Highly Commended 2019

Victoria University App

Victoria University / Kati Elizabeth / Daniel Dang / Khuyen Phung / Micheal Sturmey and Will Thompson

The Victoria University App combines all of the Universities’ five pre-existing apps into one consolidated, seamless experience.

All VU digital services are available in one handy app for students, including a digital student ID card, interactive maps, timetables, assignments, unlockable achievements, enrollment, fees, results & more.

The app is a VU student-led design & was developed completely in house by students and staff with an extremely fast turnaround time - less than 8 months. This required extensive R&D to define student needs, the core features of previous apps and any additional/new business requirements.

Design Excellence

Some core problems we were charged with solving included:

  • Viewing/navigating course content online was convoluted
  • Existing Uni maps were outdated (6+ years) architectural floor plan
  • PDFs which were confusing, incorrect, not interactive, and often failed to ‘load’
  • Timetable was impossible to view on mobile from any app, or the VU website

Our solution successfully combines 5 apps’ worth of features, functions & services, with a simple and clear design system allowing users from all backgrounds to navigate intuitively within the app. Significant research and feedback was utilised, creating a delightful digital touchpoint for VU students (who are mobile-first users).

Design Impact

  • We built the maps in-house, replacing the standard ‘disability’ icons with ‘accessible’ icons, and a thoroughly considered icon for ‘all gender bathrooms’. We gathered data and included accessible entrances. We have had an overwhelming response from VU students that these designs are incredibly empowering & affirming. We hope our designs can inspire other organisations towards more inclusive design.
  • Over 85% of VU Students have downloaded the VU App since launch this year
  • Highlight rankings include #3 in Education Apps on Google Play Store and #11 in Apple App Store

Design Transformation

  • Our innovation on the traditional email survey is our one-question-only ‘Fast Feedback’ feature. It is immensely popular with students and the business. It has allowed us to collect immediate data and feedback from students on a range of student experience issues such as dietary requirements on campus that has allowed for rapid transformation across the University.
  • The Digital Student ID Card has allowed students to borrow library books whether or not they have their physical Student ID card, increasing library engagement
  • Accessible timetables and maps has transformed the VU student experience, in partnership with the VU Way ‘Block Model’.

Design Innovation

The VU App features an array of unique design offerings as well novel features for a university app including:

  • Unlockable events & achievements using QR scanning for activity “validation”
  • Responsive course progress bar
  • Digital student ID card (Australian first)
  • Interactive Timetable (many universities are unable to display timetables in mobile view as they use a vendor service that does not display on mobile. We custom built a solution for this.)
  • Interactive Maps that are inclusive
  • Live weather reads from Bureau of Meteorology API
  • Guest view for potential students to learn more about VU

Other Key Features

  • Easy navigation & access to student units of study, with content broken down by area, as well as displaying global learning news and course specific news from the Learning Management System
  • A customisable, easy to navigate portal of relevant VU services & facilities
  • A profile with digital ID card, course progress bar, and unlockable student leadership achievements & learning metrics
  • Maps built from scratch: We synthesised floor plans, space plans, and physically checked in person the accuracy of these plans, on every floor, building, and campus. A cloud-based backend, accessible internally to VU Staff allows updates seamlessly & instantly without needing an app update

Digital Design 2019 Finalists

Hassl

Hassl

Our Journey

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Shifra

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Pivot

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