In the famous words of Bob Dylan, “the times, they are a-changin’” — and with that has come the long awaited arrival of Boston University’s new and updated Student Link. While the homepage design has an entirely new layout, one thing has remained the same: students are still complaining.
Before the advent of this website’s construction, the student link seemed to be the collective laughing stock of the student body. Its minimalistic design, retro color scheme and very basic functionality seemed rather plain to represent a school with as much prestige as BU.
Perhaps the student’s criticisms were just another way to make conversation, or take a break from dissing the outdated conditions of Warren Towers — but we talked, and the University apparently listened.
After years of jokes and critique from the student body, the new and allegedly “improved” Student Link rolled out the week after spring break. Equipped with a brand new homepage, the new site, called “MyBU,” will implement new changes in three different phases to help make the portal more user-friendly.
While the design aspect is only one facet of this change, more is to come with updated information for pronouns and gender identity in housing selection, bill management and class registration.
This sudden change on the horizon seems to be a step in the right direction towards getting the University to take student feedback into consideration, but like with most things in life — we can’t please everyone.
Although the site is definitely more modern by society’s standards, it’s not difficult to mistake the page for a newsletter with all the pictures and clutter gracing the page. What’s more, the number of links on one single page has doubled — and while this gives students more access to potentially helpful information — it also makes the navigation process more confusing.
Again, the idea of rolling out this updated process in multiple stages for students to better acclimate seems great on paper, but more confusing in reality — especially when considering registration for Fall 2023 will soon be under way.
So yes, in some aspects, the old Student Link was visually outdated and desperately in need of flare to attract greater appeal. However, it can also be said that the vapidity of the website made it much easier on the eyes in terms of spatial arrangement and loading times. Indeed, there is something to be said about the noticeable change in how long it takes the website to run now that it has been flushed with all sorts of new information.
Rather than prioritizing functionality, it appears the majority of the emphasis within the new update considered only what would look best. The University certainly did their best to feed the many qualms of their audience, but in the process, also omitted the very tidy look of the site.
While students may now be dealing with a more cluttered site, not everyone hates the new design. There are benefits to having links and specialized functions that assist students with the more confusing aspects of college life — especially in terms of organizing their finances and deciding on their housing.
But even in aiming to improve, there will still be some space left in between for people to insert their own opinions as to how they think the Student Link should look. Too busy, too overwhelming, not helpful, detailed or more organized — the list of conflicting perspectives goes on and on.
Still, the discourse is something to appreciate because it gives us all another thing to gossip and complain about with our friends.
It seems like the impending changes will stand as a greater testament to how successful this new update truly is, but in the meantime, students can still turn the unique quirks and challenges of this trial design into another thing they can have a silly conversation about.
This editorial was written by Opinion Editor Analise Bruno