With a background in journalism and marketing, Heather is well versed in all things content and inbound marketing. She’s passionate about delivering content that helps her reader take action almost instantly.
When we talk about desired app features, we often talk about what the users will see or how they will perceive different features — all relating to the front-end of the product. We are drawn to pretty and intriguing designs that encourage us to engage. To us at Digistorm, however, design is not just how things look, but how they work!
This especially applies to school apps, as they require lots of functions in a little space and need to facilitate constant updates of information. We've therefore considered the whole user experience of our school apps— which include specialised and intuitive front-end designs, as well as a user-friendly back-end.
One of the best features of Digistorm Apps is our simple content management system (CMS). An app CMS allows you to manage the back-end of the app, to create, manage, track and publish content onto your app without needing any coding knowledge. This might include notices, newsletters, calendars, banners and more — but no matter what type of content you are producing, it's essential that your CMS makes it incredibly easy to do.
A CMS will also usually include some form of analytics that can help you to understand which areas of your app your users are engaging with, as well as tracking your app's overall downloads and use. The back-end of your Digistorm app was designed with easy-to-navigate layouts with self-explanatory functions that won’t require second-guessing. We know that it's crucial that updates in the back-end will work the way they were intended to on the first try, as updates will reach the school’s greater community, and we make sure that our school’s content managers feel confident in using all the features in our CMS flawlessly.
However, the CMS is only one aspect of the functionality within Digistorm Apps. To demonstrate this, we talked to Ava, one of our designers, about some of the unique requirements when designing a school app for Coomera Anglican College.
Coomera Anglican College is a private Christian school located in Coomera on the Gold Coast. They have been working with Digistorm since 2013, and recently requested a redesign of their school app to match the design of their new website. As the Digistorm design team also created their website design, we were confident the app could mirror the site visually in every aspect. After the completion of the app project, CAC was left with a product suite that was both highly beautiful and functional. In general, when a school has multiple Digistorm products, the design across each will be seamless, which helps to strengthen the school's branding.
The main requirement when redesigning CAC's app was to create a functional layout that would represent the school and its new branding. This was achieved by using the school's primary colours, thinly outlined icons and square buttons, just like on their website. The other big requirement was to make the app as easy to use as possible. To achieve this, we chose a digital font that’s legible even on small screens and positioned the buttons apart to ensure that they would be easy to tap.
The CMS included in Digistorm Apps allows the school to easily edit the app's content across desktop and mobile. One of the best and most-loved features of the Digistorm App CMS is the Notices module, or in CAC's case, the Alerts module. This feature allows content managers within the school to send out targeted notices to either their whole school community or a segment of their community. Urgent notifications can also be easily sent out as a push notification — a function that quickly alerts parents to news that is displayed on their mobile home screen.
Another important feature of the CAC app is its Absentee module. The Absentee module allows the users to mark a child absent from school and provide a reason that they will be away. To ensure the module can be accessed by CAC parents, but not students, we allow the user's school login details to determine which modules they can access. If a student logs on with their student login details, the Absentee module is disabled, whereas a parent's login details will enable the module so they can quickly report their child's absence.
If you're looking to build a school app that is user-friendly in both the front- and back-end, talk to Digistorm! Our apps are built to your specifications and with your unique needs in mind by our expert team of UX/UI designers and app developers.