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UIS Mobile App A useful campus resource

UIS Mobile App A useful campus resource

To better suit the needs of students on the go, UIS Web Services launched the UIS Mobile App. Earlier this year, Web Services collaborated with the Office of Records and Registration to offer a better extent of services offered by the app.

Through the UIS Mobile App, users can access the UIS A-Z Index, as well as find information on Academics, Athletics, Calendars, Directory, Emergency information, Food Service, iCard, the Library, Maps, News, Radio, Records, Social Interaction and Technology. The app is free for users and is available through iTunes and Google Play. The “content first” app differs from many apps allowing for minimal navigation and maximum content, explained Munindra Khaund, Director of Web Services.

“The ‘records’ app provides students with the ability to view final grades and student class schedule information,” said Brian Clevenger, director of Records and Registration. “This app does not replace Student Self-Service, but is meant to be a supplemental way for students to access important information.” AITS Senior System Engineer at U of I Urbana-Champaign Jim Caputo added that the mobile app “enables students to securely view their information from a mobile device…”

Not formally marketed, the mobile app had a soft launch, prompting individuals who accessed the UIS webpage through a supported device to download the app if they so chose to do so. This informal launch prompted nearly 3,500 individual installs, from 13 countries worldwide.

“It’s been a really nice process,” said Khaund. “But there are challenges, and the challenges for us are our small team, and the rate of change with technology. That means we have to adapt quickly. And we are able to do that so far, we are able to put UIS on the map. It’s about our institution; it’s about our story collectively.”

Khaund explained that a task force was created to develop the app around what was relevant to UIS content viewers on the traditional UIS website. Unlike many other colleges and universities that solely rely on Blackboard Mobile to design their school app, UIS Web Services decided to create the app in-house in order to differentiate it from others like it. The task force worked with graphic designers to create a colorful and integrative app design that gives individuals the opportunity to navigate in a “frictionless” and “user friendly” manner, explained Khaund.

“I think it’s handy,” said Jared McDale a freshman at UIS. “It’s nice to be able to check things quicker than having to go to and then find what you are looking for. Instead, you can just search the app twice as fast.”

UIS Web Services, although developing the app in-house, also worked alongside U of I Champaign Urbana AITS Office in order to expand the information available through the app. From its original conception in October 2012, the app has undergone a few updates and now includes student records, as well as student grades – two of the most visited pages by students. Khaund explained that the updates were made in order to better provide users and students with what they find useful. He added that user feedback was important in this process and will continue to be in the future in order to further develop the app to suit the changing needs of users.

“This is how we contribute to the whole idea of supporting what the chancellor is talking about, the promise that we have to our students, our faculty, our staff and the community in general,” said Khaund. “The whole idea of Leadership Lived… this is our way to support that effort.”

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