Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

From posters to pixels: Augustana’s quest for app adoption

Vike, an app created by and for Augustana College students, is meant to promote events on campus and allow students to register early for programs. 

Transitioning to an app like Vike, instead of relying on posters put up around campus is useful and also a smart decision. 

It will allow events to be communicated through technology, which is what my generation and future generations are comfortable with, and reduce unnecessary paper use, making the college more sustainable. 

Students who live off campus, like seniors and commuters, often miss information that’s communicated through posters in residence halls and the brew, because they might not spend as much time in those areas as students who live on campus. 

In theory, Vike should make communication streamlined and more equitable for all students at Augustana.  

However, on Apr. 17, Abbey Mondi reported that Vike had a total of around 250 active users. 

While users may have risen slightly since then, the college has over 2,500 students, meaning Vike is used by only about 10% of the college’s population. 

With the current number of users, Vike is unhelpful with advertising events. It’s unclear for club leaders creating and posting these advertisements to know who might have seen the advertisements.  

If the Office of Student Life (OSL) hopes to one day fully transition to Vike and stop hanging posters completely, they need to address the low rate of adoption rates among students. 

There are a couple of potential reasons why Vike might not have taken off yet. 

First, there is a lack of awareness of the app itself. 

Despite the efforts to promote it through the student bulletin not all students are aware of the app or understand its benefits. 

Secondly, there may be some usability issues that are deterring students from using it. 

I downloaded the app and thought it was well-designed and clean. 

But when I clicked on a couple of the events, the app would suddenly quit on me. 

Most of the events did not do this, but this issue may lead to lesser students use. 

Thirdly, some students may prefer more traditional methods of communication, like posters, and don’t want to take the time out of their day to download Vike.

To combat these issues and increase users, the college needs to take several steps if they want Vike to succeed. 

At the beginning of next year, particularly at the activities fair, the college should launch a targeted marketing campaign explaining to students what Vike is and how it can benefit them. 

By focusing on First-Year students, the college can normalize the app. 

In doing this over the next four years, each incoming class will be more encouraged to use it.

It would also be helpful if the college conducted a school-wide survey to see if other students see potential areas of improvement, like if they experienced similar glitches. 

Lastly, the college should provide rewards or incentives for students who join or regularly use the app to encourage students to download it. 

This would help to create a larger student user base. 

By taking these steps the college can work towards fully realizing the potential of Vike as a communication and promotional tool, which will create a more engaged and connected campus. 

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