At the end of June, CSUN’s retooled Web portal, myNorthridge, debuted to the campus community, along with a key to help navigate through its updated format.
Chris Xanthos, director of the Project Management Office, said the changes weren’t updates so much as they were enhancements to the Web portal’s look and feel.
“With the more enhanced portal, we wanted to deliver the ability to deliver specific pages to different types of people on campus, separate pages for staff, faculty and students,” Xanthos said. “We also wanted to give them the ability to personalize their portal and set up the home page the way they want it. And we also wanted to introduce a format that was easier for users to find what they were looking for.”
The retooled version of the Web portal wasn’t just developed by people who are tech-savvy. A steering committee comprised of high-level administrators, faculty members and students was formed to set a vision for the myNorthridge Web portal that would accommodate people at all levels of campus participation.
Although this committee took an active role in developing the retooled Web portal, many people throughout the years have requested that the changes be made.
“(Creating the steering committee) was in response to the feedback we had been receiving from the community that they wanted an enhanced version (of the portal),” Xanthos said. “The committee basically made the recommendations and visions about what changes needed to be made.”
Tanya Slater, a junior, said that she likes the new Web portal a lot more than the old portal. She uses the portal frequently to help her access links to financial aid and Web CT. With the myNorthridge portal she said this has become easier for her to do.
“The old one seemed ancient,” Slater said. “This one seems more modern with the colors and has access to different things.”
Although professor Cindy Stern appreciates the new Web portal, she said that she still finds the portal frustrating.
“I think the new (Web portal) has been improved in some ways,” Stem said. “It seems like there are at least a few things that don’t take as many steps as they used to. But I think there are still a lot of things that take too many steps. The new portal is significantly easier because it saves most of the frustrating steps. But they haven’t removed all of them yet.”
Xanthos said the enhancements to the myNorthridge portal are ongoing, that they will be taking the feedback they receive from the new portal and using it to make changes. With these changes, they will do their best to accommodate all user’s desires while understanding that they cannot make everyone happy.
“There’s a link on the portal that we use to get feedback, and we use that feedback to continue to enhance the portal,” Xanthos said. “The project is ongoing, and we make sure that we’re monitoring feedback and incorporating the suggestions that are coming from campus. A lot of the feedback is questions on where things are. We’ve created quite a few help guides that can help students and faculty learn about the changes.”
Matthew Cahn, a political science professor, said he uses the Web portal often and likes the new version because of its increased speed.
“The Web portal does make it easier to do a lot of what we do and at the same time there are decreased transaction costs,” Cahn said. “With any new technology, there are glitches. I’d say that I have much greater success than I do problems with it. And with new technology, some problems are unavoidable.”
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