Goldlink is an integral part of the ETSU experience.

The website hosts students’ schedule builder, grades, financial aid and links to frequently accessed ETSU sites.

Goldlink’s host was set to expire, so Information Technology Services decided this was the proper time to address some of the issues students had with its format.

Despite allowing students instant access to information online, the website was not mobile friendly, which prompted many student complaints.

“ITS decided to write a custom student portal so that we could address student requests for a mobile-friendly site,” said Karen King, CIO and senior vice provost for ITS.

ITS also decided on the custom student portal in order to address student requests for a less cluttered version of GoldLink.

“The previous version of the GoldLink portal was provided by a third party vendor as part of our Enterprise Resource Planning system known as Banner,” King said. “This third party software was not mobile-friendly, and we had very little control over the design and functionality of this portal.”

Along with the lack of functionality and design, Banner was set to be discontinued by ERP, leaving ITS with few options.

In Fall 2015, ITS began to look into the newer version of the third party portal, but the newer version was still not mobile-friendly and was more expensive than the previous version.

Since Spring 2016, different groups throughout ITS worked to create a new portal for ETSU that is mobile-friendly and more easily accessible across platforms.screen-shot-2016-09-25-at-4-30-59-pm

“We conducted a formal usability test over the summer to determine any usability issues with the site and gain feedback from students, faculty and staff,” King said. “The usability lab in the Department of Computing was used to test participants over the summer. Additionally, students were involved in labeling decisions and A/B testing of designs.”

Keeping students need in mind, King and ITS have been monitoring student feedback and have only been met with one negative comment since its launch on Sept. 19, 2016.

Throughout testing and its launch, the new GoldLink has been met with praise, especially for the new mobile format.

Simplicity was a factor in the upgrade, and many believe it is now easier to locate information quicker. The new platform also offers three choices of skins to allow personalization by students.

With many student concerns met, ITS will continue to monitor the success and usage of the site.

Those with concerns about the new layout should contact For any technical problems or questions, contact