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Which business schools have the best admissions Web sites? We looked at the Web sites of BusinessWeek's top 20 business schools to determine which were a challenge to navigate and which flowed smoothly and intuitively. To do this, we selected five important pieces of information every prospective MBA student would likely be looking for: application deadlines, a list of application materials, the admissions director's name and contact information, financial aid information, and a description of the curriculum. Then we timed how long it takes to locate that information on each site.
Not surprisingly, results varied widely. Some sites slowed the user down with small or low-contrast typefaces. Others created delays by burying one piece of critical information, such as an admissions director's name, deep in the site. Most had sophisticated graphics and images, and attractive designs. But the schools that shone were the ones who created the simplest, most straightforward experience. After all, most visitors to a B-school Web site know what they're looking for and would rather find it quickly than be wowed by snazzy visuals. Our results follow, ranging from easiest to hardest to use.