- HTML5 solution offers cross-device app functionality incorporating key services
- Cardiff University
- See it in Action
- Students have mobile access to key information
Cardiff University is recognised by independent government assessment boards as one of Britain’s major teaching and research universities. Located in the centre of Wales’ capital city, its international reputation for the quality of its work attracts staff and students from around the world.
To address the changing needs of their students, Cardiff University made the decision to develop an iPhone app using their in-house technical team, which would provide easy mobile access to vital information and services, including email, contacts, calendars and news.
Because of the increasing diversity of mobile devices available, and their popularity with the university’s students, it was decided to accompany the launch of the iPhone app with the release of a cross-platform web application that would provide the same functionality to users operating on different devices. While the key requirement was to serve the app to Android users, a flexible solution which provided access to other devices was the ideal.
Crucially, it was imperative that the solution offer as near a native experience as possible while effectively conveying the university’s branding and messaging.
Box UK’s development team created a HTML5 solution which allowed the existing app’s functionality to be delivered through a sophisticated web application accessible to both Android and Blackberry devices. Developed using open standards for modern browsers, the app is also available to many other users operating off additional platforms and devices, and complies with the strict accessibility standards expected of the institution.
In order to deliver the required functionality through a single resource, Box UK worked with the university’s internal team to integrate a number of modules, including various third-party services. These included Google Maps, RSS feeds and video, along with links to the university’s email service and live online chat. The site structure and navigation of the iPhone app were recreated for the new application, ensuring a consistently high user experience.
The launch of the app has proven to be extremely successful, and was accompanied by a viral marketing campaign. In the first month since launch the mobile service has been visited over 8,300 times, with 45,000 page views.
Cardiff University is now able to provide their students with quick and easy access to key information across a variety of mobile devices, not just the iPhone, helping them stay connected to the university with the latest news and events, instant support and much more. Nearly half of all visits have been from Android devices, and the service has been accessed by Blackberries and iPods in addition to Apple’s mobile devices.
The mobile web application also provides the university with another channel through which to reach potential students and other interested parties.
"The Cardiff University App is a great way to widen access to some of the University’s key information, tools and services at a time when growth in smartphone use is increasing rapidly amongst the University community."Eileen Brandreth, Director of University IT