No matter whether you’re a first-time visitor, an incoming freshman or a UAB lifer, there’s always something new to discover about this 100-block city within a city. Change is a constant: new buildings, new people, new courses, new menus in campus restaurants. That’s why UAB’s Office of University Relations, working with UAB IT and vendor Ex Libris, completely redesigned the UAB mobile app to be as dynamic and individualized as the campus community.
The free app for iOS and Android improves on many of the most popular features of the original UAB app launched in 2012. The new app’s completely redesigned campus map now offers GPS-style directions to any location on campus. Faculty and students using Canvas, UAB’s learning-management system, now see an automatically updated list of their upcoming classes, along with a direct link to the full Canvas system. Users also can search the full UAB directory by BlazerID as well as name.
The new app also lets users focus on the features most useful to them by introducing profiles: Employee, Student and Guest. The Employee profile includes one-touch links to UAB Administrative Systems, benefits and Perks information from UAB HR and a list of upcoming university-designated holidays. Guests see tips on getting around campus and an overview of university highlights. Students get links focused on helping them navigate their academic journeys at UAB. Users can have multiple profiles and switch between them at any time.
6 reasons to download the UAB app:
“Our goal was to make life easier for all members of the UAB community,” said Dusty Johnston, director of Web Operations in University Relations, whose team took the lead developing the new app. “Faculty and staff want access to key reports — and the latest menus at campus restaurants. Students want to know where their next class is. Guests are looking for parking. Each profile acts as a personal dashboard, with all the information you need to know to get around campus, get connected with others and get things done. And we’re committed to continually improving the app by adding in new features and responding to user feedback.”
Johnston says UAB IT played an important role in helping to select the app vendor, Ex Libris, and in the technical integration of several UAB database systems into the app, including the online directory, Canvas LMS and Banner. UAB Chief Information Officer Curt Carver, Ph.D., says the goal is a “seamless campus experience for our students, faculty and staff.”
The app “offers a modern look-and-feel and enables active notifications and personalized on-screen information so that we can keep all members of the university informed,” Carver said.
“Our work and personal lives are becoming increasingly mobile-focused,” said Anne Buckley, Chief Communications Officer for UAB. “We’re all looking for quick access to the information we need to be successful, no matter where we are. My team is focused on making the UAB experience more efficient and enjoyable for the 23,000 employees, nearly 20,000 students and hundreds of thousands of guests who make up the campus community. This new app is a great example of that.”