Back in 2010 Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google suggested that web designers should follow the “mobile first” principle. Since then not only has mobile become an accepted route to online information but the mobile app has become the fastest growing slice of the mobile industry. For the vast majority of your students “mobile is not the future, it is the now” (Cyndie Shaffstall, Spider Trainers). It is too important a tool to ignore.
In 2018 the Royal Agricultural University (RAU), a small, specialist institution in the heart of the Cotswolds, launched its first University mobile app. myRAU is a mobile and desktop app that collects, displays and pushes information from different RAU systems and brings them together into one customisable tiled interface. Its features include:
• Integration with moodle, the library catalogue and student library account
• Full access to timetables and email
• Overview of balances including print credit and course fees
• Links to all important university information
• Interactive campus maps
This talk will look at the process of developing and launching a university app when budget is tight and resource is limited. It will give an overview of the project progress, from the origin of the idea and selection of the tool (myday by Collabco), to user testing and student involvement in its evolution and promotion, student uptake and monitoring of use.
On our journey we’ll take a look at the gotchas and the opportunities that rolling out an app brings. We will unpick the data and consider the trends in how students are using it along with some of the strange quirks we didn’t expect related to our institution, Information Architecture (IA) and young people’s use of tech more generally. Finally we will consider our next steps, these include development led by students, linking the app to surveys, attendance monitoring and Office 365 tools. The RAU are also looking at how the app can be used as part of the student application process and on open days.
So is an app really the best approach in keeping your students happy?
If your institution is considering rolling out an app then please do come along and hear more.
Digital Transformation at RAU: https://digitalrau.wordpress.com/