Since their beginnings over 10 years ago, portals have attempted to solve a big problem: show you the information you need to see (like tuition deadlines) while leaving room for customization. For a long time, the common solution to this problem has been portlets. You’re probably already familiar with portlets as most portal products use them. Here are a few examples:
Portlets are boxes of content with title bars and buttons, much like the windows in your operating system. Sometimes you can drag them around, but sometimes you have to manage their positions through a menu. Additionally, they almost always fit into predefined columns on the page.
A portlet in Onestop
We decided to take a different approach and we’re calling them Widgets. Widgets are mini applications and are easy to interact with. They don’t fit into static columns and you can drag and drop them anywhere you want on the page. There are no menus and no confusing buttons. Widgets support any screen resolution without resizing to be ridiculously big or incredibly small. We won’t even get mad if your widgets overlap!
We think you’ll love widgets, but they’re only one piece to the puzzle. What about those tuition deadlines? And what do you when you have too many widgets? The answer is Pages. Instead of putting everything on your screen at once, you can organize your widgets into pages.
The pages drawer
First, you start out with a page filled with crucial information (deadlines, announcements, etc.). That page can’t be edited, so you never have to worry about accidentally deleting it or messing it up. Then you’re free to create your own pages, fill them up with your favorite widgets, and decide which page you want to see when you first log in. You can rename, reorder, and create as many pages as you need. You don’t have to wade through endless menus to organize your pages either. Everything is drag and drop.
You can try out widgets without logging in. We hope you’ll give it a shot.