The tech team at the University of Georgia, Athens, emphasizes making the UGA portal superfriendly. Communications Officer Albert DeSimone Jr., one of the contributors to this issue of EdTech, says the university has gone from a few hundred documents available to staff members to “hundreds of thousands of Web pages accessible to the world.” To guide faculty and staff in creating online content and pages for the portal, the Web Group created a cheat-sheet with links to additional resources. Distilled to its chief goals, “The Seven C’s of WebService Design” recommends that content meet these criteria:
• comprehensiveness — complete institutional coverage with respect to organization and functions, provided at the closest possible point of knowledge;
• currentness — accuracy of static information enhanced by changing and up-to-date information;
• client orientation — responsiveness to requests from visitors;
• clarity over coolness — simplicity of page design and directness of hyperlink pathways versus visual techniques that clutter or compromise presentation;
• courtesy over coolness — reason-ably speedy page loading;
• compatibility without
compromise — sensitivity to and support of different browsers;
• cross-linking and validation — multiple access paths to the same information, with a method for checking sitewide links.
For pointers on assessing your school’s portal, flip to DeSimone’s article.
Albert DeSimone Jr. (above) has worked in technology at his alma mater, the University of Georgia in Athens, for nearly 25 years. In his current role as communications officer, he oversees Web-mediated projects. DeSimone once thought he’d go to law school, but he nixed that idea in favor of a master’s in English. For his work launching the UGA Web site, the school named him Webmaster emeritus in 2003.
Jeffrey Fritz is director for enterprise network services at the University of California, San Francisco. His team handles network technology for UCSF’s two main campuses, its two hospitals and more than 200 remote sites. He served as chairman of the National Information Infrastructure Working Group, which paved the way for Internet2.
Robert Paterson is CIO for Salem State College in Massachusetts. He manages all phases of academic, media, telecommunications and administrative support and is responsible for collegewide planning efforts. Paterson is an avian ecologist by training and taught biology for 10 years before making the jump to IT in 1985.