New portal changes lead the way

The University of North Alabama’s portal System, which allows students to register for classes, pay tuition, check grades, and more was upgraded over the summer in an effort to provide a better user experience. 

“Discussions regarding the upgrade began in early 2019,” said Ethan Humphres, the Executive Director of Information Technology Services. “The upgrade to UNAPortal was completed mid-May 2019.”

Many returning students may have noticed the new changes when completing schedules for the new school year. New students have immediately got a chance to see how the new system looks due to their use of portal to create schedules and complete other tasks during this year’s runs of ROAR orientations. 

“The software known to campus as UNAPortal is a purchased software product from software company Ellucian,” said Humphres. “This particular update allowed us to provide a more responsive design to the campus for this important product." 

Humphres also stated that the updated version of Portal is more effective on many devices available to the public.

“This version is much more adaptable and user friendly to many types of devices, such as tablets and phones,” Humphres said. “We felt this was a much needed change and benefit to the campus.”

In addition to the adaptability improvements, Portal took on a new look that features UNA purple and white and a five bar navigation point in order for students to have easy access to the areas they need within portal. Through months of testing and improvements, the system is in place and is ready for increased student use Portal.

“We upgraded and ran this product in our test environment for a few months,” said Humphres. “We also worked with several individuals on campus to test and verify the status and usability of the new system.”

So far, students have had mixed emotions about the upgrade.

Sophomore Gavin Weber thinks that the changes made are confusing.

“The side bar icon have nothing to do with what’s within the tabs,” Weber said. “The design isn’t terrible as far as the layout and the colors, but the navigation make the layout more confusing than anything else.”

Sophomore Leslie Turner disagrees with Weber.

“Personally, I think that the changes were needed,” Turner said. “Before, the layout had no uniform to it, it was harder to find the tabs and it was dull. Now, portal is more organized. Once a gray page that I had trouble using is made easier with accessible tabs and brighter colors.”

Students can access UNAPortal by simply typing in “UNA Portal” on any search engine. From there, you will need your username and the password that you created to access your UNA account. From that point, you have access to whatever tasks that you need to complete within the UNA system.

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