Extensive changes and a new website launching soon
By Emily Rachelle Russell | Contributor
Information Technology (IT) is launching a new myTAYLOR website on April 1, 2017, for students, faculty, employees and alumni.
The new site includes changes to content organization, visual design and layout such as a dashboard, links between pages and content and behind-the-scenes tracking of user logins. Students, faculty and staff are invited to test the new site at http://int.taylor.edu/.
“(The current myTAYLOR) is pushing eight years of service, and it’s kind of showing it,” Associate Director of Enterprise Systems Corey Cooper said. “The new site will be mobile friendly; there’s improved security; it’s a lot more flexible for us to make changes to, and we added search (capabilities).”
The current myTAYLOR website, launched in the summer of 2009, originally relied on a third-party system, according to Cooper and Chief Information Officer Rob Linehan. This system was dropped two years ago and replaced with dotCMS, a program Taylor already owned but which is no longer supported. In the event of a technical error, IT staff would have to do repairs without assistance or guidance from the dotCMS vendor. This left Taylor in need of a new, supported website. IT began behind-the-scenes work a few years ago, and more visible changes and departmental partnerships began inspring 2016.
“(We’re) really trying to keep the experience familiar so that it’s not a hard change to make, but at the same time (we’re) trying to push the platform forward and provide some new functionality along the way,” Cooper said.
Many departments assisted with the update, according to Linehan. Human Resources (HR) played an especially large part in building links and content. According to Ron Sutherland, vice president for business administration, IT began the updating process by checking which users supplied a majority of internal data to the site; those users came primarily from HR.
“We were willing guinea pigs to help jump-start the process,” Sutherland said.
HR provides a variety of content on the new site, including: forms, links to individual websites and mobile apps for retirement, health care and similar information, the student employee page, required legal notices and departmental job search assistance.
IT is now seeking student, faculty and staff feedback. Users can provide comments and report bugs or broken links using a purple tab to the right of the dashboard at http://int.taylor.edu/.