The journey has begun: LMSU Iphone App
Magpie has recently begun working on our first dedicated SU app for Leeds Met Students’ Union, which we’re really excited about. Since the success of LMSU’s website we feel we can repeat this with a really well designed and user-friendly app. The wheels have been set in motion and we’re working in partnership with a great app developer, Tim from ErgoThis to offer the perfect package to the Union… Watch this space, because if this app goes well we will open up the template to all other students’ unions.
We’re only at the initial part of the journey but below is a bit of insight into what we’ve been thinking about:
Why get an app?
After Ben Neasmith, from Sheffield Hallam Union, shared his experience of iphone apps at Magpie’s recent conference we learned first hand about the benefits of getting a student-facing app.
Here’s a few (thanks, Ben):
• The price per student is actually very low and considerably cheaper than printed brochures
• Advertisers love it, which results in increased revenue
• A app changes students’ perception of your organization
• You can constantly update your app through your website
• The design scope is pretty flexible
After a bit of deliberation LMSU have decided their app will be compatible with iphone only at first. This decision was a commercial decision based on the fact that apple dominates the student market: 15% of all iPhone users are students , 43% of students would select an iphone if buying one tomorrow and after hearing from Ben at our conference, it seems that 85% of Hallam Union’s app downloads came from iphones. This last figure makes the cost per download on iphone very effective.
Android, blackberry, windows at a later date?…
Some say android will take over, however with the launch of iphone5 looming these predictions could soon change. Plus, who knows if Android will be popular amongst this demographic where Apple has so much kudos. Ultimately LMSU didn’t want to spend money building an additional app based on speculation, and one thing we know is iphone isn’t going away, so we’re safe! If there is demand for Android, Blackberry or Windows from students during 2011 we will react and develop the app for different platforms as part of ‘phase 2′. Besides, if a multi-platform approach is required it gives us the opportunity to make changes to the app based on feedback from the iphone app’s soft launch. That’s the great thing about an app, it can evolve and adapt as the market demands.
No doubt we’ll keep you posted about the app as it progresses. In the mean time you might be interested in our top tips for choosing an app developer. And, of course, if you think Magpie could be on your shortlist or your want to hear about how LMSU’s template could be tailored to suite your union, please do get in touch.