IUP launches mobile app
Published: Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 11:03
The Indiana University of Pennsylvania online experience just became a little more streamlined, thanks to the new IUP Mobile app that launched Monday.
The app was developed following several years of tracking how people use the IUP website.
“We’ve been tracking the number of mobile users on the site for some time,” said Mike Powers, director of electronic communication.
“And for the past two years it has doubled every year.”
At the beginning of this school year, 19.47 percent of the traffic on the IUP website was mobile, according to Powers.
This is up from 10.36 percent at the beginning of last school year, an increase of almost 88 percent.
“We fully expect, after three years, that next year we may be up to 40 percent, because mobile devices are becoming just how you use the web,” he said.
More and more people are accessing the web through mobile devices, and not even on the go.
In many cases, individuals are using these devices from the comfort of their homes and dorm rooms.
A task force of student representatives and faculty worked together to figure out what features needed to appear on the app. The team was created in the spring, with app development happening
over the last nine months.
Ultimately, they ran with the concept of a campus companion that can provide information on the go, according to Jeff Montgomery, IT service coordinator for app development.
“The directory is on there, you can look up other students,” Powers said. “You can look up faculty members. … It’s got a map, so you can find your way around campus. You can find the regional campuses – all those locations are in there.
“It’s got news and events, and they’re taken from the same source as we get news and events from The Beak – from the website. So that makes it very easy for departments on campus. They don’t have to do anything to get their stuff in the mobile app. It’s appearing there anyway.”
Students who have their information set to private on the IUP site will also have their information hidden through the IUP Mobile app.
“Basically what we’re trying to do is improve the user experience,” Montgomery said. “So, we have the portal for the desktop usage and eventually we think there will be mobile-ready elements as well.”
Elements of Universal Records and Systems Assistant can be accessed via the app as well.
The app won’t completely replace URSA, but is rather intended to allow students easy access to the core elements of the system, such as viewing class times or looking up grades.
“It won’t be a total replacement of URSA,” Montgomery said, “but it will be a replacement of those … top hit functions.”
Montgomery said they are expecting a smooth transition for the app when URSA is eventually replaced with the MyIUP portal.