University Web Developers

University Web Developers

Any CourseLeaf, Acalog or SmartCatalog users out there?

We put out an RFI for a catalog management solution and recently sat through short demos about these three products. Looking to chat with schools how are using or used any of these products and get some general impressions.

Views: 621

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

We use Acalog at GVSU, but I am not that directly involved. If you wanted to run questions by someone I could probably dig up a contact for you.

Thanks, Ben. Thank would help me out a lot...

Personally, my impression of those three (I've demoed them all previously as well) is that they were solutions built by programmers. Meaning, tons of features without a lot of regard for how they actually need to be used by the people that use them. If memory serves, CourseLeaf stood out as the best of the three, mainly for their PDF conversion abilities.

<vendor>
That said, that's why we worked on CatalogM (http://catalogm.allofe.com/catalogm/home). We built it from the ground up to meet the needs of the registrar at the university I worked at previously. And like our mapping platform, we wanted to make it more than cost competitive with current market alternatives. Our platform was built with university flexibility in mind - dealing with the idea that no two schools build their catalog the same.

If you want to watch the webinar we did on it a while back, it's archived here: http://info.nucloud.com/view-online-catalog-webinar/. Feel free to shoot me any questions if you want.
</vendor> 

Thanks. I'll definitely check CatalogM out. I was actually impressed how far these products have come since we looked five years ago, but none seems the "ideal" fit.

We've dealt with one of these vendors. Our problems are related to our own internal processes, where plan is a four-letter word and lack of accountability means deadlines are missed and life goes on.

Moral of the story: you need to have a handle on your own processes to make any product work for you. If your process is broken, no product will fix it for you.

Good point - even the best tool is worthless if you aren't setup internally to use it properly.

That said, we're wrapping up an installation with one of these vendors and, as Michael said, it definitely looks like it was designed by programmers. I can't even figure out how to work the darn thing. I wish I had been involved in the selection process. (What is it with "enterprise" software companies forgetting to hire interface designers?)

Tatjana, make sure you can take it for a real test drive with the people who will actually be using it. A demo likely won't reveal usability issues.

I agree, internal processes are critical. We have been using a homegrown online catalog CMS for about ten years, so we've worked through a lot of the workflow kinks and have a good idea of what we are looking for to fit with our environment and resources. We're also lucky that we have a good cross section of people involved in the selection process and we're trying to be very thorough. I just recently have been dealing with another hosted "web solution" by a "big name" company that was chosen by a senior administrator (it's what they used at his old school...), and it has been a nightmare, definitely designed for programmers of which none are involved on our side... Even the public facing end has some serious usability issues. :(

Anyhow... It was actually the catalog demos that brought me here to seek out concrete experiences with specific products. During the demo one product looked super techie and not very user-friendly for those entering information. Another seemed geared to developing very structured data, that has a definite appeal for re-purposing  data throughout our institutional site, however, I am concerned that it might be too difficult to implement given the current diversity and complexity of the current catalog content. I'd like to know some first hand of pluses and minuses of these tools in action.

If anyone is willing to share some details of their experiences, please contact me directly.

RSS

Elsewhere

Latest Activity

Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Part 3 of our E-Expectations series available on our blog! Get the facts you need to improve your best resource—your college website. "
Friday
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Please note that OmniUpdate will be closed this Monday in observance of Labor Day. We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday!"
Thursday
Beth Hastings replied to Beth Hastings's discussion Columbia College site redesigned - take a look!
"Thanks - I appreciate it! It was a  lot of "new" for us. Personally, I'd done a little bit of responsive design (took a class) but nothing at this level. I'd not done HTML5 or really delved into CSS3 and then finding…"
Thursday
Patricia Pokrocos posted a discussion

Web Developer

Position SummaryThe School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) in the midst of an exciting period of growth in its capacity to prepare leaders and solve societal problems, and seeks a web developer for the large-scale project of moving the Schools current website to a more modern platform. Reporting to the Director, Engineering Communications, the primary role of the web developer is to setup and build the framework for the new website (utilizing Drupal). The person in this position will…See More
Aug 27
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"No one loves their college’s website more than Marie Wise! New post by Marie herself up on the blog. Read it now!"
Aug 27
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Congratulations to Western Illinois University for going live with their responsive redesigned website in OU Campus v10! "
Aug 26
Maggie Slater joined Lynn Zawie's group
Thumbnail

OmniUpdate

Share your experiences using OmniUpdate CMS
Aug 26
Profile IconEloine Chapman, Adam Mullen, Gina D'Alessio and 1 more joined University Web Developers
Aug 25
Dan Bashaw replied to Beth Hastings's discussion Columbia College site redesigned - take a look!
"Nice and clean redesign, and I can see you are also paying a lot of attention to content strategy.  Thanks for sharing the links!"
Aug 25
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Please help us welcome University of New Haven to the OU Campus user community!"
Aug 22
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
" Read about the importance of mobile in today’s blog post from our E-Expectations series."
Aug 22
David Dahl posted a discussion

Web Services Specialist, Towson University Libraries

The Albert S. Cook Library seeks a highly skilled and innovative Web Services Specialist to participate in all stages of the application development life cycle.  Under the direction of the Information Technology Librarian, this position provides primary web application development support for the Library’s online initiatives. Focusing on services that improve the user experience for the University’s students, faculty, and staff, the Web Services Specialist collaborates with team members, other…See More
Aug 20
David Dahl joined Mark Greenfield's group
Aug 20
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Check out Naropa University’s new course catalog! It pulls course data from Jenzabar. Well done!"
Aug 20
Profile IconDavid Dahl, tmogroup and Besart Bytyqi joined University Web Developers
Aug 20
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"How do you view change? Read what our CEO took away from this year’s eduWeb Conference about change in today's blog post."
Aug 20
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Loving the new look on the CSU Channel Islands website! Check it out: csuci.edu/ #responsive #accessible"
Aug 19
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Congrats to Daytona State College on going live with their responsive design in OU Campus v10! Looks amazing! "
Aug 13
Profile IconNancy Boudreau, Rob Green and John Cady joined University Web Developers
Aug 13
Beth Hastings posted a discussion

Columbia College site redesigned - take a look!

We launched a redesign of our site on July 1. It was more than just a new skin, it was a reorganization of the content. In the past we've tried to serve all audiences - current students, prospects, staff, faculty and alumni. It ended up being link overload. It also used internal back office terminology that was confusing to prospects.Our charge was to gear the site toward prospective students and to move all content for current students and faculty & staff behind our existing portal.We…See More
Aug 12

UWEBD has been in existence for more than 10 years and is the very best email discussion list on the Internet, in any industry, on any topic

About

© 2014   Created by Mark Greenfield.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service