Review of current iHull app

The first thing you see when opening the iHull app is a colourful screen displaying various tiles. I feel that this layout isn’t too bad, as it is fairly clear and simple, the main problems with the app seem to be when going onto the various sections. I also feel that the designs and logos of each tile could do with modernising.

Timetable

The timetable section has recently changed. Images 1 and 2 show the old design which really didn’t work. First, the screen size hasn’t been resized for use on an app, it is still the desktop dimensions which isn’t very user friendly at all. After logging in, the user then has to navigate the awkward sized timetable which again like the log in screen, hasn’t been resized for the app and so the user has to move it around and only can view small parts of it at a time.

Images 3 and 4 show the new, updated version of the timetable section, which is definitely much more user friendly. After logging in through the single sign-on service, the timetable is then presented in a much clearer way. The information is displayed in the correct size for an app, and is fairly clear to understand. Previously, the app would log out of these sections after exiting the app but I have found that since the recent update this no longer happens which is much better.

Canvas

As in some of the other sections, you are brought to the single sign-on screen again when pressing on the canvas tile. The canvas section has been resized from the desktop version for use on smartphones which is great. The section seems clear enough and I appeared to stay logged in after going out of the app.

However, there is already a separate canvas app (image 3) which I feel like is probably more popular. You can receive notifications off the canvas app and I feel that the layout is more user friendly.

Locations

On the locations section, the user is able to search for various university buildings and it then shows the location on a map which you could then view a bigger size version. It also provided outside links to other map apps if the user required directions. I did notice that there were a few errors on the larger of the maps – most notable the placement of the popular ‘Spar’ shop which was placed in the wrong building.

I’d also like to note that I feel that most users will use another form of map app to search for buildings and directions as most smartphones come with built-in map apps (for example Google Maps or Apple Maps), therefore I feel that this section on the iHull app may be quite unnecessary.

University Email

The Email section doesn’t use the single sign-on service as in the other sections of the app and instead you have to sign in through your email account which is understandable.

It also seemed to stay logged in after going off the app which is great. However, I feel like most users would already receive their emails to their phones email app, which would almost make this email section unnecessary. I also couldn’t find a section for email notifications which a regular email app has.

There are also some other sections on the app which may be useful like a safety section which had lots of important phone numbers for security, the emergency services and other services. I found that the library and find a PC sections were also quite a good idea – they seemed to work okay and provide the information that was needed.

There were also some other sections on the app which I felt were quite unnecessary for example the online store and review section. I have never personally needed to go on these and probably never will and I feel like other people would feel the same.

I also feel that the bus timetable section is not needed. I think that most people who use public transport to get to and from university use the actual bus company apps, which are generally much more reliable in regards to the bus times etc and you can also buy bus tickets and store passes on there, which I feel most people, myself included already do.

There are also other aspects that I feel the app is missing – for example a language setting for users who don’t speak english. There could also be more information for users with disabilities.

Overall, I feel like the iHull app has too many sections that are unused and quite pointless and probably need removing completely. This would hopefully simplify the app and leave the key sections that users would find really useful.

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