SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente

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New Mobile App Offers Easy Access to University of Wisconsin-Stout Information

The spring semester brings a new way for University of Wisconsin-Stout students, faculty, staff, alumni and the public to get information about campus.

A free, new mobile application is available for iPhones, Android and BlackBerry smartphones that officials say will allow access to important information anytime and just about anywhere.

“UW-Stout has once again shown it is a technology leader by delivering a comprehensive and easy-to-use app that will be a hit, both on campus and off,” Chancellor Charles W. Sorensen said. “We took our time to develop this app, and we did it right.”

A UW-Stout committee worked with AT&T Campus Guide to develop the app, which replaces a mobile site that has been available since the recent UW-Stout website redesign.

“Since we’d recently completed a redesign that includes a mobile site, we started with that content,” said Barbara Button, UW-Stout Web coordinator. “Then we looked at our own website usage statistics, reviewed the mobile apps from other universities and worked with our Web Oversight Committee to finalize the app content.”

“During our website redesign process, we were told we needed a mobile app for the campus, even though we had developed a mobile website as part of that project,” said Kay Schnur, director of enterprise information systems. “The AT&T Campus Guide app provided us with a solution that was agile and can grow with changes.”

The app allows students and other users to access course schedules, maps, athletic information, key numbers, admissions and much more. Students also can make tuition payments with the app.

It is expected that two of the most popular features will be a bus tracker that shows the real-time location of buses on both the campus shuttle and the north-south routes in Menomonie, and another that shows what washers and dryers in the residence halls are in use and how much time remains on their cycles.

“I assume students will use the bus tracker, laundry, events and their course information features the most,” Schnur said. “Faculty and staff will like the bus tracker, events and the directory search. The public and prospective students will find the admissions, directory, events, calendar and maps features very useful.”

“This mobile initiative is a great example of our valuable collaboration with Wisconsin’s universities, and the UW-Stout community will get to experience the benefits at the moment they download the app to their phones,” said Scott VanderSanden, president of AT&T Wisconsin.

“The web profession is buzzing with the reality that websites need to optimize their content and features for mobile users,” Button said, “to the extent that many experts are advocating that sites be designed for mobile first, with traditional computer users becoming a secondary audience. We can see this trend in our statistics, as mobile access to our website is increasing every month.”

“Mobility is key for students, and universities are addressing that with mobile apps,” Schnur added.

The app is available for just smartphones now, but it will work, for instance, on tablets. AT&T Campus Guide plans to add more platforms, including tablets, in the future, Schnur said, and UW-Stout will add more features, such as the ability to access course assignments, as the mobile app develops. She added that the ability to enhance the mobile app with new features was an important part of the decision to use AT&T Campus Guide.

“The world is going mobile, touch devices are saturating the marketplace, and we wanted to better serve our students,” Button concluded.

For more information on the mobile app, as well as instructions on downloading it for your particular device, go to www.uwstout.edu/mobile-apps.cfm. It is available through the Apple App Store, Google Play and BlackBerry App World. Apple, Google, and BlackBerry are trademarks of their respective owners.

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