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OIT revamps insideND navigation system

Amanda Gray | Friday, August 21, 2009

InsideND got a makeover this summer.

Notre Dame’s Office of Information and Technology (OIT) launched the latest version of the University’s navigation system, resulting in a new look for the site and several new features, said Patricia Sperry, manager of Interactive Web Services at OIT.

InsideND is Notre Dame’s major “gateway” – used as a navigation tool to services like web registration and e-mail and also as a way to communicate information, Sperry said.

“It was easier to change because it was all in one package,” Sperry said. “We had a new, upgraded version.”

A June 18 ND Works article said this was the biggest change to the system in three years.

“Some of the changes were because of student focus groups,” Sperry said.

Groups were asked questions about what they used insideND for, such as what links were the most popular and how they navigated the site. This information was used to make insideND run more smoothly.

This leads to one major visual difference – it appears there is less on insideND than there was before, Sperry said. However, all of the same information is available, but a new organization system makes the site appear less cluttered.

“What we did was make it more condensed, but still have all of the information,” Sperry said.

The site also features drop-down menus, said Lenette Votava, organizational communications analyst at OIT. These menus, which include related links to the menu topic, were determined through the focus groups’ opinions, Sperry said.

Other updated areas include the classifieds channel, where students have more options for their listings, Sperry said. Also available are tutorials on customizing insideND, such as removing channels and editing tab content.

While OIT is excited about the new InsideND, some students cite confusion over the new layout.

“I knew where everything was before, and now I’m not sure where everything has been moved to,” sophomore Allie Hamman said. “It will just take some time to get used to.”

One thing everyone can agree on, however, is how it looks.

“It’s aesthetically pleasing,” Hamman said.

OIT will have several events to welcome new students to campus, including extended Help Desk and Computer Store hours during Freshman Orientation.

A full calendar, including dates, times and locations is available at oit.nd.edu, OIT’s Web site.