The need for more engaging online interactions

A dynamic, user-friendly self-service web presence is essential for any organization today, and especially for universities and their diverse populations of students, faculty and staff. For Towson University and its more than 22,000 students and over 3,600 employees, this meant modernizing its internal web hub, myTU, to increase digital accessibility and elevate the web-based services it offers.

Built upon PeopleSoft HCM and Campus Solutions, myTU worked as it should but lacked the engaging, mobile-optimized experience crucial for today’s users. Another concern was a lack of consistency and the ability to ensure a streamlined user interface integrated with PeopleSoft and other third-party services. At the same time, the University recently established a new brand identity – new logo, messaging platform, and visual style guide – which further drove the need to reflect its updated branding with enhanced self-service experiences.

To deliver a more engaging online experience, the University partnered with InFlight, given its expertise in transforming the PeopleSoft user experience and creating dynamic web portals for higher education.

Creating a consistent and intuitive user experience

The new myTU website went live in December 2019 with its student-facing component, followed by the introduction of myTU for employees in early 2020. The result was a dashboard landing page offering a modernized gateway to different applications and self-service functions for students and employees. The reaction to the launch was very positive, with students appreciating the more interactive and visual interface, while no longer having to pinch and squeeze when navigating on their phones.

Although a significant change like this typically requires some time to get used to the new platform, students and staff immediately embraced it. According to Susan Miltenberger, Deputy Chief Information Officer of Towson University, “Because the user interface is so seamless and so easy to navigate, people got used to it a lot quicker than anticipated.”

In addition to the enhanced functionality and user experience, the University can now leverage its contemporary toolset to map out the user journey and drive further engagement via a data-focused approach to content. With InFlight’s ability to provide analytics into the features students and employees interact with, the University can continually optimize myTU – elevating what people are using most and re-prioritizing content with lower engagement.

Inspiring students and employees

Although implemented before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, this new system has been crucial as more employees work remotely, and many classes are delivered online. With such in-person experiences significantly limited, digital experiences have become even more critical to help students and employees feel connected.

The University also has the basis to continue expanding and improving the myTU hub. For instance, it will soon implement a new timesheet functionality, using InFlight to enhance PeopleSoft’s current Time Entry and Approvals offering, and deliver a modern and intuitive process.

“Most importantly, with our transformed digital experience, Towson University can better deliver on its promise to students and employees alike,” Miltenberger said. “We aim to not only provide the tools they need to be productive but also feel inspired and proud to work and study where they do. InFlight’s solutions have been instrumental in contributing to that mission.”

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