“You mean the TV ads in the DC and the Coop?”
On November 1st, FIG, Haverford’s computing club, launched its third version of the GO! portal, GO! 3.0. When asked about the new GO! page update, many students replied that they were unaware of GO!’s existence and its role on campus, despite a recent campus-wide email from FIG about the updated portal.
“It needed a reboot, and FIG should’ve even considered rebranding and renaming it,” said Gabe Delabra ‘17. “I feel that unfortunately, the GO! portal has become antiquated and that I’m one of the few people who still uses it.”
“It seems like a waste of resources,” added Dhario Desousa ‘16. “Can’t you get all this information just on haverford.edu?”
FIG is trying to change these conceptions. Created in 2002, the first GO! portal was the brainchild of the founding members of FIG. Since its inception, it has played host to the “student calendar, essential links, student pictures, administration announcements, and the infamous Go boards,” according to FIG’s entry on Haverpedia (another product by the members of FIG).
The update is the result of over a year and a half of work, and it brings with it a complete redesign of many of GO!’s elements. According to FIG member Casey Falk ‘16, GO! 3.0 was built “entirely from the ground up,” which means that students will see a “faster, more customizable, and user-oriented” website. Falk added that GO! 3.0 has a built-in “feature request” button, which allows users to make suggestions.
The new GO! page also features customizable widgets, called “cards,” that users may manipulate to display the layout of their choosing. New “cards” include: a DC menu (complete with Vegan and Allergy specifications), SEPTA and Blue Bus schedules, weather forecasts, WHRC radio, and a card with links to The Clerk’s latest articles. GO! 3.0 also has customizable color themes and a new “chat” option, which allows students to tag subjects with their own classifications (such as #lostandfound).
Even with these new features and possibilities for personalization, however, not all Haverford students are enamored with GO! 3.0. A common complaint with the update is the disappearance of the GO! boards, the all-student online forum and discussion board.
“FIG is working on making the new GO! chat more organized and visually similar to the GO! boards,” Falk said, addressing some of these concerns. “That said, we see GO! chat as an evolution of the GO! boards.”
GO! 3.0 also has the potential to change the way that students interact with each other— with GO! chat, students can forgo emailing [HC All-Students] and send information to everyone on campus through GO! chat. Additionally, when students add an event on GO!’s calendar, they have the option of including their event in the Weekly Consensus.
Falk also hinted at some of GO!’s upcoming features, including new “cards” dedicated to the Swat van and the R100 Norristown High Speed Line schedule, as well as more customizable themes.
“At some point, FIG hopes to push GO! to the BiCo and TriCo communities as well,” Falk added.
As of November 9th, GO! was in its first day of mobile-optimization— students with iPhones are now able to save the GO! page to their home screens just as they would an app and interact with the site just as they would on a computer.
The new GO! portal, while not flawless, represents an important step in confronting some of the issues that Haverford students face regarding information consumption on campus. If enough students use the GO! portal, Falk emphasized, it could work to serve as a more unified space for the dispersal of events and information on campus. Until then, FIG is encouraging students to file bug reports and feature requests— and to offer input on how to improve the GO! page.