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MyUTEP page gets an overhaul

Adrian Broaddus
Freshman Speech Pathology major, Valeria Carillo uses the new MyUTEP website.

The main website for University of Texas at El Paso students has undergone a complete overhaul for the first time since it was launched almost 10 years ago. After a two-year research and development process, the MyUTEP page has been redesigned with only one thing in mind: the student.

“Originally this was launched six to seven years ago and our student population has changed,” said Enterprise Computing Director Luis Hernandez. “We wanted to make sure we were meeting your needs as they exist today.”

The concern over the website’s usefulness to the student population, and the growing use of mobile devices sparked a process that would result in the MyUTEP page available today.

Through tracking of the website’s traffic, the university noticed an increase in use, especially through the different mobile devices available today.

Making the website more mobile friendly was among the main concerns.

Enterprise Computing researched and developed the website for a period of 18 months. During this period of time, student opinion was the top priority. Student focus groups were used throughout the process to test aspects of the website such as its design. Hernandez and his team used storyboards, paper models and computer renderings in search of the optimal website for the UTEP student.

“We had student input every step of the way,” Hernandez said. “(We) wanted to make sure that we developed something that met all of our current students’ needs.”

The mobile-friendly aspect of the new website is just one of the many changes the MyUTEP portal has undergone.

According to their research, Enterprise Computing found that the MyUTEP website was really only being used by students as a way to get to other sites. Accessing BlackBoard, Goldmine or their student email were the main reasons for which UTEP students were visiting the MyUTEP website.

“I would mainly use it as a main source in order for me to be able to direct myself to other websites or databases, like Blackboard or the library,” said Jesus Chacon, senior nursing major.

he purpose of the website went way beyond just a launch page, but the students were simply not aware of this.

“When you logged into the previous iteration, you came to the landing page, it really didn’t show you anything, it was a lot of marketing, a lot of information,” Hernandez said. “Students really didn’t know about all the other functionality that was there because they would log in and they wouldn’t see it.”

The purpose of the MyUTEP website is to provide UTEP students with information they will need on a day-to-day basis. The university wants it to be an aid to students in their everyday collegiate life.

The website still provides a quick link to other important websites such as Blackboard and Goldmine, but now it puts other valuable information in front of the user to diminish the need of the other websites.

The MyUTEP website shows students their grade point average, transcripts, account balance, any holds they might have preventing them from doing certain actions and other types of information.

According to Hernandez, one of the things students asked for the most during their research was an easy way to access their class schedule. The new website does just that, showing a student when, where and at what time he or she has classes throughout the week.

“I like it, it’s very helpful to me,” said sophomore criminal justice major John Huguley about MyUTEP’s new features. “It’s something that wasn’t available on the other website, so I like the accessibility of the new website a lot more than the old one.”

A way to track the Miner Metro system is also available on the website. Information concerning the different routes and stops, as well as a tracker to show where the busses are all located.

The new version of the website is not finished and will continue to show improvements and provide users with new content as time goes by.

“As we move forward, we’re taking input and making changes,” Hernandez said. “Eventually showing more and more information, more details. Stuff that students need to see on a day-to-day basis.”

Some of the things Hernandez and his staff are working on involve scholarship information and a way to map a student’s academic future.

Enterprise Computing is working with the Office of Scholarships in developing a way in which MyUTEP will help students find scholarships. With the information available to the university, the website will match the student with scholarships that he or she could potentially qualify for. The website would then help the user through the application process as well.

Outcomes to certain co-curricular activities are also something Hernandez believes can be helpful to students. Showing the user how taking advantage and participating in events like etiquette training is another feature being worked on for the website. The idea is show students the consequences of different activities.

“If I go to the etiquette dinner trainings and interview skills it’s going to help me in developing my skills for this, so when I graduate I can do this,” Hernandez said.

With the student being the main focus, the MyUTEP website will continue to evolve.

Feedback is very important for Hernandez and he encourages students to voice their comments and concerns with his office, similar to the way it worked during the development process of the website.

When developing the website, UTEP received a 20 percent response from surveys sent out to students. The more students voice their opinions and needs, the more it will be reflected on the MyUTEP website.

“This is for them, and it’s not going to stay like this, it’s going to evolve based on their input,” Hernandez said. “It’s important to give us your feedback, we are listening.”

Luis Gonzalez may be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Adrian Broaddus, Sports Editor
Adrian Broaddus is the sports editor for The Prospector. He is a junior multimedia journalism major with a minor in political science.   Adrian was born and raised in El Paso, TX, and is a graduate of Franklin high school. He entered college in the fall of 2015 in hopes to better his career in journalism.   Along with sports, Adrian enjoys writing music reviews, perspective columns and news stories on politics.   Although he is pursuing his degree in journalism, Adrian would like to go to law school and be an attorney while doing part-time work in journalism.  
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MyUTEP page gets an overhaul