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Purpose

The process of creating a UW NetID is one of the most visible and earliest interactions that newcomers to the University of Washington experience when beginning their relationship with the University. This page describes the UW NetID service team's effort to modernize the UW NetID creation process and improve their experience with the process.

Background

The web application that is currently used for UW NetID creation was first deployed in 1999 and has been used by every newcomer creating a personal UW NetID since 2001. It has been serving the University well for over 18 years and has been both reliable and fast but, as web technologies and business requirements have changed and progressed dramatically, the UW NetID service team made the strategic decision to modernize the UW NetID creation experience. 

Improvements

The new application has been added to our suite of other identity-related tools on Identity.UW. It has been designed using modern software development life cycle practices and utilizes Django, a widely deployed Python web framework, which enables additional flexibility and better support for the creation process. These changes also allow us to add additional features to the UW NetID creation process which help ensure newcomers to the University have set up enough basic services so they can begin to immediately interact with a wide variety of campus applications requiring UW NetID sign-ins. Specifically, this new process provides the ability to:

  • Configure forwarding to modern UW email services (Google G Suite or Microsoft Office 365)
  • Set up UW NetID account recovery options within the creation process
  • Enroll in two-factor authentication (2FA), if eligible, to enable immediate access to applications which require 2FA

along with an improved user experience and mobile-first design guided by the User Experience Design team within UW Information Technology.

New Experience

The new UW NetID creation process is accessible at https://identity.uw.edu/new

Employees

This is an example of a new employee going through the UW NetID creation process.

Note that the 2FA step is skipped for this example.

Applicants for Undergraduate Admission

This is an example of a new undergraduate applicant going through the UW NetID creation process.

Generally this starts on a web page hosted by the Admissions Office and they click a button which directs them to sign in with their application email and password. This example begins at that point.

Note that the recovery options step is skipped for this example. Also, the application email/username in this example is an @uw.edu email address but for applicants in production this will be the personal email address used to submit their application.

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