A new and improved SUSSED, the portal for students and staff at the University of Southampton has been announced today (Friday, September 14) by VP Academic Affairs, Sasha Watson, after a summer of re-designing and planning with iSolutions.
The new design and structure will replace the old system on Tuesday, September 25 , in time for the start of the new academic year.
The blog post describes the new site as being “cleaner to look at, easier to use, and more transparent”, a change which has been implemented as part of the university’s Institutional Review by the Quality Assurance Agency. Students opinions were considered, with complaints of issues with logging on and off, too much information, and difficulties with navigation being noted.
An artist’s impression was also released, giving students and staff a good idea of what they can expect.
“Over the last few years, SUSSED has provided students and staff with access to their university email account, news and announcements, information on their school of study and the student record system, amongst more.
“According to the screenshots, the basic boxed links that dominated the homepage have been replaced by a map of the university campus, with an easy-to-navigate side-bar of links to essential features, such as tuition fee payment services, student handbooks, and timetables”
Sasha himself, as a graduate of the University of Southampton, has his own experiences of SUSSED, and described the original site as an ‘eye-sore’, mentioning that the hardest part was simply finding what he was looking for:
“I simply learned the path to what I wanted to find, or even learned the web addresses to by-pass them all together – which is unacceptable for a student portal. I’m much happier with the new look!”
Students can expect further adaptations to the site, with iSolutions hoping to add SUSU blog feeds and an events calendar to the portal, along with the campus map shown on the illustration. However, Sasha has urged students to express their opinions and to let the team know if they think that there is still something missing. Comments are requested to be left at the bottom of the blog with ideas for further improvements.
Third Year English and Philosophy Student Jonny Vaughan gave the Wessex Scene his view of the announced improvements, after having used the ‘old’ SUSSED for a number of years:
“It’s definitely a marked improvement. The site is a lot clearer and notable effort has been put into highlighting and making the most important aspects of SUSSED available from the homepage – timetables for lectures and exams, grades and student services among them.
“It’s also good to see SUSU getting some screen real estate as it shows a level of integration between the two bodies and may encourage students to use the SUSU website more in future.
I would personally hope to see time put into further integration like this with the intent of communicating important information from both entities to students.”
To read Sasha’s blog, and to let him know what you think, click HERE