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: 807

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

Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Have you seen The University of South Alabama's new online course catalog? It integrates with Banner. Looks sharp! Check it out. "
Wednesday
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Congrats to Oklahoma City Community College on going live with their new responsive online course catalog! "
Aug 24
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Curious about what's going to be in the 2015 E-Expectations Report? Get some hints in today's blog post! "
Aug 20
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Big congrats to Butler County Community College on going live in OU Campus last week with their new responsive site. Looks amazing! Check it out: bc3.edu "
Aug 20
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"HUGE shout-out to Hope College on going live in OU Campus with their new responsive site, which Includes a course catalog, calendar, directories, news center, and much more! Check it out: hope.edu "
Aug 18
Howard Hanna posted a discussion

Cloud Providers: Acquia or Pantheon?

We're considering moving a lower-trafficked site with a fairly vanilla Drupal install to a cloud provider and are wondering whether to go with Acquia or Pantheon.Which would you choose?See More
Aug 18
Profile IconJanine Sazinsky and Cynthia Rodriguez joined University Web Developers
Aug 14
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"#OUTC16 dates and location have been announced!! Get the scoop on our blog! "
Aug 13
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Southwest Mississippi Community College has joined the OmniUpdate family. Hip hip hooray!! #weloveourcustomers‬"
Aug 11
Howard Hanna posted a discussion

Site Search: Evaluating and Testing

Amherst College is considering switching the search engine we use on our website (Drupal) from Google Search Appliance (GSA) to Google Custom Search Engine (CSE). We are considering using Google Tag Manager (GTM) for A/B testing of GSA and CSE. We are configured to seamlessly switch between the two search options.Does anyone have ideas, resources, or a checklist you've used for testing the site search and gauging relevancy?If not GTM for A/B testing, any recommendation on what else to use?All…See More
Aug 5
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"New post up on the blog by OmniUpdate CEO, Lance Merker! Check it out: Three Takeaways from #eduweb15 "
Aug 4
Phyllis Treige posted a discussion

UX Analyst at University of Wisconsin-Madison

The Communications Department in the UW-Madison Division of Information Technology (DoIT) is looking for a full-time User Experience Analyst to join our team.  The opportunityWe’re redefining the experience of higher education at UW-Madison, from improving the course enrollment process to designing tools that support advising to overhauling the MyUW portal.  We need someone who is driven to understand the challenges our users face, to help untangle thorny process and technical ecosystems, and…See More
Aug 4
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"We're so excited to add Lake Tahoe Community College to the OmniUpdate family! Welcome aboard!"
Aug 3
Profile IconKendra Smith, Dan LeGate, Matt Kacskos and 2 more joined University Web Developers
Jul 31
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Congrats to Snow College on going live in OU Campus with their new responsive site! Check it out: www.snow.edu "
Jul 30
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Get the scoop on snippets in the new post up on the blog! "
Jul 29
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"New blog post from Kate Browne, Technology Trainer at Illinois Wesleyan University! The Welcoming Website Part 1: Accessibility and Universal Design "
Jul 22
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Nevada State College went live in our OU Campus CMS! Check it out: nsc.edu http://nsc.edu/"
Jul 20
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Exciting news! We've released 10.3 of OU Campus which includes OU Marketplace! Read all about it in today's blog post. "
Jul 17
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Bard College at Simon's Rock's website has a great new look! New design by Lipman Hearne. Check it out: simons-rock.edu "
Jul 14

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

© 2015   Created by Mark Greenfield.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service