By Ashar Memon, September 19 2018 —
University of Calgary students accessing their online student centre from their mobile phones are likely familiar with these words: “Welcome to the myUofC Mobile experience. More content will be coming soon.” That message will finally change next year.
The U of C is currently redeveloping the myUofC student centre, giving it a modern design and making its pages accessible from mobile phones. The revamped site is expected to launch as early as Feb. 15, 2019 — though that date is tentative.
Associate registrar Steven McLaughlin, in a presentation to the Students’ Legislative Council, said that about one-third of students access myUofC through their smartphones.
“I think that must be a pretty poor interface because it’s really not built for [mobile use],” McLaughlin said of the current website. “I will say it looks like the 1980s — certainly old-fashioned.”
McLaughlin added that the redesign will not change the site’s basic functions but will instead add a “presentation layer” to change its appearance.
“We recognize that what we have today is not suitable,” McLaughlin said. “We’re going to shed our skin and the new skin is going to be nicer and a lot more functional.”
McLaughlin presented several screenshots of the redesign to SLC. The images, which were viewed by the Gauntlet, show major changes to the mainpage of the site, giving it a sleeker design and reducing much of the clutter on the current site. One notable difference included the absence of an announcements section, which McLaughlin said will be replaced by rotating stories.
In an interview, SU vice-president academic Jessica Revington said the team responsible for the redesign had consulted SU executives along with other stakeholders across the university in recent weeks.
“I think the most important part at this stage is collecting student feedback so they can understand what functionalities students use the most in their day-to-day student experience,” Revington said.
McLaughlin expects a prototype to be built by late November or early December, at which point the site will be tested by focus groups and refined until its launch date in February.
When asked by SLC why a February date was chosen for launch instead of a date in the summer, McLaughlin said that the date is flexible and can be postponed based on feedback.
“It is more relaxed in the summer. I think there’s greater risk in February but also I feel that it’s such an improvement that I think that it could be recognized as such,” he said. “I just feel that we’re going to have a big success with this.”