The current Cal Poly app in the Play Store provides a lot of information but I’ve actually never used it. Here’s my first attempt at a quick analysis and redesign to increase this app’s usefulness.
The primary target audience for this particular redesign app is Students (and possibly Faculty/Staff). With that in mind, here are some use cases that Students might open the app for:
- Show me all my classes: what time they start, where they are (view on Map), and who teaches them (with more info on the teacher like office location, etc).
- Show me my Student ID # and my Recreation Center pin
- Show me how much money, credit, or meals I have left in my campus accounts
- Keep me up to date on the latest Mustang News, Cal Poly News, Cal Poly Sports News, etc.
- Keep me up to date on the next Athletic game, the next University Union event, etc.
- Help me find where a service, dining hall, dorm or other location/building is
- Let me check if the Library, Printer, or Recreation Center is open
- Show me all the fitness class schedules
- Make an appointment at the Health Center
Current App Issues
The current app is missing a lot of these core features; and even for the features it does provide, it takes a few clicks to figure out where the information you want is. Here are some of the main issues the app has:
- Overuses Web View for simple data that can be either hard coded or downloaded if it needs to be updated
- It’s hard to navigate or find certain information even within it’s “parent” category.
- Inconsistant and unclear UI
- Back button doesn’t work as you would expect
- Blurry graphics/assets
- Distracting transitions
- Provides too much or too little information
- About: only says who designed and developed the current app
- Admissions: I don’t see a use case where one would want to look up Admissions on the Cal Poly app versus on the Cal Poly website. My thinking is that potential students would most likely navigate to the Cal Poly website than find and download the entire app and hope that Admission info is in it.
- Campus Life: Primary example is navigating to “Clubs & Organizations” and all it really says is: “Clubs and Organizations at Cal Poly provide opportunities…” rather than listing, you know, Clubs and Organizations.
Let’s make content even more accessible by having a ViewPager of 3 pages. The “Home” tab can be a Personal Info screen to provide student info, $ info, and class info; and the news and events pages will show relevant feeds.
Navigation Drawer Redesign
One more thing that can make this app even more useful for students is using notifications! Get notified:
- when a new Mustang Daily article is added
- when an event is coming up
- when the Bookstore is having a sale or a new deal is added to a Dining restaurant
- when an incident or emergency occurs
These notifications would be a great new way to get the Mustang Daily and other news / events into the hands of the students.