Perhaps I should have written this post when most of my friends were still in CEGEP, but it might still be helpful for those searching for “I hate omnivox OMG save me” on Google. For those not living in Quebec or not attending CEGEP, Omnivox is an all around student management program, which is apparently designed specifically for the Quebec CEGEP system. It comes with a fresh, shiny interface that is all but completely useless, and which is phrased in the annoying manner in which Windows used to tell you “You’re not smart enough to access these files” when you click on “C:\” in My Computer. Furthermore, Omnivox apparently serves the website from their servers, which means that the URL is annoying to type in (especially when your school is called “Marianopolis” like mine was,) and that whenever the system goes down, the school has to wait for Omnivox to fix it. I’m not known as a person who likes Moodle (a similar student management program,) but at least it’s interface is more or less efficient.
So here are some tips and tricks to make Omnivox a little less annoying.
- First thing’s first: kill that annoying URL. In Firefox, click on “Bookmarks-> Organize Bookmarks.” Then click on the “Unsorted Bookmarks” item (unless you want it in you toolbar or somewhere else,) and in the right hand box, right click and create a new bookmark. In the name, type whatever you want. In Location type your school’s URL for Omnivox (e.g. http://marianopolis.omnivox.ca). Now, in the keyword box, type “omnivox” (no quotes). If you can’t see the keyword box, click on the more options arrow. Click add. Now whenever you type “omnivox” in the URL bar, Firefox will go straight to your school’s omnivox site. If you don’t have Firefox get Firefox.
- Second, you’ll undoubtedly have quite a few teachers who like to send you MIO’s (Message In Omnivox.) Because you don’t want to check you MIO all the time, go into MIO, click on settings, and under the heading E-mail Notification, type in your e-mail address and click the check box. Save the settings, and you will be notified by email every time you get a new MIO. Sadly,MIO isn’t quite as user-friendly as Facebook, and you won’t get the body of the MIO in the notification, just a message that you have one and should read it RIGHT NOW. (By the way, Facebook’s interface isn’t a model of efficiency either. I suspect this is on purpose… but thats a subject for another post.)
- Third, never clear your browser cache after you sign out of Omnivox unless you’re on a public computer or have computer safety concerns. You probably should, but personally I have never done this and never intend to. If you’re using your computer, and if your computer is adequately protected from viruses (or you use Mac or Linux,) you’re not going to have a problem.
- You may have noticed that Omnivox will log you out after you’ve been inactive for a certain period of time. This is really annoying and totally unnecessary, but that’s what it does. However, last time I checked, it will not log you out if you’re in MIO, so when you’re going to leave Omnivox open for a while, head over to MIO and let it chill there until you need it again.
- Logging in is also a pain, because Firefox can’t enter your student number and PIN for you. Whether this is a “feature” intended to make things more secure, or there’s something weird going on in the site’s code that prevents it from working I have no idea. I’ve been meaning to write a Greasemonkey script for Firefox to at least enter your student ID automatically, but I haven’t had time thus far. If I get a chance I’ll post it here.
Every time I use Omnivox I cringe, because of how unnecessarily complicated the interface is. If someone from Skytech is reading this, I will help you make your interface more efficient from a user’s perspective. Contact me.