New SCC mobile app fails to impress
SCC has just launched their new app and mobile website. This is a great step forward progress-wise, though a very small step.
Here is a quick overview of the features of the new app and the functionality (or should I say DIS-functionality) of each one.
Directory- A directory listing allows you to look up staff and faculty to quickly access contact information. You can directly send an email or make a call. Would come in quite handy if trying to contact a teacher on the go.
Course Directory- A listing of all courses for the current quarter which allows you to check out what classes and times are available. However, you are not able to register for these classes via the app so it still leaves you sitting down at your desktop or doing it in person, making it a bit pointless. Could come in handy if you're standing in line to register and need a quick course ID look up, but that's about it.
BlackBoard- Now this would be fantastic. . . if there wasn't already a BB Mobile app available for download. I've had it for quite some time now. This section of SCC's app basically takes you to the BB Mobile app, making this function a bit redundant as well.
Videos- This takes you directly to a feed of SCC's YouTube channel. YouTube is another app already on most smart phones, so I wouldn't download it for this feature!
Images- A gallery of images related to SCC campus. Again, cool, but who really cares that much?
Emergency- Gives students quick access to 911 and campus security (emergency & non-emergency). Much quicker in a sticky situation that looking up campus security numbers. I don't know of anyone who found themselves in danger that would actually pull out their smartphone, launch SCC's Mobile App, wait for it to load, and enter the emergency section in order to access 911 rather than just calling it, but the security numbers are helpful.
I'm glad to see the progression of our campus in going mobile, especially since most colleges and universities aren't there yet for some reason. Still, I would like to see more functionality added to make an app that would actually be useful and provide a service to students.
I hate to say it, but until there are some major updates; this will be another one of those apps I download that takes up space but never gets used.
Another downside to this mobile overhaul? The website itself claims to be mobile. Well, I've tried it out and there is nothing mobile-friendly about it. Even the few pages that actually do re-size according to the size of your screen still leave you tapping and pinching to zoom in so you can actually read the content. Students who are forced to use the website on mobile devices, since the app doesn't yet provide students with much of a service, are left with a pretty painful experience.
My opinion? Mobilize ALL of your website and do a halfway decent job, at least until you can develop an app that provides students with an actual service.
It would be great to be able to login via SID and be able to access important student services such as waitlists, registration, grades, class schedules, financial aid, etc.
Until SCC's Mobile app takes another step forward and begins to provide an app that is useful and effective, I sure won't be using it.
Though I am proud to say that we are one of the colleges paving the road to progressive enhancement, I wish we would have made more of an impact while doing it.
All in all I give SCC an "A" for effort in stepping up to the plate for progressive web enhancement, but a "D-" for usefulness and functionality.
Kendra Hayes, Design Director/Webmaster