Portal Conference Live Blogging Day Two – MICA presentation – PS 9 portal

Sarah Kotlinski – Senior Associate Director of Admissions at Gettysburg was kind enough to do a guest blog for theMICA presentation – PS 9 portal this morning.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

9:07 AM

  • Upgraded systems to PS 9 in November 2007 from 8.1
  • Web presence is more than just the portal – includes other web apps as well
  • Old portal: news, degree templates, grades, administrative reporting
  • Decided to focus on what the Portal does best – transactional content so this is what they focused on – wanted to allow:
    • Register for classes
    • View class schedules
    • Grade online
    • Pay tuition
    • View paystubs
    • Student advising tools
    • Unofficial transcripts
  • Decided to get rid of tabs and pagelets and only use left navigation – local navigation – for the portal…
  • Has a very PeopleSoft look and feel but has a MICA logo at the top of the page and other MICA links at the top which don’t have the PS look
  • Left Nav done through PS structure and content; uses deep links to avoid having users need to drill down through PS menus
  • Announcements – ones related to Portal are displayed in Portal, not things like announcements about student activities
  • Also decided to get away from pagelets in announcements and news, found that users don’t see all the updates that way, since there is nothing chronological in the way it was organized
  • New news and announcements system should:
    • Use a delivery system based on blogging, with tagged and categorized articles
    • News is targeted based on an individual’s combination of roles including students, staff, and faculty; alumni audience is being planned, possible future prospective student audience
    • Will use the public website’s news system
  • Also redoing the public website and getting a new content management system
  • Single Sign-On is critical, since so many systems are tied in to Portal – used Active Directory
  • Ties group memberships from AD to role memberships in Portal
  • Branding: visual cues to let users know when they are dealing with MICA and to give them a more streamlined browsing experience
  • Chose to not have brand at top of external sites – such as outside research sites – so that people know they are not at a MICA site
  • In Portal, branded signon/signout, header, and left nav; did not brand the PeopleSoft apps. Does note that branding in PS is unnecessarily complicated.
  • Interesting idea – added more space in the line height in PS to make it harder to click on the wrong link
  • Question: how to replicate the ‘my life at a glance’ feel of a pagelet-based portal without the pagelets – likes the Facebook model so that everything is chronological based – a list of transactions with the college regardless of the location. Not doing this yet but this is a very cool idea… so you can see that you requested an official transcript, paid your parking charges, enrolled in a class, all in ONE list.

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