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MIS Systems Thread, Making SIMS.net user friendly in Technical; HI everybody- I am completely new to this forum so please forgive any naive or foolish questions. As a SIMS ...
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    Making SIMS.net user friendly

    HI everybody- I am completely new to this forum so please forgive any naive or foolish questions. As a SIMS user, I find its screen layout incredibly unhelpful to new users. I run a couple of websites and I follow two principles- simplicity and ease of use, which includes using a font size big enough for those a little visually challenged. Is it not possible, or has anyone already done so, to design a front end that works just like any well designed website????
    Thanks
    John

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    They do exist.

    To be honest I don't think the SIMS interface is that bad although that said I don't use it on a daily basis.

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    Sylv3r's Avatar
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    They is a "Teacher View" option which I find looks quite good as a layout.

    It is available from the right hand menu when viewing a student.

    You won't however be able to make this default or change any of the other layouts permanently on SIMS.

  4. Thanks to Sylv3r from:

    pcplod (14th October 2008)

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    Thanks Andrew- I had been told about that recently but hadn't yet tried it- it certainly is a useful screen and saves a lot of 'clicking about'. However, I still find that the first page is areally daunting and badly designed introduction to many staff who are not very IT confident. I am sure that many of the users of this forum (even Me) could design something a lot more friendly- how does one get to persuade SIMS to take user views onboard?
    Thanks again
    John

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    You can modify the first page (homepage) so that more relevant information is displayed, go to configure near the top of the homepage area.

    May be appropriate to display only the School Diary or similar for particular users.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcplod View Post
    I am sure that many of the users of this forum (even Me) could design something a lot more friendly- how does one get to persuade SIMS to take user views onboard?
    One pays them a stack of money. Welcome to the world of "enterprise" software - the dull but necessary stuff used by a relatively small audience of users that probably makes up the majority of software produced in the world today. In fairness, SIMS is actually a pretty reasonable bit of software for its age (15+ years?) and the number of platform changes it's probably had to cope with over the years. It has features to cope with pretty much every situation you can think of - just look at the amount of detail the pupil / parent relationship database goes in to, there's stuff in there to account for every combination of parents, divorces, court orders, etc. However, it has grown as a piece of software from its original specification (if, indeed, specifications had even been invented when it was first written) and has become somewhat sprawling and untidy in places. Personally, I simply try to use it as little as possible and gradually replace any needed functionality with smaller, dedicated applications tied together with LDAP.

    --
    David Hicks

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    Personally,

    I would create copies of the security groups within SIMS. Give them names that relate to peoples jobs in the school, not names, job titles for example.

    So when you get a new teacher, they are part of the security group in SIMS call teacher. Then remove all stuff they don't need.

    Also get them to change the colors etc,
    Tools, Setups, User Options

    Not sure if they've allowed you to change fonts etc. The problem with this is if they choice a non-standard font. You could look on Capita for an existing change request for them to add this on, if not create a new one, it's on Supportnet (SupportNet), Support | Change Requests

    If you want to change the look, look at Learning Gateway, it's basically a Sharepoint (web site) add-in. You can, I believe, do most things on it, but not all. I believe all .NET (v.7) modules are in it. Don't expect Nova-T any time soon!!

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    Sims is what it is, a multi-functional, multi-user software package designed for school use, now there is the flaw "school use" I find that most schools have very IT illiterate staff (namely teachers) who need leading by the hand at every turn, it is not their fault as they have been used to everyone running around after them that it has become part of the teachers make-up.
    Teaching staff tend to be a little like their students in that they want everything in front of them with a big label saying "Click Here" and it will do it for them as if by magic, so as far as the Sims goes you need to have a very good training schedule.

    P.S. I have come across the odd teacher who is quite competent with IT.................but i can't for the life of me remember who they where?

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    Legal requirement, AM\PM reg.

    It's on there home page, click on which lesson it is, then put in either / if the student is present, or n if they are not there.

    You could bother telling them about putting in mins late.

    You could bother with the other 999999 features.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcplod View Post
    Thanks Andrew- I had been told about that recently but hadn't yet tried it- it certainly is a useful screen and saves a lot of 'clicking about'. However, I still find that the first page is areally daunting and badly designed introduction to many staff who are not very IT confident. I am sure that many of the users of this forum (even Me) could design something a lot more friendly- how does one get to persuade SIMS to take user views onboard?
    Thanks again
    John
    If you register on the Homepage - Capita Education Services forums you can request change requests which go into a melting pot for future developments. The layout however I would imagine would not be high on the list of priorities.

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    I would create copies of the security groups within SIMS. Give them names that relate to peoples jobs in the school, not names, job titles for example.

    So when you get a new teacher, they are part of the security group in SIMS call teacher. Then remove all stuff they don't need.
    Dont these groups get over written when there is a SIMS upgrade?

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    No, your custom groups don't, the default Capita ones do.

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