Crafting a great student experience, Part 1: Mobile content

Research shows that students are increasingly looking at the overall student experience when choosing a university. This means that universities need to adapt and focus on enhancing the student experience to compete for the best students. At the same time, studies show that mobile-related trends will dominate university campuses the next five years.

“Universities need to adapt and focus on enhancing the student experience to compete for the best students.” tweet

We think one big step towards gaining a competitive advantage in offering a great student experience is to focus on generating fantastic mobile platforms to make the student life easier and more enjoyable. Through several blog posts, we will give our two cents on how universities should think in order to meet students where they are, namely on mobile devices. The first post in this series will focus on how to create great mobile content.

UCLA Mobile Portal front page screenshot

UCLA's Mobile portal with their services and apps, all collected at one place and usable through the mobile browser. Background image attribution and license.

What sort of content is important?

We’ve browsed dozens of university apps, and found the following content to be the most useful. Our suggestions are also supported by students at NTNU, who have rated the best applications for students (in Norwegian).

  • Campus maps/indoor maps to help users find their way around on campus
  • Time tables
  • Staff directory with contact info and office location
  • Room booking systems
  • Information on food offerings
  • General information on assignments etc.

Time Table web application from University College of Bergen

Image showing the time table web application used at the University College of Bergen in Norway

Mutual for all these features is that they represent basic information that the students make use of every day. It’s not about whether these services exist, it’s about presenting them on an appealing and easy platform.

Designing a mobile platform

It should be easy for students to find all the content listed above in one, easy to reach mobile portal. However, the problem is that most of the above-mentioned features represent different systems. Hence, the question of integrating the services and orchestrate a streamlined experience becomes important.

“It should be easy for students to find content in one, easy-to-reach, mobile portal” tweet

You should select services that work well with each other and creates synergies. For instance, integrating the campus map service in your time table system, so that students can get a map of how to find their next lecture theatre. Or, integrating indoor maps in the staff directory, giving students an overview of where they can find their professor and what times he/she is available for a chat.

At MazeMap, we believe a great mobile student experience is characterized by streamlined, fully integrated systems. That is why we have designed MazeMap to fit right into almost any IT system there is. Take a look at the video below to see how we see the future of mobile services for students.

“A great mobile student experience is characterized by streamlined, fully integrated systems” tweet

What do you think?

What do you think the university sector should do to meet the demand for better use of mobile services? Leave a comment below.

Are you interested in having a chat with us on mobile content for universities? Please get in touch.

Click here to read part 2 on our series on crafting a great student experience.

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