La Trobe University 2011 Open Day - Event Information Mobile Site - La Trobe University

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Mobile Awards - Winner

Project Commissioner

La Trobe University
Steve Potter

Project Creator

Zoe Warne
Director, Creative Services

Project Team

Creative Director - Zoe Warne Technical Director - Matt Agar Digital Producer - David Baddock Designer - James Sann Programmer - Kurt Smith

Project Overview

An easy to use mobile site helping prospective students stay on top of all events and information sessions at La Trobe University’s Open Day this year.

Project Brief

August was engaged to design and develop an easy to use mobile site to help prospective students stay on top of all the events and information sessions at La Trobe University’s Melbourne campus Open Day 2011.

Integrating with La Trobe’s existing Online Events System via an API we worked with them to define and develop, was key to the success of the project. We also needed to meet marketing objectives by providing links to the site as both Android and iPhone extensions, and it was to be hosted internally by La Trobe University. A meaty challenge to tackle in just 5 weeks.

The site lists session times and locations (via an interactive map), enables users to search and filter sessions by faculty, and allows them to provide real-time feedback on the events they attended for review and evaluation by the marketing department.

Project Innovation / Need

Our primary aim was to ensure La Trobe's Open Day was an easier to plan, stress free day for attendees.

It was particularly important that La Tobe’s existing Online Events Information System, which had just been developed and installed, could fully integrate with the mobile site, to avoid reinventing the wheel and unnecessary additional costs. This was also important to avoid double-entry of events and information session information by administration and web staff.

We achieved this goal by working closely with the La Trobe ICT team and successfully creating the relevant API extension to allow this data to freely pass back and forth between our mobile site and their Events system, avoiding the need for any re-entering of data.

It was decided to build a mobile site in order to be accesible across multiple mobile platforms. This provided maximum coverage for minimum spend and was a deceptively simple yet innovative use of newer technology such as HTML5, local storage and offline cache in partner with jQuery Mobile.

Offline cache allowed the web app to still be accessible on mobile devices where coverage may drop out. This alongside local storage of API search results meant the site would always be accessible to users who had viewed the site at least once.

Mini-apps were also built for Android, iPhone and iPad featuring an interactive map and easy to access links to the Sessions Information site to capture users looking for La Trobe in those spaces.

User Experience

It was important to make the design as clear and simple as possible, as users are often in a hurry or on the move when moving around the campus on Open Day.

We achieved a very simple and clean interface, with the Events and Information session listings taking centre stage. Refinements during user testing allowed for further interface revisions around the Faculty search, to ensure this drop down filter was clear, and that the keyword driven Search was easy to interact with and display relevant search results.

The flexibility of the layout was designed to work seamlessly from mobile to tablet devices, and our fluid layout responded well to various screen sizes and resolutions.

The feedback mechanism was a familiar star rating device – with users simply dragging their finger over the appropriate star rating, as well as a free text comments area to allow further expansion.

All branding elements marry back into the overall 2011 Open Day theme, which was bright and engaging.

Project Marketing

Our project was supported with social media integration to La Trobe’s existing social networks, over 14,100 Facebook Fans and 3,200 Twitter followers were sent links to the Open Day mobile site prior to the day as part of supported planning and promotional activities conducted by La Trobe.

Links to the Mobile site were also included on the La Trobe Website, as well as specific links to the Android and iTunes app installs to help make getting the site on their mobile devices clear and easy and capture users searching for La Trobe in those spaces.