With Welcome Week behind us, we’ve now had a chance to look at feedback from our students on what they thought of our new Welcome Week Smartphone App – and it’s looking very promising. Well over 2,000 students responded to the request for feedback, and overall they seemed very happy with what we provided, and have given us some great insights into what they want us to do next.
Overall satisfaction with the App
Overall students were very positive, with the majority rating the app either “Useful” or “Very useful”. Only a very small percentage felt that the app was not useful at all.
“(almost) everything you need for freshers’ week”, cjweekes – Android Market
It seems the app was particularly useful for our overseas students, with both European Union students and those from father afield more likely to give the app the highest rating.
What the App was used for
It seems maps and (especially) events was the big draw for the App – but Wordle’s speak louder than words, so I’ll use one of them to paint a picture for you of what the students actually used the app to do.
Ensuring that the app had a complete and accurate list of events for all campuses was a very time consuming and arduous process, so it’s particularly rewarding to see that all this hard work was appreciated.
What students would like to see next
As part of the feedback process we also asked what students would like to see next in a University smartphone app, i.e. what other University services they would like us to provide in a mobile format.
The results were quite conclusive, with timetabling in particular and MyExeter standing out:
With planning already underway for an improved and more comprehensive smartphone app, this feedback gives us a crucial insight into where best to focus our efforts.
We also tried to gather data on what mobile technology our students may or may not be using. Almost two thirds of our students own smartphones according to the feedback, a high level but something which we would expect given data from other sources, demonstrating what a integral part of modern life smartphones have become – especially within our demographic.
The data for type of smartphone was a bit more surprising. From our public and private website statistics we can see a definite skew towards Apple devices, i.e. iPhones, iPods and iPads, but this skew was not quite so distinct according to the student feedback. For smartphones in particular there is much more of a balance between Apple, Android and Blackberry devices.
Comparing those from different levels of study, i.e. undergraduate, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research, we did see some differences in ownership, particulary with those in PGT and business who seem to favour iPhones, but overall the picture was relatively stable.
“Great for freshers – 5 stars”, Tom Griffiths, Apple App Store
Finally we asked why people did not download the app – and by far the most common reason was that they did now know the app existed. Although we had given the app some very prominent homepage space, and publicised it widely in various communication channels, it seems that some students still were not aware it existed – a lesson we’ll be sure to learn for its successor.