New app puts WSU at fingertips

From staff reports

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WSU has released an app that enables users to follow what’s happening at each of the university’s four campuses. It also makes it easy to check Pullman Transit bus routes, campus parking zones and Green Bike locations.

The app, which still has some features under development, became available to iPhone users last month. An Android version is expected to be released some time this week.

“Web presence is one thing, but it’s a lot different when you’re carrying (a smart phone) around,” said Jason Bittle, the director of WSU’s Mobile Design team.

Bittle said the app was in development for a year before being launched. He and Nathan Owen, the lead mobile app engineer, collaborated to gather the proper information.

“The students really helped shape this,” Bittle said. “Functionality was our top priority.”

The pair decided to create the app “from the ground up” – rather than use a template or a third party – to allow for a unique and fluent user experience.

They gathered student feedback during the development process by asking students on campus to try the app. Bittle said they also relied on word of mouth.

The app offers live feeds from WSU News, WSU President Elson S. Floyd and ASWSU, among others.

Additionally, the app enables students to check their class schedules and look up professors’ contact information.

Bittle and Owen have been troubleshooting problems within the Android version of the app. Tablet versions are expected by the end of the summer.

CLARIFICATION – 7/9/2014: The name of the app is “WSU.”