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New portal streamlines software store experience

The portal replaces the OSL store, which was accessed via the “Shop for software” button on the OSL website.

A new online portal where University of Utah staff and faculty may purchase, download and manage software from the university’s Office of Software Licensing (OSL)is now live.

The portal replaces the OSL store, which was accessed via the “Shop for software” button on the OSL website. Faculty and staff may access the new portal using that button or the “Go to the OSL store” button on OSL’s Software Store landing page. The Office of Software Licensing tile in Campus Information Services (CIS) under University Resources continues to direct to software.utah.edu.

Jan Lovett, an IT product manager on the Finance and Auxiliary Product Management team in University Support Services (USS) said the new portal merges the OSL store used by U employees with the Student Software Catalog, an interface introduced to students in 2020. Merging the two catalogs, Lovett said, “provides a better user experience for employees and students, and allows IT professionals around campus to better support students and staff.”

The new software catalog is where members of the U community access free and for-purchase software licensed and distributed by OSL. Many software products are available at a discounted rate through campus licensing agreements.

Features of the new software catalog user interface:

  • Improved usability
  • Easier navigation, particularly the tabs:
    • Order History
    • Download Again
    • Returns
    • Submit Feedback
  • Sections on the landing page for:
    • Featured Products
    • Free and Specially Priced Software
    • Software Installation Files

Geoff Anderson, a user experience developer on the USS Content Management & Usability team, said that streamlining the software experience is “a big priority for university IT.”

“Before the pandemic started … we conducted focus groups with students about their experience using the OSL store and spoke to colleges and departments about the way they use academic software,” Anderson said. “One of the biggest insights from that research was the need to simplify the current software store, allowing for different presentations to students and university faculty and staff. The updated UI is a direct result of that feedback.”

Anderson noted that due to placement and other design factors, the duration of the academic license was difficult to spot in the original store, but in the new store UI, “the expiration date is prominently displayed in the product details. The customer is also given a clear warning if that product’s academic license expires in less than 90 days.”

If you have questions about software catalog enhancements, please contact Lovett at 801-587-1600 or Jan.Lovett@utah.edu. If you have technical questions, your local IT support staff may be able to assist, or you may contact your respective help desk: UIT Help Desk at 801-581-4000, option 1; ITS Service Desk at 801-587-6000.