By Ignacio Lobos
Sometimes less is definitely more.
That’s what scores of UW students, faculty and staff told website experts who redesigned IT Connect, the UW’s main web portal to technology at the University, over the past year.
And they took the message to heart, stripping the landing page to its most basic yet most important function: get people to their IT stuff fast.
So now, when you click on IT Connect, the search bar is prominently displayed on top, and it’s here where many users will start their search. No need to bother with commercial search engines that may deliver countless results, often leading users down the proverbial rabbit hole.
Its clean and simple appearance, with an emphasis on search capabilities and a mobile-friendly design, cloaks its sophistication.
“We focused on what customers wanted, and it was not aesthetics,” said Nick Rohde, web and content developer with UW Information Technology, which owns and manages IT Connect, a site that gets approximately 10,000 pageviews per day.
“From the get-go, we focused on what people wanted, and they wanted to find the tools they needed to do their work quickly and without getting lost or overwhelmed,” said Rohde, who manages IT Connect and led the website redesign team.
A Common Tasks section also occupies prominent real estate on the landing page. Everyone needs two-factor authentication, so it’s right there at the top of the list of common tasks.
For anyone new to the UW, the Getting Started tab in the navigation menu at the top of the page takes them to quick-start technology guides. Thousands of new students begin their academic journey each year, for example, and the student-quick guide helps them explore a number of IT topics important to them, such as how to get Wi-Fi.
The Guides by Topic and Tools, Services & Support bars also take users to valuable information quickly.
The new IT Connect had a soft launch in mid-August, and it marks the beginning of more improvements to come, said Elizabeth Sharpe, director of communications with UW-IT.
“Our University has one of the best IT shops in the country,” she said. “And it offers top-of-the-line tools and services. We want everyone to take advantage of them and know how to use them. That’s why it was so important to get this website done right.”
Getting to know new technology isn’t easy, she said.
“It’s always changing, and we want our website to help,” Sharpe said. “We want our site to be the one people use.”
Now, make sure to bookmark this site today!