Student & Employee portal

Employees portal & Changes in the February 2017 release

The employee portal is accessible via employees.utwente.nl. Login is required. This link also appears in the footer of www.utwente.nl/en/

Continual development based on feedback

We introduced the Usabilla feedback tool as soon as the portal went live. This tool allows users to give feedback quickly and easily in respect of specific functionalities, elements, or the portal as a whole.

The Usabilla feedback tool was widely used. It has proved to be a useful and simple way for users to communicate positive aspects of the portal, as well as suggestions for improvement. Users also gave feedback by email.
Over recent months, we have thus gained a good understanding of the elements that require extra attention in a future release because they are currently lacking, or that should be considered in continual development because they are not sufficiently intuitive at present. We have divided these elements into a number of primary segments:

  • Applications
  • News and events
  • Profile settings
  • Email updates
  • Contact details and information

Applications

We received requests to devote more attention and space to the apps column and to look at options that can be implemented to encourage, but above all, to improve use. User experience has shown that while all applications are indeed included, it is not easy to find applications, nor possible to create a personal list of applications based on individual preferences and most frequently used apps. Feedback received via Usabilla shows that the following functionalities within the apps column should be a priority:

The ability to keep the apps column open: In the first version, the screen automatically opens on news and events and there is no option to keep your apps column open. The February 2017 release facilitates this by offering the option of a setting for selecting your preferred layout. In addition, all three columns are visible on wider screens.
The ability to select favorite apps: In the first release, we opted for a summary of recently used apps rather than favorites. Evidently, user preference is for a favorites summary, so that you always have quick access to the apps most important to you. We implemented this request in the February 2017 release. Not only can you personalize news and events this way, but the apps list too. Naturally, it is still possible to search all apps.
Apps icon: The icon used to identify the apps column in the portal was not clear enough. We have made this clearer by adding the word ‘apps’ to the icon.
Searching applications: Searching applications is done with (partial) words. In the February 2017 release, it is also possible to search by keyword. This improves findability of applications.
Standard set of bookmarks: In the first phase, we consciously chose not to include the telephone directory as an application, because it is not an application. However, based on feedback, that is where users expect to find the telephone directory. For that reason, a standard set of bookmarks has been added with urls that are useful to UT employees, such as the UT Telephone Directory and the Maintenance Schedule. These can be selected as favourites

News and events

A few small changes have been made in the news and events section to improve user experience of the Employee Portal.

Display of events list: The portal shows the events list by month. As a result, events taking place in the first week of the month are often not seen and when you get to the end of the month, you may only see 1 event displayed until you go to the next month yourself. In the February 2017 release, we made a change so that events coming up in the following month are also shown on the start screen.
Infinite scroll function: Implementation of a so-called infinite scroll function in the February 2017 release means it is possible to scroll to all the events of the coming months.
Automatic refresh of notifications in the portal. In the first phase, new notifications are not displayed on the timeline when you open the portal. In the February 2017 release, a pop-up appears if new notifications have been published on the portal. Users can then decide themselves whether to download these notifications at that time.

Profile settings

Changes to photo editing. In the first phase, a standard crop of the photo is made and you cannot drag to create the relevant crop. This has been changed in the February 2017 release. You can thus select your own crop.
Instruction slides linked to profile: The instruction slides are linked to cookies in the first phase. Since many users delete cookies at the end of the day, the instruction slides keep appearing again. In the February 2017 release, the instruction slides are linked to the profile settings. This also ensures the settings are saved across different devices.
Colors and contrast: It is apparent the system does not function optimally for those with visual impairments. A version with amended colors and contrast has therefore been developed. Users can select this version in the profile settings.

Email updates

Frequency of news emails: In the first phase, users can choose to receive daily or weekly email updates via the portal. In the February 2017 release, users can opt for weekly or monthly email updates via the portal. There is no option to receive no mailings. On the one hand, this is to ensure supple transition from many mailings to all information being sent from one location and on the other, because UT simply wants to convey certain need-to-know information to its employees, even if they do not use the portal.
Personalized news emails: We strive to personalize all communications from the portal. A salutation in the mailing with Dear Initial.Surname does not suit the image. In the February 2017 release, the first name is used in the salutation of the email. The text in the email update has also been amended.

Contact and information

Help tab: To make submission of news articles and events notifications simpler, a link to the submission form has been placed in the Help tab on the start screen. We have also included a link to ‘Frequently asked questions’ here, as well as email links for the editorial team and the site manager.
Cookie notification: The UT is obliged to comply with cookie legislation for internal channels too. A cookie notification has therefore been included in the February 2017 release.