I miss Web Advisor, but you probably don’t


Now I bet most of you highfalutin techno-wizards out there couldn’t give a flying fungus about my preferences, be they culinary, sexual or technologically oriented.
But I’m going to talk about them anyway, because you can’t stop me, and my editor gave me the okay.
So, let’s talk about my preferences with Self Service–specifically the one found on the NVU Portal which has replaced my longtime companion and non-prescription anxiety medication, Web Advisor.
I’d been fond of Web Advisor since I transferred to NVU some number of units of time ago, and I’d gotten into a pretty good groove with it. I knew where all of its buttons were, how to find everything and how to keep it from breaking apart into specks of dust if I sneezed too close to my laptop screen.
I defaulted to Web Advisor because all its links were placed conveniently on the right-hand panel of the Portal. Eventually, this turned into recurring meetups where it would tell me that nothing on my Program Evaluation had changed, but I would read the whole thing through anyway, just to make sure.
So, you can imagine my surprise when over winter break, I tried to check my graduation progress with Web Advisor, only to be told to bake myself a pie, slam my face into it, and hire a few clowns to laugh at me when I was done, because that’s how it feels to be told to use Self Service.
Apparently, my love for Web Advisor was not the norm among students at NVU, and so the institution made the obvious decision to murder my digital best friend.
Prior to it becoming the only way to register for classes, check graduation progress, and wrangle mongooses, I didn’t use Self Service unless I had to–such as to change my preferred name or to legally blind myself for a few hours without resulting in too much lifelong damage to my already wonky eyeballs.
This is because Web Advisor, despite what I’m sure y’all mega-minded computer connoisseurs believe, was much more aesthetically pleasing to me than Self Service could ever be.
Web Advisor’s user interface is on a level of technological archaism I was unaware existed–I am unsure of when or why Web Advisor developed its trademark boxy, line-and-text, flairless visage.
However, I not only got used to it, but I also fell in love with it after several awkward dates and an unexpected weekend on a sailboat together.
Where Web Advisor’s appearance calls to mind a long-forgotten deity of technology that was forsaken by its worshipers, Self Service’s interface is more reminiscent of a mid-2010’s Apple product–vaguely retro, but also stabbed in the stomach twelve times with a shard of condensed minimalism.
And I don’t know about you rocket-sciencers or engineering civilians, but the mobile experience is pretty important to me, and yet again, my dear, departed Web Advisor had Self Service beat.
Self Service’s mobile version has all the essentials tucked into a collapsing menu which, when opened, throws the rest of the screen to the side like a parent choosing their favorite child and presents you with a drop-down list of links for you to be confused by at your leisure.
Web Advisor’s mobile version was much more intuitive, in the sense that it didn’t exist, and you would have to scroll, zoom, pan, twist, gyrate, roll, fold, and sprain the screen all on your own.
As much as I appreciate the help, I don’t need Self Service to break things for me–I was managing and mangling Web Advisor just fine on my own.
Despite its slick visuals, Self Service is no stranger to being cranky and janky–apparently there was some issue with checking GPA recently, which I did not look into, because using Self Service to check my GPA sounds like an emotional trial that I am not well-equipped for.
Web Advisor, on the other hand, was certified jank-free and worked smoothly no matter what you asked of it.
Yeah. Yeah, that was a joke. It was bad. I know.
Even if you data-crunching bourgeoise and electricity elitists think Web Advisor is ugly, you have to at least admit that it, unlike Self Service, is upfront with how it works–jankily. Its user interface makes this clear, so you know what you’re in for the moment you look at it.
In the stark reality of the world, if you wanted to accomplish anything with Web Advisor, you had to click exactly the right things at exactly the right time while smearing exactly the right amount of toothpaste on your screen.
I think it’s fun when a program has a panic attack because you tried to open too many tabs at once. I like being able to take a sip of wine after clicking on something in anticipation of whether or not it will work or simply give my computer a bad cough.
Web Advisor was a project for me–figuring out how to make it work was like a daily puzzle. I enjoy learning systems and their intricacies. The constant remembering of “yes, do this” and “no, not that” for every task I wished to accomplish was a fun challenge.
That’s why I miss Web Advisor–and it’s why you probably don’t.