NU Link Basic Has Simple Interface To Help Students

Elise Foley

By Elise FoleyThe Daily Northwestern

About two weeks after NU Link was introduced, ASG’s new student calendar and organization system has undergone some changes to accommodate student requests.

Complaints about the student Web portal led to the creation of easy-access icons for links to the most frequently used Web sites and a new alternative Web site, NU Link Basic, which excludes NU Link’s calendar feature, said Robby Stein, the site’s co-creator and former Associated Student Government communications director.

“We want NU Link to be used by everyone,” said Stein, a Medill senior and former Daily staffer. “We thought it would be important to make a second option for students who just want to link to Northwestern, if they’re graduate students or just don’t want to see events.”

Stein said NU Link Basic was created with these students in mind. The Web site has a list of links similar to HereAndNow, which NU Link replaced on April 7 .

“When we first launched, we put up a link to contact us, and there was a pattern of people requesting they didn’t want to see a calendar on the main page,” Stein said.

Fewer than 50 students responded to an e-mail sent to all NU students introducing the Web site and asking for feedback, Stein said.

Stein said he hopes NU Link Basic will allow students who are dissatisfied with the original version to keep the site as their home page.

“We don’t want people who don’t want to look at a calendar to leave NU Link,” Stein said. “It’s important to have people on campus connected, and NU Link does that.”

Weinberg sophomore Jackie Cheron said although she now has NU Link as her home page, she liked HereAndNow more.

“I don’t like that you have to run over the tabs to find anything,” Cheron said. “It’s hard to find the links I want.”

Cheron added that she might be more likely to use NU Link Basic because she does not use the login feature or the calendar.

NU Link is not a final product, and students should expect more changes, Stein said.

Other problems, such as difficulties loading the page with the Apple Web browser Safari, have also been resolved, he said. Students whose browser does not support the initial version of NU Link should try NU Link Basic, he said.

Weinberg senior Charlie Guo said he likes NU Link even though his initial impressions were less favorable.

“I like the calendar feature,” Guo said. “Now that I’m used to it, I would say overall (NU Link) is better than HereAndNow.”

Guo said he does not think he will use the login feature of NU Link, which allows students to post personal events on their calendar, create a to-do list and save notes on a notepad.

But Stein said students should login to get the full NU Link experience.

Other students said that they did not use HereAndNow and do not plan to use NU Link regardless of any changes made.

Janelle Bracken, a Communication junior, said she prefers to have a news site as her home page.

“Everything that I need it for I can access somewhere else,” Bracken said.

Stein said NU Link will continue to add features for a few weeks to meet students’ needs.

Upcoming changes include a feature that will allow students to create and communicate with groups, he said.

Reach Elise Foley at [email protected]