An orientation app is a great way to provide your orientation programming nowadays since incoming students are digital natives, many of whom have used mobile phones their whole lives.
That said, the effectiveness of an orientation app is directly tied to how you implement your app. Considerations on the content you use as well as your promotion methods will weigh on the success of your orientation app.
As experts in orientation app implementations, we at Eventus have consolidated the following best practices to ensure that you properly launch your orientation app.
Every student that downloads your orientation app will be getting an immediate impression of your institution. Consequently, it’s very important that you make sure that you brand your app appropriately.
Things such as your institutions logos, color schemes, imagery, etc. should be incorporated within the app. If your orientation app provider offers the option, you should also look to launch your app as a fully branded orientation app that has its own app icon, name, and app store listing.
Type of Content
Needless to say, the content that you provide in your orientation app is extremely important to its success. Orientation apps typically serve as a blank canvas where you can digitize almost any sort of content for your students. This can include dining information, points of interest, or FAQs. The more pertinent information you give to your students, the better.
That being said, you will definitely want to include the following key pieces of content in your app:
- Orientation Schedule
- Campus Map
- Event Checklist
The aforementioned content will drive the bulk of your app engagement since it’s immediately tied to your orientation program.
Beyond your core program though, the following pieces of content are other ideas you could consider for your app:
- Weather Information
- Academic Resources
- Campus Attractions
- Dining Info & Restaurants
- Class Social Media
- First Year Tips
Properly Formatted Content
In addition to providing the right content in your orientation app, you should also aim to format your content properly.
This entails incorporating the proper imagery and formatting your text in a well organized manner.
Incoming students are used to consuming mobile content in a nice byte sized visual manner similar to what they may experience with apps like Instagram and Snapchat. Consequently, you’ll want to make sure that your content is provided in a familiar format to them.
When incorporating images, the main thing to note is that your images should be high quality images that fit within the dimensions of your orientation app.
You don’t want to use images that are pixelated or improperly stretched in your app.
When formatting your text, you’ll want to make sure that your text information is properly spaced and laid out with the proper headers. It’s a common mistake to simply paste in your text content as one massive blob of text in our orientation app. This often is very off putting to students and will most likely make them disengaged from your content.
Regardless of how good your app content is, the promotion of your app will determine if students actually hear about and download your orientation app.
Promoting your app typically can be as simple as emailing your app download links to your student newsletter.
To make it even easier to find and download your orientation app though, we would recommend naming your orientation app something that’s unique to your organization so that students can easily find it on the app store.
A mistake that institutions sometimes make is to name their app something generic like “First Year Orientation App”. Generic names oftentimes don’t pull up the proper app on the app stores. As such, it’s better to name the app something like “Auxley Orientation Programs” if your institution’s name is Auxley.
Push Notification Usage
Most orientation apps come equipped with push notification capabilities. This communication tool is extremely useful in communicating urgent updates and reminders to your students, and we 100% recommend taking advantage of this feature if your app provides it.
That being said, you DON’T want to inundate your users with too many notifications. If you do this, your users will simply block your app’s notifications, and this medium of communication will no longer be effective.
You want to stay within a happy medium of sending important notifications, but not too many.