Within mere hours of my.Fairfield 2.0 being accessible to the Fairfield University community on Monday, Jan. 30, one student referred to it as “a mess” on the Fairfield University Class of 2020 Facebook page and many other students seem to agree. Freshman Allie Cyran said, “I appreciate the search option, but overall it just seems a bit less organized.” She continued, “I tried looking up my schedule and I had to open other tabs just to get to it. It just seems unnecessary to change the whole layout.”
Another student, Mallory Burlington ‘20, stated, “I was just getting used to the old my.Fairfield and now it’s completely different.”
Despite the negative feedback from students, ITS has high hopes for this new update and considers it a success already. Jason Victor, the help desk mananger at ITS, started the conversation by saying that, on the technical level, the launch of my.Fairfield 2.0 was “flawless,” and that it is “a better tool than we had before.” He acknowledged that people “resistant to change” may not like the new update, but claimed that once these people begin to understand how the new system works, they will quickly begin to like the updates.
Victor explained that the Fairfield community was actually the reason for the updates to the widely-used website. He said that they added many new functions that “people had been asking for,” such as a “mobile-friendly system, searchability and enabling departments to manage the tasks themselves.” The old system’s searchability was very limited; if you didn’t know where something was located on the website, it was very hard to find. It also did not work well on cell phones and tablets, which was a problem for people before.
Sophomore Megan Defeo said, “the old my.Fairfield website was really hard to navigate on my cell phone, so I’m happy they fixed that.”
Victor went into more detail about how my.Fairfield 2.0 is personalized to the user. He talked about a new function called “favorites.” The new feature allows the user to click a star next to a task that they use regularly and it will become a “favorite” and move to the top of their page. He said, “every time you login, it will be there. You can reorder them and have as many as you’d like.” Now, there is no need to search for something over and over again; you can make it one of your “favorites” and locate it with ease.
Banner Self-Service is another new tool that my.Fairfield 2.0 has to offer. Whereas before, every task had it’s own link (such as grades and course registration), now it is all under Banner Self-Service or Student Records. Now, if you search “grades,” for instance, the task “grades” itself will not come up, but instead it will say “Self-Service.” Week-at-a-Glance, Victor also explained, was not taken out by ITS. The Registrar decided to get rid of it and replace it with something different that they believe is “better.” This is explained under a task “Where is my Week-at-a-Glance?” but the new version can be found under the “Register and Plan” task.
A common complaint among the student body about my.Fairfield 2.0 is its appearance. Compared to the old website, many students think that the new updates are less visually appealing. Junior Josh Singleton put it simply: “It’s annoying and looks weird; it needs more pictures.” However, Victor claimed that “any comments we have received regarding general aesthetics of the site have been consistently positive,” and that the Fairfield Marketing Department “helped to make sure that the look and feel of the website matched and adhered to the University standards.”
Overall, my.Fairfield 2.0 is different compared to what the Fairfield community is used to, but ITS believes that it is a positive change. Despite the amount of negative feedback, some students do like the updates made. Freshman Kiley Deignan said, “I think that people aren’t giving it a chance because it’s so different from what they’re used to.” She continued, “the new layout is easier to navigate because of the ‘Most Popular’ and ‘Favorites’ sections.” The new system has many additional features that the previous one did not and with some getting used to, ITS believes it’ll be a much more efficient, smart tool for all of the faculty and students here to utilize.