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ECU goes mobile

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These days, any observer who visits a university’s campus will see many students using mobile devices. In addition to talking on the phone, this generation of students also utilizes these devices for texting, surfing the Web, and checking grades.

To meet the needs of these tech-savvy users, ECU saw the need to adapt the university’s own Web site to a mobile format.

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“The mobile market is continuing to grow and change by leaps and bounds,” said Joe Norris, ECU’s chief information officer. “Our students, faculty, staff, and alumni are part of this market—many of them stay on the go and rely on their smart phones and other mobile devices to get information quickly and from any location. ECU’s new mobile Web site provides access to key university-related information, such as the academic and holiday calendars, e-mail and phone directories, campus maps, sports news, and more.”

To convert the current site to a mobile site, Information Technology and Computing Services (ITCS) worked with the Department of Marketing and Publications to develop a mobile site that would offer users a great experience on a number of mobile devices.

“Our extensive research led us to the decision to base the mobile interface in a Web environment rather than an application, so that the site would be viewable on many different devices and operating systems,” explained Jo Lynne Daughtry, senior IT specialist. “Whether you’re using a Droid with the Android operating system, an Apple iPhone, or even a desktop computer, you can easily navigate the mobile site.”

ECU’s mobile site was developed in four and a half months, with the majority of that time spent on researching mobile devices’ capabilities and limitations, and then testing designs on real and simulated mobile devices.

The mobile site has many functionalities that appeal to users on the go, such as ecu.edu search, the latest headlines from the university, and one touch access to popular student tools such as BlackBoard, Onestop, and E-mail.

Thanks to the geolocation feature on many mobile devices like the iPhone, the campus map works even better than before. When the campus map is accessed on a mobile device, a user can click the pin icon on the map and see where they are located in relation to other campus buildings.

The mobile site has had approximately 70,000 users since it launched on August 3. Among the popular devices used to access the mobile site, 34 percent are Android powered devices, 25 percent are iPhones, 16 percent are Blackberries, 13 percent are iPads, and 11 percent are iPod Touches.

Check out ecu.edu on your smart phone today.



By Meagan Williford
University Marketing

10-12-10