University's eLion makes the move to mobile Web accessibility

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State's eLion just got easier, with a new responsive design that will enable students and advisers to access the same features as the Web version of eLion on a variety of mobile devices.

ELion is Penn State's Web-based service that provides students, advisers, faculty and parents with secure, real-time access to academic and financial records.

The new layout features a more responsive streamlined design and user experience, with menu items listed across the top of the page to provide more screen space for compact viewing areas. On most smaller screens (such as cellphones), the navigation bar collapses down to a single button to toggle the menu display. Students and advisers can easily access eLion to check grades and view the schedule of classes wherever their smartphone or tablet can go.

"I carry my cellphone with me all the time so having my eLion information available to me on my iPhone will be a plus," said Hayley Ferguson, a junior in management information systems.

A quick look around campus shows that more students than not carry and use mobile devices. According to a 2012 survey, 70 percent of Penn State students own a mobile device. Survey details are available at http://tlt.psu.edu/2013/03/07/facac-2012-data-analysis-report/.

"Students want to access their records in a format they prefer, and for many today that format is mobile," said, Carol Findley, IT director, Office of the University Registrar.

In addition to making the site design more usable on mobile screens, the eLion site is also more accessible to students and advisers with disabilities. According to Penn State’s Accessibility website at http://accessibility.psu.edu/, Penn State’s standards for accessibility require Web pages and applications to be readable by everyone, regardless of physical ability.

The eLion pages have been screened to make sure that the content doesn’t have “blockers,” or barriers to screen readers that would prevent those who are visually impaired from using the service.

For now, the improvements, which the eLion team began designing in May, will only show up on student and adviser accounts. Faculty, parents and former students can expect to see the changes in their eLion accounts in the future.

For comments and feedback regarding eLion, contact elionfeedback@psu.edu or follow eLion on Twitter @eLionPSU. For technical issues concerning eLion, contact the AIS Support Center at ais-support@psu.edu.

Last Updated March 19, 2014