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The utilization of mobile devices across University activities is pronounced and expanding. Students already apply for admission, register for courses, and check their grades with their device, and through practical learning support also use devices during lectures to take notes, pictures, and videos, to plan their learning programs, and share and collaborate across alternate learning forums.

This puts the user experience in the absolute center and determines student’s perception of their Campus live. But what should an App look like where a student may be consuming education data as much as her/his Music Streaming or Heart Beat App?

Students consume their apps to share, to collaborate, and to be social. They want to retrieve information with on-click-applications and want to see only that information that meets their primary focus.

Consumer Apps should be:

- Personalized

- Easy to use

- Look/feel of “Gamification”

The Challenge for Student App Providers today is that student needs to have immediate access to all University related data with simple navigation and cool design. Even complex processes should be approached in less than three clicks. Students need to keep track their study progress to be able to react accordingly to ensure progression and on-time graduation. And, students love to collaborate and share their work and results with their common tools.

Of course, coordinating their own study and keeping track of their respective results should be so efficient and easy that graduating on time should/could be an after-thought – providing more time for sports, friends and fun.

To ensure the best creation of Apps for these student end users you must fully understand their needs and processes.

In recent years, when delivering Apps for Students, as well as Academics and Faculty, we follow the approach of design led development.

Source: SAP Global Design

Discover Users Need

Talking directly with end-users is a must to create empathy and to understand their needs. If focus is overly committed to just the perfect process flow, the user’s actual need might be missed. When listening to the end users ask them to tell their story. It is far more effective for them to illustrate their story versus answering questions.

Design and Iterate

Before developing an app, screens need to be designed. Take your designs and ask the end-user if this design is accurately reflecting their needs. Ask them if they would use the App. Take iterations to validate your design.

Develop and Validate

Take your design and move into development while validating the flow of utilization - if necessary move the process again.

Working with diverse teams is important to bring desirability, viability and feasibility together. Learn from the end user’s needs, validate the business aspect of the application and if it is technically possible to develop and deliver.

The user experience of student Apps should delight student’s live. Following is some input from recent student design sessions:

“I want to personalize my App and match it with my buddies”

“I want to book my courses with an one-click-App.”

“The App should as simple as getting an Uber car.”

“I wish to have some cool gamification graphics on it”