centennial Exhibition Digital Collection

  • Overview
    • Search for images
    • How to sue site and credits
    • Info on physical collection
    • Technical information about pictures, preservation and digitization
    • Grants received
    • Copyright information
    • Exhibition facts
      • Brief information situating the event in context.
      • Organization, Attendance, Costs,
      • Statistics
      • Centennial Officials
      • Timeline
      • Foreign Representation
      • Occasional music
      • Sheet Music Bibliography
      • Impact
      • Period Testimony
      • Further reading and we blinks
      • Tours
        • Intro text to show historical context
        • Interactive map,
        • Drop down menus of exhibit buildings
        • Drop down menu of Whatever happened to… (buildings)
        • Centennial schoolhouse
          • Children’s Books and the Centennial Exhibit
          • Diary
          • Put together a paper model of Memorial Hall
          • Study and Teaching Resources
          • Search
            • Simple subject search
            • Keyword search with and/or
            • Search by media type
            • Search Thesaurus
            • What you need to view this site
            • Terms of use
            • Credits
            • Inst. Of Museums and Library Services
            • Free Library of Philadelphia
            • Quick sea

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