Campus News

University to discontinue Portal for new web Hubs

By: Justin Worthing ~Staff Writer~

The 10-year-old MyXU Portal will be replaced this May by the new and more accessible Student and Employee Hubs.

The Hubs, which are currently available to students and faculty, provide a more mobile-friendly format and place the most-used links directly on the homepage.

“As we did an audit of all the content within the Portal… there were over 700 links there, which almost by definition makes it unusable” Director of Web and Media Kevin Lavelle said. “The Portal also is not mobile-friendly. As more and more of our users are accessing their Xavier information on their tablets and their phones, we wanted to move into a framework that (adapts to this).”

In addition, the new Hubs do not require a login for most features and are presented as websites with the same format as most of Xavier’s other pages. With over 80 percent of the current links within the Portal leading to public websites, Lavelle views the initial login as unnecessary.

Web designers are also adding subtle changes to the interface, allowing them to monitor the popularity of certain links and to modify the website accordingly.

“One of the things that we’re really excited about is that we will have really strong analytics in this format, so we’ll have a much better sense of what people are and are not clicking on,” Lavelle said. “We can evaluate that from time to time, sit down with the appropriate user group, and (evaluate which links are being used the most).”

Work on the replacement began last summer and was released for public use earlier this year.

Both the Portal and the Hubs will remain accessible until the Portal’s termination at the end of this semester.

This year, faculty and staff have been evaulating the Xavier Portal, along with Blackboard, the learning system website currently used by Xavier, for its effectiveness. Blackboard has been phased out over the last several months in favor of Canvas, a new online learning management program.

The current Hubs are public and can be accessed by anyone. The Student Hub is located at xavier.edu/students and the Employee Hub is located at xavier.edu/employees.