Case study: Location-based apps
The University of Nottingham needed apps to support visitors to their community event, Wonder and to their Open Days. Fowlam was asked to develop a bespoke app that could be customised for each event.
Gathering user requirements and protoyping:
To begin with, we worked with University staff to get an idea of what they wanted users to be able to do with our apps. The main requirements were that users be able to see a list of events, favourite them and then find their way to the events on a map. We then built basic prototypes of the apps and tested them with users. We used Critical Incident Technique to find out from users what had helped and hindered them in completing tasks and asked for suggestions as to the ideal features they would like to see in the apps. As always with user testing, the users shed an enormous amount of light on how the apps should function and came up with simple yet effective ideas such as the inclusion of content filters so that events could be found more easily. Based on the feedback from users, we updated the design.
Building the apps:
Our highly experienced developers, Ben Bedwell and Javid Yousaf, used the Ionic platform to build a cost-effective app suitable for both iOS and Android. For Wonder, where users would mainly be families, events could be filtered according to the age group they were suitable for, favourited on a list and then a route could be viewed on map. For Open Days, where most users were prospective students who would plan ahead, users could filter events according to subject in order to add them to ‘My Day,’ a personalised timetable. By tapping on an event the user could see event information and a route to the event location. We then tested the final app with users and made adjustments to optimise usability.
Two very successful and useful apps were built for Wonder and Open Days. The Wonder app was downloaded over 600 times, while the Open Day app had well over a thousand downloads. The Wonder app helped community visitors make the most of the excellent events that we happening all over the Nottingham campus, while the Open Day app helped prospective students to take advantage of the wide range of talks to build a timetable that suited their needs perfectly.