Students, teachers, future students and others will soon be able to use the general catalog in a whole new way.
The catalog, which has been online-only for a decade, will launch a revamped version on April 25 with new search features, an updated look and feel to match the main UC Davis website, better mobile responsiveness and improved accessibility. .
“The last catalog was just another evolution of the paper,” said Randall Larson-Maynard, editor, program coordinator and webmaster for the university’s registrar’s office that oversees the catalog. “It’s more designed for the web, so it’s thought out in a different way. It’s more what our students expect.
The catalog is moving to a new vendor, Iowa-based Leepfrog Technologies, and the switch will require a two-day hiatus this Thursday and Friday (April 21-22). After that, the catalog will have a new URL, catalogue.ucdavis.edu. All bookmarked pages in the previous catalog will be redirected to the new homepage.
The web interface was last revamped about five years ago, and the biggest change this time around is a course search feature that allows users to search by a number of criteria, like general education requirement that a course fulfills, then refine the search by criteria. such as a keyword or a department.
Another new feature makes it easier to use alphabetical course and program listings: many course names are now links that bring up a small pop-up window with more information so users don’t have to navigate to a another page and lose their place.
“We were asked to do this for 10 years,” Larson-Maynard said.
The General Catalog will also make it easier for future students to navigate potential future courses, with a new “Apply Now” button.
Although the catalog is still web-only, users can save PDFs of individual pages or the full general catalog, which will be approximately 1,700 pages.
The General Catalog redesign process took approximately eight months, and the Registrar’s office sought input from student focus groups, college advisory groups, and faculty members.
The new features and updated appearance have been widely praised, Larson-Maynard said.
“I think the campus will receive it very well,” he said. “The sample size we showed it at, no one complained.”
The new format will also make updates much easier — the site tracks college updates and approvals, which Larson-Maynard previously tracked with a spreadsheet and hundreds of Word documents. That shortened this year’s editing process by about three weeks, but that doesn’t mean the staff members working on the catalog will get an extended vacation this time around.
“I start working on the next version the day that version comes out,” Larson-Maynard said.