New Technology Tools

As part of the website redevelopment initiative, mStoner and UND reviewed the current web environment and four areas were identified as needing new technology solutions.

1. Web Event Calendar

UND uses an internally developed ‘custom’ event calendar on the current website. Stakeholders agreed during mStoner’s discovery phase that the calendar is an area that calls for improvement.

Localist was purchased as the new calendar solution. The off-the-shelf system is marketed to several industries, but higher education has been a focus for several years. The system has modern features and gets frequent updates, which keep it on the leading edge.

Examples of Universities using Localist include:

UND’s new calendar will launch December 18, 2017. More information will be provided to current calendar users on how events will be migrated to the new system and how to use Localist’s calendar embed features.

Calendar Screen Shot

2. Quality Control

Part of the discovery phase included a site-wide scan using a tool called Screaming Frog. The results were alarming. Thousands of accessibility infractions, broken links and page errors reviled a serious need for a quality assurance/quality control.

Siteimprove was purchased to help users identify a multitude of errors. The tool will be rolled out during phase 2 of each wave and used throughout the entire website redevelopment project. We’ll reevaluate the need for further use after the project is completed.

3. Website Search

UND uses a Google Search Appliance (GSA) to index the website and provide website search results. Google is discontinuing its Site Search product and UND needs to find a new search appliance.

A RFP will be released to find a new search appliance to launch in wave 1 (April 2018). The A-Z Index will be discontinued as a separate stand-alone application and will be integrated into the new search appliance.

4. Directories and Faculty Finder

UND uses custom code and a MySQL database to pull faculty and staff directory information from PeopleSoft into pages within the CMS. A faculty finder also exists as a separate web application, giving every faculty member a standard online profile automatically populated with PeopleSoft data and the option to customize it with his/her own information.

The new website will combine the functions of the of the directory and faculty finder into one. All faculty and staff will have a profile linked in the directory.

To prepare for this change, please update your PeopleSoft data. Different steps needs to be taken to update different fields:

  • Office phone numbers can be updated directly in PeopleSoft by logging into HRMS Self-Service.
  • Office address are updated by contacting Kayla Dickelman in Human Resources at kayla.dickelman@UND.edu.
  • Titles need to be changed through your department’s HR representative by completing a Position Request/Change Form to update functional titles.
  • Changes to a department or affiliation name need to be made in PeopleSoft. Email Allison Peyton in Accounting Services at peyton@UND.edu to request a change. Include your department number, old name, new name, and reason for the change in the email.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments will be reviewed prior to posting.