Case studyHunter TAFE wanted to improve their students' experience after they enrolled to study. Headjam collaborated with Hunter TAFE to design and build an app that would do just that. Read Hide the full case study
Hunter TAFE is one of Australia’s largest regional vocational education and training providers. Contributing to the Hunter region for more than 120 years, they support and empower students in hundreds of courses, across 15 different campuses and online.
Hunter TAFE wanted to improve their students’ experience after they enrolled to study. They felt providing students with a tool to help them find their way around campuses, experience campus life and see what Hunter TAFE could provide to them as a part of their overall experience when studying was the way to do this.
In 2015, Hunter TAFE excitingly chose Headjam as the creative agency that would come on board to build what turned out to be the Hunter TAFE app. They had previously conducted student focus groups to fully understand student needs and requirements in this space, which afforded us all a deeper understanding of their current experience after enrolling at TAFE.
From these discussions, it became apparent that a more user friendly digital application was necessary to suit the ongoing digital needs of their current and future students, and thus the app was designed and built in accordance with our joint learnings, predominantly around orientating new students in their new environment so they could focus on what mattered to them most, the learning and experiences in the classroom.
The institution’s 15 campuses are geographically dispersed over a wide area throughout the Newcastle, Hunter, Port Stephens, Lake Macquarie and Central Coast regions, and the app was developed with two key needs in mind.
1. To provide better communication and information to students.
2. To provide an easy and accurate tool for getting around each of Hunter TAFE’s campuses.
The primary audience were Hunter TAFE students across all campuses. A secondary audience were those who worked at Hunter TAFE to be able to navigate easily when they visited a new campus for the first time.
'Everything you need at your fingertips'
Visually, the app is simple with refined icons that are easily visible on small devices and utilises dark backgrounds for strong contrast and a clear top level hierarchy.
The app can be used on Android and iPhone mobile platforms and tablets. It is downloadable after searching for ‘Hunter TAFE’ in the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store.
The app has 3 main features; News, Campus Maps and FAQs.
News is aimed at keeping students up-to-date with campus news and events, with an integrated social media feed which is entirely customisable by the user/student. This section encourages students to participate and get involved in TAFE activities and events, and aims to facilitate a sense of belonging.
This section also features in-app alerts, where Hunter TAFE staff are able to deliver campus specific alerts and important messages directly to app users via their Application Management System (AMS) that Headjam also designed and developed alongside and in conjunction with the application.
Campus Maps allow the user to effortlessly locate their current position (on or off campus) and where they need to be, via the use of integrated GPS technology. The maps also allow the user to toggle on and off popular mapped blocks, amenities and services on their selected campus to assist with easy navigation. This user experience design was created to allow the user to de-clutter their maps and only see what they need to see at any one time.
FAQs is a simple way for students to access the most commonly asked questions and required information. With click-to-call functionality, and content links that launch directly in a user’s browser to desired sections for more detailed responses and embedded videos, it makes find answers to questions easily sought.
Via the custom built Application Management System (AMS), Headjam was able to provide Hunter TAFE complete control over the publishing of content, real-time to the application, without the need for costly build and app updates that have to go through all of the relevant app stores and can sometimes take weeks.
The 15 various campus maps were custom illustrated for this app, as Google maps for the campuses throughout Australia are sometimes up to 6 years old and visually out of date.
Headjam was able to integrate our custom illustrated campus maps over Google Map technology for all 15 campuses, which ultimately gave Hunter TAFE control over the detail and content featured and mapped within the application.
The app not only provides on-campus directions, but also provides directions between campuses by integrating with the Google Maps app on users’ devices. It detects if you are off-campus and asks ‘‘would you like directions to your nearest campus?”.
As of the date of this publication being printed the app has been downloaded by 653 Hunter TAFE users.
Apple Store: 1,271 Downloads
Google Play Store: 830 Downloads