On Campus Pages Brainstorming Posted on November 9th, 2009 by

On Campus PageNot many pages on the Gustavus website receive as much traffic as the On Campus page–particularly the section designed for students.

Since these pages haven’t changed much since they were first created, they need a bit of an update. We have been brainstorming some ideas for a while and want to see what you think about what we have in store. Additionally, if you have any great ideas to add to the mix, please let us know!


The On Campus pages serve as a portal to the Gustavus website for audiences that are primarily on campus (i.e. students, faculty, and employees). Therefore, they contain many relative links and tools for these groups. With the current design, you need to decide what section you should visit in order to get the links and tools that are most helpful to you.

When we rebuild the On Campus pages, we want to do things more intelligently. If you log in using our single sign-on system when you visit the On Campus page, then we know whether you are a student, faculty, or employee along with a handful of other useful information. We want to use this information to tailor the On Campus page specifically for you.

Eventually, we want to customize more content for you. For instance, if you are a student who is a religion major, we would be able to highlight calendar events sponsored by the Religion department.


On Campus ModulesClutter is one of our biggest challenges with the On Campus pages. Currently all of the links, tools, and content for each audience is displayed on a single page. This organization scheme makes it difficult to add much to the page before it becomes simply overwhelming.

With the redesign, we want to modularize things more onto a dashboard that gives you a quick overview of everything. Each module will have an expanded view that will occupy the entire page. Under this new organization scheme, all of the important information is at your fingertips while the details are only a quick click away.

Links Module

One of the most important parts of the On Campus pages are the bunches of links on each page. This is how a lot of people find their way around the Gustavus website. We would love to add even more links to each page, but there just doesn’t seem to be enough room. Therefore, we want to create a links module that will allow us to offer more links while helping us get the most useful links to you as quickly as possible.

The new links module will allow you to star links that you personally find useful, just like in the Gribly or Gmail. These starred links will always appear on your dashboard in addition to a set of links that others have found useful. There will also be a place for you to add your own custom links, if they haven’t already been added to the system.


If you want to change your password, you need to visit the GTS Tools page. If you want to update your contact information, go to the Gribly. There are currently a bunch of tools that are spread out across the Gustavus website. With the new On Campus page, we hope to consolidate these tools into a single easy-to-use interface.

What Do You Think?

Although the On Campus redesign probably won’t happen soon, we’d love to hear what you think. Do you like these ideas? Do you have any great ideas of your own? What parts of the On Campus page do you currently use the most? Let us know in the comments.



  1. Tom Lany says:

    These ideas sound really cool! I really like the idea of content being customized for the user based on their demographics.

    I think the ability to bring users the content that they want without them having to spend time digging is what has made sites like Facebook so popular. It is amazing to think, for instance, that the Facebook photo service is as popular as it is when photos are not their primary service. I think much of this is in the way they display photos to others, limit the ability of users to view photos based on preferences, etc.

    I think any time services can be integrated, this improves the user experience, as well. It is nice to be able to do a Gribly search from the on campus pages without having to login (if you are already logged in to Single Sign On). To the extent that more services can be combined in the future, I think that will only improve the experience for users.

    • Joe Lencioni says:

      “I think any time services can be integrated, this improves the user experience, as well.”

      Yes, integration is a good word for this. We hope that by using single sign-on and the new modular design paradigm we will be able to more effectively integrate more parts of the Gustavus website into the On Campus pages.

  2. Chris Duhaime says:

    I think this sounds great… having a one-stop-shop for all the resources on the Gustavus website seems really smart, and in this day in age when people are always on the go, they want information quick. Sounds like your heading in the right direction.