Web portals are web pages that are often divided into subsections and are accessible to private and public users. Web portals have undergone various changes since there initial development. Changes mainly focus on clear layout, better use of icons and colour, and incorporation of more compelling data (Van Duyne, Landay & Hong, 2007, p. 25). This makes web portals more appealing and interactive.
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Universities use private web portals to access students and employee information securely. Web portals enables universities to access a variety of information ranging from students grades, course information to employment information. The management of a university are not the only parties that use web portals. Every year millions of students visit university web portals to access course information and other academic information. Therefore, it is critical for web portals to enable various parties to access information easily.
Usability, functionality, and content define the quality of a university web portal. Web portals should have content that is of high quality. The data in the web portal must be of high quality. Web portals should provide information that is valid and informative (Oliver, Romm-Livermore & Sudweeks, 2008, p. 67). Web portals should have the capacity to provide all the information that users may require.
High quality web portals should have a high degree of usability. Users should easily navigate the web portals while completing various tasks. In addition, users should be able to assess a variety of levels of information depending on the type of accounts they have (Papadopoulos, Wojtkowski & Wojtkowski, 2009, p. 132). Web portals should also display information in a form that is easily understandable by the users.
A high quality web portal should have a high degree of functionality. Web portals should be able to search, classify and present relevant information in a form that is easily comprehensible to the users. Portals should have tools that enable it to register, recognise and classify users, thus enabling it to customise content, access and structure of the information to suit the individual needs of the user (Abramson & Morin, 2003, p. 58). Functionality of web portals makes people spend less time to get the information they require.