Engaging Other Campus Stakeholders to Build a Whole Campus App

Presenter

  • Matt Willmore, University of Notre Dame

Mobile is not just for IT anymore. Hear how schools are engaging other departments in mobile app development.

This is a very nuanced and more drawn-out process.  Outreach to stakeholders is different on every campus, and I’d like to hear from you as well, so I’m hoping this is a more interactive presentation.

Notre Dame’s Challenges

  • Each module contains info from a diff part of campus
  • Lack of funding for paid additions (Publisher, Indoor Maps, etc.)
  • Departments decide they need their own app
  • Our CIO pays for “core functionality,” and other departments pay for the things that they want.

A Couple Other Challenges

Some people want to be in the app, but they don’t provide good content or even simply mobile-friendly content.

Vendors of bespoke apps (i.e. GuideBook) often reach out to everyone else on campus, and you’re unaware of the app until after ink is dry on their contracts.

Strategies

  • Address campus needs with a standard platform
  • Save the university money
  • Increase the app’s ROI
  • Improve the user’s experience

Approach

  1. Engage departments that are interested in building an app or being in the app.  Redirect some to MarCom to build a more responsive web site; make determination if they fit in the app, and where
  2. Discuss the balance between their interest in the app, and that of their users.
  3. Secure funding for the module
  4. Construct a content map together
  5. Build a skeleton structure module
  6. Train the department on how to build and maintain the content
  7. Launch and promote the module

Outcomes at Notre Dame

  • Every module has a campus partner
  • Over $100,000 saved by partnering in the app in under two years
  • Our partners now advertise the app for us
  • Went from pushing departments to participate, to departments pushing us to add functionality
  • Built a community of Publisher champions

Takeaways

  • Focus on how departments can better serve their users
  • Don’t try to replicate the org structure in modules – users don’t care, and departments with related content can share costs
  • Talk to your students, faculty and staff – what do they want in a module?  How can we make their day easier?

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