Why some website redesigns work

Generally, it’s because they aren’t just slapping a new coat of paint (er, HTML+CSS) on the same pig. In the most successful cases, they’re a complete rethink of what the site is trying to communicate and a complete new set of ways to make that happen.

That appears to be the case with the redesign of the MIT Sloan website. It’s a sign of how bad the previous site was that I missed the redesign happening back in March of this year. But the b-school that I came from has come a long way since I was the sole MBA blogger back in 2001-2002. There are podcasts, official and unofficial blogs, and news feeds galore, all of which combine to give a much richer picture of everything that happens at the school. Compared to the 2004 site redesign, which put a thin veneer of Annoying Flash Movie on top of largely the same static content, it’s revolutionary.

It all conveys what I think is the unique strength of Sloan: it’s a school that’s focused, despite its size and institutional veneer, on empowering individuals and encouraging entrepreneurial endeavors. And to that end, it’s great to see the aggregated feed of Sloan student blogs right alongside official podcasts and other school-developed content, all together in the Sloan master feed. Of course, it would be nice to see everyone posting more often, but nobody’s perfect.


Lisa and I had dinner with George and Becky last night. I hadn’t seen George, a Sloan classmate (and fellow E-52), since one of the last times I was in San Francisco. They’ve been anxious to get some Boston specialties during their visit, so they asked if they could bring lobsters to our house from James Hook in Boston. “Sure,” we said, and thereby began a veritable orgy of gluttony that ended only after five lobsters had gone to their fates–in our collective tummies. Mmmm, lobster.

Today my boss asked about my night and I started telling her the above story, until I remembered that she’s a devout vegetarian. So I skipped some of the details.

Light Blogging Day

Probably another light blogging day. I’ve gotten into the part of the semester where, despite my best efforts, every day is a fire drill.

Unfortunately I can’t post my current assignment to my blog–it’s too long and the subject matter (forgiveness vs. utilitarianist philosophy) is a little too far out to try to make work as blog matter. Maybe later I’ll figure out how to tie it all together.

Quick pointer: Esta talks about hooking my grandfather up on e-mail this morning. Esta’s always been better than I have about keeping family ties close, and this story shows why.

Update: I finally received my replacement power adapter (see the discussion of my fire hazard problem here). Fortunately my problem was in the AC cord and not the “yo-yo” itself. Apple made an incremental change to the adapter recently that rendered the plug incompatible with the receptacle on my PowerBook G3. However, the AC cord is compatible with my old yo-yo, and it’s charging merrily even as we speak. So to sum up: if your yo-yo is broken and it’s a model M7332, make sure you replace it with an adapter that’s designed for your G3. However, if it’s your AC cord, you can order either one and it will work.

Interestingly, both models are “Model M7332.” But the one that works with mine is manufactured by Delta Electronics in Thailand and the new one comes from Dongguan Samsung Electro-Mechanics.