You are probably familiar with the EWP Dashboard, the free-to-use online tool to support management of Erasmus+ student mobilities. Currently, it is used to oversee students (online) Learning Agreements (OLAs), manage Inter-Institutional Agreements (IIAs), input data to the Erasmus+ App, i.e. to handle student nominations through the Erasmus App and feed information into the Ukraine support trackr (find out more here).
But what you might not know, is that behind the scenes, the Dashboard continuously undergoes small and major improvements to enhance the user experience. Want to see what is behind the curtain? Come have a look.
Different support teams
There are many different teams working to maintain, improve and keep the EWP Dashboard running at all times. The first line of response is the ESCI Community Service Desk. There, users can submit a support ticket for technical issues, request information or suggest ideas for improving the EWP Dashboard. The new service desk has been up and running for three months. In that period, agents successfully resolved over 936 tickets.
The tickets that report technical issues are forwarded to a team of developers and researchers at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh). They find the source of the problem and make sure it is fixed for all Dashboard users. You might not have encountered some of the following examples, because they fixed it before you could encounter it:
Problem with multiple cooperation conditions in IIAs. The issue was regarding “missing” cooperation conditions. IROs submitted/approved IIAs containing more than one cooperation condition but they were not being saved. The IIA appeared containing only one cooperation condition afterwards.
Failure to sign IIAs. IROs were submitting/approving the IIAs but their status was remaining unassigned although there was no error message notifying the user.
Failure to manage IIAs. Another technical issue was regarding IIAs marked having Status: -1. IROs were unable to continue the signing process. The fix that was applied could not restore already corrupted IIAs although prevented similar cases happening in larger magnitude.
EWP Exchange. Clear indications and messages, frontend side, so that the EWP Dashboard users always know why they can or cannot move forward with an action, especially when it comes to exchanges via the EWP Network. Establishing appropriate safeguards when exchanging data with others in the EWP Network.
Besides maintaining the infrastructure and continuously resolving issues reported by users, there is also a team working on some forward looking improvements to the EWP Dashboard. The goal is to enhance both the User Interface (UI - this is what you see when entering the dashboard), and the User Experience (UX - the internal experience that a person has as they interact with every aspect of the application). This enhanced version will take into consideration the latest UI/UX principles and industry standards, in combination with the feedback from a survey for Dashboard users.
Want to learn more about the interplay between the ESCI service desk and daily improvements under the surface, watch the recording of the Erasmus Goes Digital summer webinar that took place on the 16th of June.
Future Dashboard improvements
To improve the user friendliness of the Dashboard, AUTh organized a survey to evaluate the current EWP Dashboard application. The dashboard users were asked to rate the core functionalities and submit their feedback and suggestions for improvement. The survey received over 927 responses.
Some of the most important takeaways are that the sorting and filtering options should be expanded further. Another finding is that some features are difficult to use and it is not always clear what order of steps you need to follow. Additionally, almost a third of users indicated they would use the Dashboard from their phone, if it was possible.
Besides reinforcing the design of the EWP Dashboard, this survey was also the beginning of a much needed communication channel between the users and the people involved in the application design and development. The revamping of the Dashboard is scheduled to take place at the end of 2022 until early 2023. The planned updates were presented during the Erasmus goes Digital Spring Webinar. If you missed the presentation, the full recordings are available on the European Student Card Initiative YouTube channel.
What a beautiful world it is going to be
The EWP Dashboard is a cornerstone of the Erasmus Without Paper project. Already, around 3000 Erasmus Charter holders for Higher Education have access to the EWP Dashboard. You can register here to explore how it supports your mobility management, knowing that a whole team is working on it every day to make your user experience as smooth as possible.