Feedback fuels FlashLine changes

Rick Pongonis

The Kent State FlashLine is constantly being updated. Ever since the release of the beta last June, many features have been added. During this month, a print button was added to most pages and search history was added to the search field.

Sameer Jaleel, director of systems development at Kent State’s division of information services, had much to say about the constant evolution of the school’s portal website.

“The technology is completely different, but we wanted to restore all the functions that students, faculty and staff used and bring that over,” he said. “So, there is a whole slew of new things that we wanted to do that we hope to in 2017.”

A large change that was recently made from the June version of the FlashLine is that the “Return to FlashLine Classic” button was removed.

Daniel Glassman, a senior history major, shared his thoughts on not being able to go back to the older version.

“I was kind of on the fence at first because I liked the old-fashioned way and I was used to it,” he said. “At first, I would always click the option where you could return to the classic one, but by the end of last semester, I got used to it. It took like 20 seconds and now I like it, it’s convenient.”

UX Designer for the Division of Information Services Jade Green-Gamble talked about how the team decides on what to revise or remove before a new update is rolled out.

“I think that the interface has improved and I also think that search was a very valuable addition from Classic,” Green-Gamble said.

Drew Bencetic, a sophomore nursing major approved of the newer FlashLine.

“I like on the side how they have the drop-down menu, some students thought it was very confusing but I didn’t think it was that bad,” Bencetic said. “I thought it was easy to work.”

On the other hand, sophomore psychology major Lorrielle Dodson felt that the newer version was lacking.

“It’s okay, I like the old version better,” Dodson said. “The one thing I do like about the new one is that you can have like a little tab where you set your own profile up, and that’s about as much as I care for.”

Jaleel said he really appreciates receiving feedback from students and faculty because that helps him and his team improve the user experience of FlashLine. He regularly conducts research through Google Analytics where he is able to see the areas of FlashLine that are visited most frequently.

“We heard things in feedback that we hadn’t thought of,” he said. “It’s been a source of constructive ideas for FlashLine.”

Jaleel also talked about the future of the website.

“We want to put a countdown up there that shows that your registration starts in this many days, hours and minutes,” he said.

While he could not go into specifics at this time, Jaleel said there are more changes coming to the FlashLine in due time.

Rick Pongonis is the university tech reporter, contact him at [email protected]