Changes to my.utah.edu make the site more useful, user friendly

By By Aaron Vaughn

By Aaron Vaughn

Two months after polling U students regarding what they would like to see on my.utah.edu-a Web site that acts as a one-stop shop for various U activities-the U’s Web Resource Center has changed the page’s look.

A new feature-Real Simple Syndication-has been added to the portal in an attempt to make the feel of the page more personalized. RSS allows headlines and other news from any site on the Web to update instantly within a student’s portal page.

“It’s just a nice way to personalize,” Jill Brinton, manager at the U Web Resource Center, said of the new features added to the portal.

For example, if a student adds The Salt Lake Tribune’s news to his or her personalized site, each day’s online news headlines from The Tribune will show up within the local news section of the portal.

The my.utah.edu portal allows students to go one place online and access nearly every U site pertaining to their academics or campus events. With the RSS implementation, students can customize updates and news from any Web site that supports Web site technology.

“It looks awesome,” said Josh Jiang, a math major. However, Jiang said he doesn’t make a habit of using the site other than to check his e-mail.

Brian Matthews, a computer engineering major, said that he didn’t know about the new changes to my.utah.edu, and that if he “knew some of the features,” he would start using it more.

However, the number of hits to the site indicates high student interest for e-mail and the site’s other services.

Nearly 14,000 unique, or separate log-in names, logged into the student portal May 16, Brinton said.

Brinton hopes that more students use the site and its new features. She says that the portal will later be changed so that it can become specialized to students’ specific major.

The change is slated to take place Fall Semester 2005.

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