Student Financial Services released a brand new online financial center on Monday after performing multiple live-student tests to ensure its usability.
With the last site upgrade in 2007, Student Financial Services gave “My Financial Center” a completely new look with more than just upgraded links and message center. To show students that BYU was ready for something different, a pink piggy bank with wings and sunglasses now welcomes students onto the new “My Financial Center.”
Brian Blum and Lori Glenn, who work for Student and Customer Services, made sure the site would be user-friendly by creating mock student accounts that could pay tuition, be put on hold and send and receive messages.
To test it on real students accounts, the Student Financial Center conducted usability testing. Students were asked if site navigation was natural and made sense, and were able to give feedback. This was not standard procedure, but it was done to assure the usability of the new site for students.
Team members at Student Financial Services agreed the 2007 site was unattractive and difficult to use. To make the transition from old to new, all unneeded information was erased from the user interface.
“We really tried to make it understandable for students,” Jay Hanson, director of Student Financial Services said. “We tried to strip out all the little bits and pieces of information that a student doesn’t care about and just leave what they’re concerned with.”
A common concern with the 2007 version was the difficult navigation between pages. Hanson and his team hired the same web designer that created the new myBYU and BYU Learning Suite so students and parents would be familiar with how the site works. They are confident users will appreciate a more user-friendly site.
About three years ago, a small team of administrators and members of student services decided that it was time to find a better solution to make financial transactions easier for students. Since that time, Hanson worked as the project’s senior functional manager. His job was to make sure they accomplished what was needed.
“The last five years have been difficult in software development of the online financial center,” Hanson said. “We tried first to modify the system by looking for new software vendors, but finally decided we needed to do it by ourselves if we wanted to control the look and feel of it.”
Hanson said he and his team are proud with what they created for students. Among a new look, the ability to use credit cards and an easier way to see tax forms, there is also access to signature card accounts. The link will bring users to the present signature card page.
To continue future improvement of the new site, tutorial videos will be posted and a link on the user page encourages students to submit feedback of their new online financial experience.