As classes begin for the fall semester, students may realize that MyNevada has gotten an upgrade.
After trying out a beta version earlier this year, the University of Nevada, Reno, rolled out a new version of MyNevada —MyNevada 2.0. MyNevada 2.0 is mobile-friendly, yet still uses the same PeopleSoft programming as the original MyNevada.
The development of the updated MyNevada website was in the works for approximately nine months according to Heather Turk of Registrar, Records, and Registrations. Turk was a member of the team responsible for developing MyNevada 2.0. The project was a partnership between the Office of Information Technology and Student Services.
According to Turk, MyNevada 2.0 was the solution to a simpler and easier to use website for students and faculty.
“The product that supported MyNevada was a product made by PeopleSoft called Portal,” Turk said. “PeopleSoft Portal was made to integrate the student information system the HR system and financial system. We are doing a large update to PeopleSoft over the next year. PeopleSoft Portal required a lot of technical maintenance and had to be kept in alignment with student information systems. There were two PeopleSoft products that were running but we only needed one.”
According to Turk, the original MyNevada relied on a separate product to access the primary product. Turk explained that in order to open the original MyNevada, a separate web software must be used to open the primary software. Now, the “welcome” software has been eliminated for more ease and faster operation of the website.
“The other one was just a way to get into that one. In addition to that, the Portal requires technical developers to maintain all of the content. With MyNevada 2.0, Student Services and enrollment has direct control of the content. So when we have a message for students, we can put it up there rather than the Portal developers. If we have to make changes, it is in our direct control, making it faster and easier.
According to Turk, a secondary goal of the update was to create a platform that is mobile-friendly, letting students use it on their phones.
“We’re looking to update the Information Center to PeopleSoft in about a year,” Turk said. “Then the Information Center will completely be mobile friendly. Once that is updated, that experience will really change for the better of students. It will be a much smoother tool for students. ”
According to Turk, backlash against the update was expected. However, she advises that the program is easier than it looks as first glance.
“Some of the feedback we expected,” Turk said. “The core has not changed. The PeopleSoft and the information system has not changed. There is some challenge as it looks one way but as soon as you click in it looks different. Once students and faculty realize they can search for certain functions, it seems to open up a whole new world. If you are trying to find something within all of the tiles, it can seem challenging. However, if you type in ‘Change My Address’, for example, you will take you there immediately.”
According to Turk, the new MyNevada 2.0 was not released until developers were sure it was user friendly.
“We did a great amount preparation before integrating this,” Turk said. “We did a lot of student focus groups, faculty and department focus groups, sat in the Knowledge Center and caught students to ask for feedback as they went through and more. All of the input we received was that it was still very usable.”
Olivia Ali can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @OliviaNAli.