Buckeye Room helps develop the Ohio State alumni mobile app
A beta version of the app was released as a surprise to the Class of 2019
Have you ever found yourself wishing that you had access to all of your favorite Ohio State University news, information, and extras in a convenient mobile app made just for alumni? Well, we are excited to announce that your wish is being granted!
During commencement on May 5, 2019 the first beta version of the Ohio State alumni mobile app was released as a special surprise to the graduating Class of 2019. While features and usability are being tested among the newest members of our alumni community, we asked our Buckeye Room community to help decide which features would be developed for future releases of the alumni mobile app.
Along the way, we asked some questions about the current mobile app usage of our Buckeye Room community, including which mobile apps they use most often. We found out that almost all respondents use a mobile app to check their email and get directions. Many members, though, also like to get caught up on the latest news and check social media feeds.
This doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Late in 2018, Apple unveiled its list of 2018’s most downloaded apps. Landing spots two through five on the list were Instagram, Snapchat, Messenger, and Facebook. Ranking as eight and nine on the list were Google Maps and Gmail.
But if Ohio State were to create a mobile app exclusive to alumni, how likely would respondents be to download it on their smart phone or tablet? See for yourself below.
About 71% of alumni selected that they would be either “likely” or “very likely” to download the Ohio State alumni mobile app, giving an overall average likelihood score of 3.98 on the above scale.
Buckeye Room members also were able to let us know how likely they would be to use an Ohio State alumni mobile app if it had certain features. Updating contact information and accessing a digital alumni membership card were considered key to using the app while viewing the campus bus schedule in real-time was not as high of a priority.
We didn’t want to limit the options to just our ideas, though, we wanted to put the great minds of our alumni to use. So we asked if there were any other features that Buckeye Room members would like to see included in the app.
Many members were interested in connecting with other Ohio State alumni:
“It would be great to be able to connect with Buckeye Alumni around the U.S. and the world, e.g. can find alumni nearby or in specific countries…”
Quite a few were also interested in cheering on their alma mater:
“Transfer football tickets and a ticket market place.”
And some were interested in creating quirky, fun features:
“I would LOVE to know where Brutus Buckeye is. I have always wanted to take a picture with Brutus Buckeye, but never know where he is going to be.”
We also wanted to investigate the potential popularity of push notifications among our future users. According to Accengage’s 2018 Push Notification Benchmark, the average U.S. smartphone user receives 46 app push notifications per day. Knowing that users may already feel overwhelmed, we asked alumni if they would activate push notifications, and if so, which ones would spark the most interest.
About 86% of respondents said that they would activate at least one of the listed push notifications. Of the options given below, the most popular push notification among respondents was knowing when a new alumni event is available in their location. Tailing closely behind was being notified of the results of an Ohio State sporting event.
Thanks to Buckeye Room members, the survey results are being used by our alumni association and IT teams to enhance and refine the app and its user experience, and will serve as a roadmap for features in the future.
 Su, Jean Baptiste. "Apple unveils 2018's most popular iPhone and iPad apps: Fortnite, YouTube, Minecraft and more." Forbes, 4 Dec. 2018, www.forbes.com/sites/jeanbaptiste/2018/12/04/apple-unveils-2018s-most-popular-apps-youtube-fortnite-minecraft-and-more/#13a398c560dc. Accessed 15 May 2019.
 Coops, James. "Push Notifications Statistics (2019)." Business of Apps, 11 Mar. 2019, www.businessofapps.com/marketplace/push-notifications/research/push-notifications-statistics. Accessed 15 May 2019.