“Western” App Analysis

Today I analysed the “Western” app. This app is for Australian students from Western Sydney University (WSU). I used my Samsung Galaxy S5 (other mobile device experiences may vary depending on screen resolution/size and operating systems). The app consists of two pages with twelve tools/modules on each page.

Architecture

The first page has these items in the following order:

  • Maps
  • Directory
  • Events
  • Emergency
  • Vuws
  • MyIT
  • Students
  • Central (which no longer works)
  • Shuttle
  • Library
  • Help

The second page has these items in the following order:

  • Wellbeing
  • Careers
  • Gradlife
  • Videos
  • News
  • Residences
  • Books
  • Social
  • Food
  • Summer
  • Clubs
  • Sport

For a busy on-the-go uni life, students need to be able to access information quickly. The app seems too cluttered to navigate quickly. The items could be categorised into five categories such as:

  • “Getting To and Around Uni”
  • “Student Services”
  • “Social Activities”
  • “Study”
  • “Help and Emergency”

Below is a quick site flow/map of page one:

western-site-flow-map

User experience (UX) flow

Below is a quick UX Flow of a task a student may want to do:

user-flow-chart

The app has all the tasks and activities I would need, however other students who have different needs to me, may notice something missing. As a Communications student, majoring in Media Arts Production, one function I would include would be an “equipment borrowed” section where it lists the equipment  I have borrowed (with photos beside them) and when it is due to be returned; notifications would also be great.

User Interface (UI)

Personally, I do not like this app. It is a hybrid app, it looks like a real app but most of the items open up to the WSU website which is very annoying and lazy. The “directory” does not make sense, you search something and nothing comes up. The “Central” item no longer works. My suggestion would be to upgrade to a Native app, or have more in app items so it links to the WSU site a lot less as this is extremely irritating and time consuming, especially if you are on-the-go and have limited internet access.

Visual Design

The visual design is quite basic but the layout is quite cluttered. It is a little strange to look at because the layout is very similar to the phone’s main menu layout which to me, is annoying. It uses two colours which sticks to the university’s brand and logo. As I said earlier, the apps could be categorised and have the categories presented down the middle of the main menu, or at the very least, put the twelve items along the bottom of the screen as this will make one hand use easier as you don’t have to awkwardly stretch your finger to reach the top of the screen, this will improve and quicken the navigation process.

Conclusion:

I personally, have not previously, nor will in the future, use this app, but don’t let my opinion deter you, it can be a basic handy tool for other students. Why not download it and give it a try!

Download it here:
iOS: http://apple.co/2lpma2g

Android: http://bit.ly/2mD1BiX

Windows Phone: Unfortunately, it is not available for Windows Phone users

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