No, it's not really like that, I'm quite open-minded about websites updating their design in tune with the trends of the time, but I'm pretty baffled by the change made to UW's website. I think they used a variation of a commonly utilized CSS template otherwise known as a "Clusterfuck" because I don't think it works at all in the context of a university web page (and actually in general).
But I'm sure others have other opinions, I'm very interested in hearing various perspectives. Largely because of the fact that when I saw the page my face looked an awful lot like the icon I'm using here and I'm certain this isn't everyone's response.
JUST KIDDNG :D :D :D IT'S A RANT
I'm so tired of websites taking what wasn't really broken (just not zomg trendy) and fixing it to look like your typical WeB 2.0
And yeah, it's a research university. Therefore, fuck those brief summaries and links to news articles that pertain to UW's research and achievements that used to be front and center on the old page. Now we have PICTURES ZOMG. THEY ALMOST SPIN!! -spinny spin spin glee- OH!!! YAY!!! And go ahead, I dare you, roll over those links in the navigation bar 1/4 of a way down the page. WHOA THAT'S RIGHT, it's BIG. That's a BIG drop down box, with pictures! Covers up a lot of the page, oh yes it does, breaks the barely there but not nonexistent flow of the entire page, oh yes, yes it does. Looking for the link to the directories or the search bar? Oh, see that tiny pale yellow bar at the top that totally gets lost amidst the FLASHY GLORY of the page? Yeah, there it is. Because who cares about some dumb directories and search when you're a student. If you click on the arrows the pictures with happy people in them will go left and right.
Seriously, I think it's nice that someone put forth the time and the effort to update the look and feel of UW's home page, bring it up to speed with some of the recent design trends. But things that work (and sometimes that's a generous appraisal) for venues like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, what have you don't really work on the home page of a supposedly world class university.