Usability review of Seattle University’s SU Online user account page: https://suonline.seattleu.edu/
Recently, my account and personal information was used to test a data feed as part of the university’s ERP implementation project. SU Online is a self service page for students to review their financial aid, registration, pay invoices and review other documents in relation to their student status with the university. There is also an employee and faculty portal but the self service options are limited to paystubs, W-2s and web time entry for those that apply. With the ERP project, it is the hope that the self service features will become more robust and employees will be able to maintain their information online versus paper forms.
While reviewing my account (I’m a student and employee), I was asked why I had six different phone numbers in the system and if my current information was correct? I thought I updated this a while ago but went in to clean it up for them to see which fields the data was populating and the workflow. Since I was testing this for the project, I thought I could kill two birds with one stone and also select this site to review its usability.
#1 Can I find what I need?
I logged in to SU Online with the programmer standing over me so that she could see which fields I was changing. It seemed easy enough except as I was navigating the page, I realized it wasn’t obvious where I should go to update phone numbers and remove the old ones. I thought about Chapter 1, Don’t make me think! Krug’s first law of usability, and how this would apply because I, like many users, just clicked on the link I thought would be the best place to update my information-My Profile. Incorrect. It did show all of my information including the six phone numbers but was not an editable page so I went back and tried the next best option-Change Address. Krug recommends the “obvious” by designing links to look like they continue to another section and the naming of those links to help the user understand where it will take them.
#2 I have a mission. How easy is it to update?
From Change Address, I could see where the phone numbers were located and went to the Mailing and Home sections to edit. I hit a couple errors messages because the site required the address fields but instead of instructions to populate all of the fields, it gave an error note for each section until I gave up and told the programmer that I would make the changes at home later. She agreed and laughed because the process seemed tedious.
#3 Does it omit unnecessary text or include what is needed?
It would have been helpful if the section kept the current address information in the fields instead of having the user re-type the information in case they didn’t need to change it as I didn’t need to for this task. If all of the fields were required, a notation or indicator such as an asterisk could be included to guide the user through the submission. Going through these updates, I also noticed that the emergency contact was incorrect on each of those sections but not editable on those screens. Do they need to have that information in the Change Address area since there is a separate section on the main page?
On the Emergency Contact, it had the right person and My Profile also listed the correct contact which was good confirmation that it was saved some where correctly. This led me to think that the other sections had the information stored in another system.
There is an HRIS system that feeds some information to SU Online and maybe those sections could only be updated through that system. This could be confusing to users if they see the incorrect information listed. Not my problem to solve today.
#4 Did I accomplish what I needed?
After pressing submit without any other error message, the Change Address page returned to the main menu without a confirmation note that my submission was successful. I clicked on My Profile to check if the updates went through and all except one phone number was incorrect. I wasn’t able to find this number on the Change Address page and if I tried to select Local which was the only page I had not edited, it gave an error message that wouldn’t allow me to enter. Therefore, I was not able to accomplish my task because I wasn’t able to remove all of my old phone numbers. Again, it might be housed in the HRIS system as the source of record and an option would be to review my information there to see if that number was saved and editable.