Directory Updates for September

The first meeting to review the feedback posted to the Web Makeover Blog for the online Directory occurred this afternoon. We agreed to a set of updates that will be made to the Directory prior to the start of the academic year in anticipation of the retirement of the print version of the Directory. These changes will focus on ensuring that the information included in the print Directory is accessible in the online version and small improvements in the online interface. We won’t be completely revising how the Directory work at this time, as we expect further changes to occur as a result of the Web Redo Project’s revisions to our overall Search strategy.

Here is what I’ll be working on changing:

  • Add the Department contact information to the Directory as a downloadable PDF. This is already done! We heard loud and clear that the information in the front of the Directory needed to be accessible online, and we’ve added a link to a PDF containing this information. The added advantage of this being in PDF form, for now, is that we recognize that this is the type of contact information people might need when they are not able to access a computer, either because the power’s out, or they’re working in a location without access to a machine, or traveling. You can print out this information at your leisure as a quick contact list for these situations.
  • Add A-Z links at the top of the Directory interface. Clicking on a letter will show a list of people whose last name begins with that letter and you can click on their name to see their record. This will give you a quick way to glance through the Directory.
  • We will add a field to the search form that lets you specify whether you want to search for only Faculty, Staff, Students, Language School personnel, MMLA, etc.
  • We will add a field to let you search by just first name, or just last name.
  • Approval of new photos will transfer to HR, and possibly other departments as makes sense.
  • In coordination with HR, we’ll review the current display settings for each field. There may be changes to how display settings permissions are handled in the Directory.
  • We’ll investigate a way to provide access to an online form year round that lets people update their Directory information.

This may not appear particularly ambitious, but we wanted to focus on what could be completed by the start of the academic year and not set ourselves up to be in a position where we’d have to redo this all depending on the work we’ll be doing for the rollout of the new website in January. I personally think this list helps address many of the concerns raised in the comments on the Web Redo Blog.

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